Between Sensuality and Rationalism
#photography & visual arts
small, Between Sensuality and Rationalism, A Blue Line and a Shadow, with Koji Kamoji, Foksal Gallery, 2004, en_fo_kamoji_krasinski_niebieski_pasek_2004_gladykowski_3551157.jpg
Edward Krasiński is one of the most important sensual artists in the history of Poland – one of them who are non-militant and who conceptualize life… This difference is very important.
It is as important as the difference between two various concepts… Not for nothing an art historian said that Edward Krasiński was not a ‘typical conceptualist’, adding at the same time that he was ‘sensual’. It is one of many things I think about during my stay in Warsaw. Is there any dialectic between them? I cannot unambiguously say… Rationalism and sensuality… In a nutshell, I am talking about such a sensation that rationalism does not work as long as there is no sensuality involved. Can compensation for the humiliation of the body lie in the wish to overcome rationalism? I am standing on a terrace of the Avant-Garde Institute overlooking Warsaw. This institute, which carries an ironic name, is the place in which, after Krasiński’s death, this wish is kept protected. The institute was preserved in such an environment in which Krasiński live and worked. Some of his famous blue tapes came unstuck from the walls. None asked for new tapes as their replacement would mean destroying their life… However, the fact that they are worn out emphasises ‘sensuality’ of this artist… There is no other way, but to envy this attention which Krasiński’s legacy is enjoying. There is no other way, but to eulogise over emotionality of those who treat him as the apple in their eye!
Beautiful and Ugly City
On this dimmed, glass-enclosed terrace, the manager and curator of the institute asked me: “Isn’t Warsaw ugly in terms of its architecture?”. “In what sense?”, I asked back. “Incoherent buildings, one different from another… Just ugly…” she said. Again, I started to think about expectations that a city should make some sort of a whole. Should this concept, that buildings of one city should be consistent, not be considered old-fashioned? What does it mean that a city is ugly? What does it mean that a city is beautiful? For ex ample, as far as Warsaw, which I see for the first time, is concerned, its attractiveness consists of elements derived from the clash of its old and new buildings. Modernism of global investments is built onto Warsaw’s socialist realistic architecture, covering it and interfering with it. A slim and joyful Mango mannequin is put under a relief representing a monstrous woman of socialist realism. Next to a house built in a style influenced by Corbusier, there is a huge shopping centre in which the whole city it reflected. Are cities not more interesting and more beautiful with their hidden contradictions? Did cities which are architectonically consistent not go down in history? Is each of them not like a single museum? Is it not so that in these cities there are more tourists than their real inhabitants? Is Siena not only a museum? And Paris? If a new urban planning it to emerge, I think that it should support the user and aim at seeking its source in chaos and contradictions, rather than in its global composition. New things should be created, but the old ones should not be destroyed. The new can be made out of the old, provided that the old will let the new live its own life However, the old should not be like a dinosaur that lived in times which are unknown to us… This what will come should combine the old and the new, so that they can both coexist, and that the old one is not considered more important and more valuable than the idea coming out of a human brain.
Article by Ayşegül Sönmez
Translated from Turkish by Agnieszka Ayşen Kaim and Katarzyna Wiśniewska. Edited by E.M. 16/05/2014