No 2 (90) 2012
April - June

Everything, and 12 Pictures

Marzec has been struggling with the concept of EVERYTHING for years. That this is the right topic for art that introduces an essential problem, as well as the drama of existence. The suspension between the impossible wholeness and fragmentary nature of every attempt at the concrete approach.

Anna Solbach

B. in 1961. Journalist. She publishes her texts in NYArts Magazine, the Orońsko Sculpture quarterly. She lives and works in Germany.

Anna Solbach

THE LATEST EXHIBITION BY MARZEC, "EVERYTHING, AND 12 PICTURES", mounted at the legendary Foksal Gallery, strikes with its monotony at the first glance. Twelve nearly identical pictures have been put on the opposite walls. Each has been developed with tiny points of "all colors" and each serves practically as a screen where shapes are appearing and disappearing to the rhythm of one's imagination.

In fact, each picture is different, their distinctness being a challenge. Each has its individual title written in pencil on the wall. The tittles are of two types, either Roman proverbs put in Latin, or Internet news in English, as on the day of the picture completion. These ready-title, as Marzec has defined them, push the pictures into the conflict between two paradigms of time, the universal conflict with the present; between the whole and the fragmentary. Further, the time reference is clear in the number of the pictures. Their thickened side edges are specific frames, the parergom. There are small objects fixed to them: coins, films, some orders, trinkets, scraps of cloth, little stones, etc.

The pictures have been further diversified by means of their exposition. Again, the latter is unusual; canvases have been placed very close to one another, with the distance of merely 12 cm between them. The outermost near by the same margin respective perpendicular walls on both sides. This leads to yet another ambiguity; is this one picture, or perhaps twelve? Or merely a fragment of a larger series?

The stripes of wall between pictures are covered with a form developed through layered titles, one on top of the other. The slits, gaps separating pictures have been abandoned for the sake of simultaneity. Thus, what is meaningful; is it titles, or gaps; repetitions or built up layers? These hardly noticeable "formal conditions" make our understanding and emotions real and visible. A careful viewer might try to see the same words, written in white chalk, on the opposite wall; invisible which does not equal absent.

The "Everything" video has been projected in the little corridor of the Gallery. Its basic matter covers 25 various superimposed videos which offer - just as little points in the pictures - a vibrating ocean of shapes. Every second an outline of a silhouette is emerging; a face, a single word, a snatch of a tune; all these are immediately drowned in the vast diversity. Nevertheless, they are somewhere, one tries to fish them out, imagine what will happen to them next. At some time, these boundlessly accumulated layers are being replaced with a glimmer of single frames. This exceeds one's threshold of understanding and a sense of form. The final sequence is astonishing again. It turns out that his has been a specific video to illustrate one of the sonatas by Mozart; to be honest, frequently jammed, so as at times it was inessential, if not absent, nevertheless being a keystone of the video that determined its exact length.

This exhibition has been a specific treaty on a picture, understood as the fundamental experience of the visual at the moment of its creation and transformation into a form or meaning. This makes one focus on a subtle level on the edges of one's sense of the visual. Marzec has been convinced that the "apocalypse" of today is being "settled" in the sphere of unnoticeable nuances. Frequently unaware, through a lack of concentration or fatigue or boredom, while its later climax, "fireworks" are mere unavoidable, mechanical results.

The intellectual complexity, per se, has not been the basic message delivered in art by Sławomir Marzec. He has equally seriously approached the sensual, if not contemplative creative dimension. Thus, the monotony of the exhibition is just a misleading appearance to initiate the subtle logic to define the multiplicity of meanings.

Sławomir Marzec, "Everything, and 12 Pictures", the Foksal Gallery, Warsaw, March - April 2012.