The exhibition at the Waterside Contemporary Gallery brings together six artists whose practices reflect on the role of ideology in a post-ideological landscape. The artists, aware of these mechanisms, reject the obvious, doubting the potential of ideologised thought and production.
"Eagle" by Radek Szlaga
The exhibition at the Waterside Contemporary Gallery has brought together six artists whose practices reflect on the role of ideology in a post-ideological landscape. The artists, aware of these mechanisms, reject the obvious, doubting the potential of ideologised thought and production
The show presented a collective that extends beyond ideological simplification, avoiding trends and concepts in contemporary art and striving towards the subconscious world of artistic inspiration and gesture. Featured artists included Grzegorz Dróźd, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Javier Rodriguez, Konrad Smoleński, Maciek Stępiński and Radek Szlaga.
These artistic narratives are based on the overbearing here and now. Spilling out of context, the artists produce hallucinatory newspaper headlines, trash baroque icons, surreal minefields and post-apocalyptic barbecues. Faced with this fracture of the Real, we are as viewers released from the circumstantial, and are drawn into a world of the unconscious artistic gesture. Working in paint, installation and video, they expand into the post-participatory, the post-media, and chart the past-punk and the past-colonial.
Polish art after 1989 has been subjected to express processes of systematisation based on concepts constructed by critics and art historians. These concepts are, in turn, propagated by exhibitions held by the likes of Warsaw's Centre for Contemporary Art, such as recent shows Anti - body, Scene 2000, Pop-elite and Indeed, Young People are Realists. Art institutions define the so-called framework for critical art, pop-banality and the new realism as they attempt to establish a history and narrative for Polish art after the fall of communism.
The situation mirrors that described by Anda Rottenberg in "Art in Poland between 1945-2005" as the implementation of familiar paradigms and concepts gives way to simplification across the art world. Of course, as Slavoj Žižek, indicates, a certain level of categorisation with regard to the names of concepts, movements, phenomena and media is necessary - without it, there could be no order. Yet here, the focus is rather on the here and now of the artist, his or her own vision and narrative - bringing the viewer straight into the experience of each work without the barriers of context or category, such as Radek Szlaga's grotesque universe of trolls, pigs and troglodytes - a world without boundaries or Konrad Smoleński'smultimedia installations in which diverse audio and visual aesthetics combine in a way that exemplifies the artist's deep awareness of the medium, its substance and the virtuosity of the artist
The Marxist statement "I do not know why, but they do it" provides a starting point for breaking the boundaries of current trends in art by pursuing individual, independent directions that are rooted in each artist's consciousness. Symbolism and reality and closely tied together and neither is allowed to overtake the other.
The exhibition has been put together in cooperation with the Zmiana Organizacji Ruchu (Changing Traffic) group. ZOR is not a gallery, but rather an institution that brings together artists, critics, curators and people from all areas of the art world in order to promote fruitful evolution. A. Łukasiak and G. A. Drozd are the movement's founders (in 2003), working to create an active, experimental space, an area conducive to practicing art on every level.
Curator: Peter Sikora
Waterside Contemporary is an independent gallery in East London, founded by Pierre d'Alancaisez in 2008, as Waterside Project Space. Working with and representing the best arists, the gallery presents an ambitious programme of exhibitions and projects.
The exhibition travels on to Galería Blanca Soto Madrid in November 2011.
Date: 9th of October - 5th of November, 2011.
Venue: Waterside Contemporary Gallery, 3B Waterside, 44-48 Wharf Rd, London N1 7UX
Organisers: Zmiana Organizacji Ruchu, Waterside Gallery, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Insitute, Waterside Contemporary