No 4 (88) 2011
October - December

Irony as the Method for Reality

The Orońsko Polish Sculpture Center presented the 6th Triennial of the Young. Artists participating in the event approach their art in various ways. Most works depart from social and political topics to focus on the nearest surroundings.

Maria Franecka

Art historian. She publishes texts on contemporary art.

Maria Franecka

YOUNG ARTISTS DISSOCIATE THEMSELVES FROM REALITY in order to interpret it in an intricate, frequently ironic manner. The "Bulb Project" - a huge bulb put on the roof of the Contemporary Sculpture Gallery is the piece that draws attention before one enters the exhibition room. Piotr Pauk, the author, has been one of over 25 young artists - who pursue painting, sculpture, new media and performance - selected among the students representing the most significant art academies in Poland. The jury, comprised of curators connected with the Polish Sculpture Center (CRP), chose two persons per each unit. Nominated artists had an opportunity to present their work on the Orońsko Triennial.

This has been a cyclical event from 1992; aimed to show the youngest generation output and to support their presence on the artistic scene. The author of the "Bulb Project" - who has been dealing with street art on daily bases - interfered into public space with a sense of humor. His intention was to animate it and cause positive reactions of viewers. He has followed similar assumption in Szczecin, his hometown. An ironic attitude to the painting method has been offered in the "Pictures Devouring Garden Sculpture" by Bartosz Kokosiński; the canvas literally absorbs garden gnomes and other objects - potential topics for representative painting.

Similarly untoward attitude has been present in the displayed pieces by Tomasz Koszewnik. In the documentation of the "Fantastic Overture" performance held in the Podlaska Philharmonics, one can see the artist conducting the band who tune their instruments. By means of a subtle gesture the artist has interfered into reality without changing it. The "Looking at One Place" by Gizela Mickiewicz explores apparently familiar and obvious areas. As she stressed, she has been interested in superficial relations with objects, and fears to enter deeper into them. The "Disburdened" series of five photographs by Ola Buczkowska describes the zone of personal experience, family relations and their analysis. Similar subject matter is present in the "Living in My Younger Sister's Room" by Michał Gayer. The author probes childhood space after a couple of years absence. Małgorzata Goliszewska has presented the documentation recording the "Dress Me" experiment where she has observed an impact of what she was wearing on the way she was perceived.

The sight specific object, i.e., custom made for a given location, corresponding to the gallery space and the surrounding park, has been showed by Jerzy Goliszewski. The artist has referred to the lake situated directly behind the wall of the exhibition room.

The "Pieta Game - Over" by Kordian Lewandowski is a discussion with pop culture, technically oriented world of pictures and Christian art tradition. A sense of irony has been present in the content where the artist shows characters of the "Super Mario Bros" electronic game - that was worshiped some time ago - adopting poses reminding of the Pieta by Michael Angelo; as well as in the material - the sculpture has been made, according to the artist himself, in the Canary foamed polystyrene.

The performance section has been a significant part of the Triennial. The Oko group, composed of three artists, presented "A Rag", one hour performance. They were putting in waving motions a huge gray sheet over their heads. Originally the action was planned to take place in a shopping mall to contradict its sterile aesthetics.

By introducing a disturbing element that causes aversion, if not disgust, this motive can be interpreted as the abject1).

The organizers stress that the cooperation with young artists shall be continued in the future.

1)Ewa Domańska, Unconventional Stories, Poznań Publishers, Poznań, 2006, p. 95

The 6th Triennial of the Young, the Polish Sculpture Center, Orońsko, September - November 2011.