No 4 (88) 2011
October - December

A Playground

Motives of game and play seem to be extremely important in the output by Bogusław Bachorczyk. One had an opportunity to see this during the "Kiss My Ring" exhibition presented in July and August in the Bunker of Art. The world created by the artist is the homo ludens world.

Przemysław Chodań

Art critic. He publishes texts on contemporary art.

Przemysław Chodań

THIS TERM REFERS TO THE THEORY BY JOHN HUIZING that can be summed up by a concise statement that the game and play are elementary foundations of all human activities. Watching the exhibition by Bachorczyk one has a strong impression that any creative effort can be approached in terms of the category of a game. Time dimension is the other category: the author has taken his audiences for a specific sentimental trip.

To conduct an analysis of the exhibition - applying one of the contemporary sociological theories - we would have to chose social construction oriented approach that negates objective meanings and indicates that the latter are the constructions brought to life in the course of a constant process of the reality interpretation. The world according to Bachorczyk is the place with no "essence" of its own. This world has been overwhelmed by games; ever present on each level of human interrelations; starting with formal occasions, through family and sexual contacts. Guided by this assumption, one could think that that the concept of identity is there absolutely out of place. Paradoxically, the exhibition has been an attempt to offer a myth "about oneself". The author has developed this presenting several intertwining narrations: about childhood, adolescence and manhood. One could even take a risk to compare the author to a bard who - while telling his own story - wishes to depict a certain epoch and a certain society. One should stress, however, that Bachorczyk has not presented a tale aspiring to tell universal truths, but an extremely subjective myth. This is why not all have believed in this.

The artist constructs stories applying very simple means of expression, frequently going for discarded materials. He uses pop stars photos cut out from old magazines; he fixes bids and embroidery elements onto his canvases, he makes objects out of simple, wire flower stands.

Works referring to childhood have been an introduction into the exhibition. The author has started to develop his own mythology from rustic landscapes, a hopscotch game and religious rituals. Thus, from the very beginning he has indicated the motive of play/ game asthe only way to function in the community (game/ play with peers and the ritual of passage as a performance). Next, one could see a space arranged as though it were a home which - according to the curator's description - " turns into the laboratory of human emotions; personal, frequently deeply hidden passions and desires". The walls - displaying newspaper clippings, ordinary flower stands and other "mundane" objects - have been painted in orange and yellow dado. The lower gallery showed a series of pictures and objects exploring love and self eroticism.

As much as the beginning and the end of the exhibition offered cohesive stories, the mid part was slightly disappointing. One side of the gallery has been filled in with objects-installations imitating fragments of destroyed walls, the other - with mini-malist, cast iron constructions featuring motives of children garment patterns. A swing has been hung between the two. This weird architectonic - rococo - erotic mixture can be hardly connected with the remaining parts of the exhibition. Further, it cannot match them with regard to the form and content: emotional openness, bordering on exhibitionism, and the intensity of impact have been thinned down here. The impression remains that there has been co concept to arrange this quite large space.

The exhibition in the Bunker of Art has been the first, extensive presentation of the works by Bachorczyk. The silhouette of the author, looming into view from behind presented pieces, has been twofold in the sense that it has characteristics of a child and of an old man.

What they both share is an inclination for collecting things, casting a spell on time to close it in objects and specific fetish like relations with reality.

Bogusław Bachorczyk, "Kiss My Ring", curators: Lidia Krawczyk, Beata Nowacka-Kardzis, The Bunker of Art, Cracow, July - August 2011.