No 1 (65) 2006
January - March

Young Łódź - Identification

The “młódź – Identification” has been prepared especially to suit the interiors of the Art Propagation Center. Kamil Kuskowski and Jarosław Lubiak have invited 13 young Łódź artists to take part in the project. They have been asked to present works corresponding to the location.
Magdalena Wicherkiewicz

Art historian, she writes on contemporary art.

Magdalena Wicherkiewicz
Thus, they have developed the project combining various types of expression, and multiple references to the location: its architecture, history, more general – to the city itsel, its art and social situation. Radosław Zielonka has presented a huge, minimalist canvas. There are only a human silhouette, a palm tree and the letters TE in its opposite corners. Associations range from a seashore to the name of one of the well known hypermarket networks. The issue of the identification of the presented elements and their real point of reference makes this picture nearly a philosophical discourse on the possibilities of identification. “The Unison Composition” by Jakub Stępień has transferred the identification concept into the zone of …club football. A huge tapestry, its composition - in accordance with the theory by Strzemiński – lacking direction tensions, displays the white and red letters, symbols of Łódź football clubs, closely linked. It has remained unanswered whether it should be interpreted as a call for unity or rather a metaphor of these clubs hostile coexistence? The pictures by Magdalena Moskwa have been an intimate description of her own body changes. The identification concept is being implemented in the area of relations between the psychic and the carnal. Bodily transformations related to age, make us follow a constant process of confirming our own identity. The project “0+0+0” by Aleksandra Ska has also dealt with the connections between the psyche and the carnal. An injection mark becomes a type of an intimate, personal identifier (just like fingerprints or an iris). In the time of ever growing possibilities to interfere into one’s body, the problem of an explicit identity definition gets more complex. The artist suggests that in the process of determining identity, one should also consider pox marks. Anna Orlikowska has prepared a specific installation pertaining to the identification with the place where the exhibition has been held. With regard to the fact that the Art Propagation Center has been recently redecorated, her work – the DVD projection illustrating the slow process of a damp patch developing on the wall, and then its sudden disappearance – has been a source of an unpleasant tension, a sense of constant threat. The photographs of the “Cleaners. Magic Woodge” series by Artur Chrzanowski have been an ironic illustration of the opposite process. The “cleaned” zones start appearing on the photographs depicting the “magic” Łódź: dilapidated mansions and squalid backyards. Obviously, the renovation move has been merely an interference into the photograph structure, and not a realistic proposal to revitalize the city. Tomasz Musiał has presented a specific “false” identification comparing the achievements by Cezary Bodzianowski, an artist and Mariusz Pudzianowski, a strongman. Contrasting the accomplishments by these two gentlemen, he has used the language of TV quiz, turning - step by step - more absurd. The “Bohater łódzki – Lodz – Man”, brought to life by Marcin Nowak, just as its batman predecessor, is to help solving all problems – in this case - of the city of Łódź. “The Plein-Air” project by Artur Malewski has been a double artistic mystification. The artist has created a fictitious character of Ania, the painter (then he pretends to be her). In the course of one of her plein-air painting workshops, Ania registers a mysterious figure (also personified by the author) with her movie camera. The resulting video is shown at the exhibition. Krzysztof Ostrowski has been the other artist who lent his face to one of his cartoon characters taking part in a street fight. “The Jigsaw Puzzles” by Marta Frej, the picture adopting a shape of the Greek cross, illustrates a fragment of a stadium stand. The artist has not referred to the aggressive football fans. This has been merely a pretext to reveal purely painting oriented , formal qualities of the original view. “The Gallery <-> Gallery” by Teodor Durski deals with the problem of a literal identification of commercial space and exhibition space. The video by Durski, being a register of closing down shops at the trade center, pertains to taking over artistic zone elements by the commercial sector, but also to marketing strategy mechanisms being taken over by the world of art. The “mŁódź. Identification” suggest that we have been faced with the generation driven outlook. The term Identification, the project catchphrase, only seemingly makes the whole presentation coherent. A whole range of possible interpretations and approaches to the problem have made it rather a differentiating factor. First of all, this exhibition has confirmed and created personalities. It lets us look hopefully at the young Łódź artistic scene. “młódź – Identification”, the Town Art Gallery in Łódź, October – November 2005; the “Arsenal” Town Gallery in Poznań, December 2005; the “Wozownia” Art Gallery in Toruń, June 2006; Bielska Gallery, Bielsko-Biała, 2006.