No 1 (89) 2012
January - March


The REGRESS-PROGRESS Future Laboratory - a long-term project implemented by the Contemporary Art Center in Warsaw - has been an attempt to answer the following question: are the coming years to bring about the regress of the capitalistic production system development?

Agnieszka Maria Wasieczko

B. in 1974. Art. historian, critic. She publishes texts on contemporary art.

Agnieszka Maria Wasieczko

THE REGRESS THAT CAN BRING ABOUT HAPPINESS? Jarosław Kozakiewicz has prepared the R/Evolution video to show during the 4th edition; a nature oriented fantasy with documentary elements. He has been inspired by ....extraordinary habits of hornets.

Jarosław Kozakiewicz (b. in 1961), a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts Sculpture Faculty, offers works that border on art and science, borrowing from contemporary ecology, geometry, physics, astronomy and ancient cosmologic ideas. Human body has been a starting point for the majority of his utopian projects in the area of monumental sculpture, architecture and earth art. He has approached it as a micro scale reflection of the Solar System, and focused on a traditional astrological model to put man in the cosmic universe. Based on human body maps, Kozakiewicz pursued the Tower of Love, Oxygen Towers and Interior Geometry sculpture construction projects. Under the MARS project, implemented around a German lake of Baerwale, he has transformed a hilly landscape of an abandoned lignite mine to resemble a giant auricle.

R/Evolution - the latest video written into the structure of the Where Is a Green Rabbit? more comprehensive exhibition with Ewa Grządek as a curator - has been a science-fiction story featured by Asian hornets as main characters. The only known living creatures that collect energy by means of specific "solar batteries". Their abdomen surface is equipped with microscopic collectors that change solar energy into kinetic one. The R/Evolution presents fragments of the Hornets - Lethal Stings documentary (produced by National Geographic TV in 2006) depicting the life of these insects. These have been combined with computer animations - futurological fantasies that reveal their structure and allow a glimpse at the processes to take place on earth in the future, and at a "new" man. Predatory habits - feeding behavior that involves use of a body of another predator that, in contrast to parasitism, leads to death of the prey - have been a starting point for the video by Kozakiewicz. Man is the biggest predator in nature, though hornets are nearly as much dangerous. They live in organized communities. With regard to their group behavior - characterized by a considerable level of aggression and fighting spirit - they resemble humans.

As one learns from the video, a queen hornet, in order to start a new colony, lays thousands of eggs in hexagonal cells, while a cylindrical, nine level nest is a unit of specific architecture. When hatching larvae get hungry, they are being fed by worker hornets, responsible for finding new supplies of protein. Hornets - exceptionally strong fighters - hunt in flocks. In spite of their predatory qualities, hornets make good mothers, and "one of the species has a share in positive changes on our planet". In 2010 an international team working at the Tel-Aviv University proved that due to a complex structure of abdomen, an eastern hornet (vespa orientalis) catches light beams to transfer these into energy used to fly and to cut underground corridors.

The R/Evolution illustrates analogies between men and hornets to the extent that a human body adopts certain insect like qualities, i.e., sun panels growing on human arms. Thus, men eating habits, appearance of their homes and towns have been radically changed. "In spite of protests by ever less influential politicians, not renewable energy sources ceased to be used, there are no more conflicts on oilbearing areas, state borders have disappeared. Homo sapiens has given up an egocentric attitude to become an integral part of the ecosystem. This process might bring balance back to the life on our planet", according to an optimistic vision by Jarosław Kozakiewicz.

The R/Evolution latest project by the artist has offered a new quality to approach human environment. Extending care for it, Kozakiewicz indicated a considerable potential of art in shaping the image of reality.

Jarosław Kozakiewicz, "R/Evolution" within the REGRESS-PROGRESS Future Laboratory - more comprehensive project, the Ujazdowski Castle Contemporary Art Center, Warsaw, October 2011 - January 2012.