OVERVIEWNOV 10 to DEC 09Solo Exhibition
- Solo Exhibition
Dates and Opening hoursNOV 10 to DEC 09, 2012
Monday - Saturday 18-22, by appointment
- Kasia Januszko
InformationThe artist uses graphic techniques to make her large-size works. Found steel elements are covered with paint and used as matrixes against which thick sheets of soaked cellulose are pressed. Extra colour is then added, including with an ordinary brush.
The works are made in production facilities, where you can find offcuts left from the process of sheet-cutting and press-carving. The first thing this brings to mind is the memory of communist-rule Poland, the coarse PRL, where the various post-industrial elements where used to make fences or gates that pleased the eye with the randomness of the material they were made with. They were being read, interpreted. You tried to guess what the Big Machine had made them for in the first place. They were always too heavy, too powerful for their newfound function. That excess mass, excess weight, and the randomness of use transformed into a kind of suburban aesthetic of that “peripheral diluvium” that had always appreciated the recycling of things discarded by the higher levels of the social ladder, and of industrial waste.
The artist consciously repeats that gesture, elevating the mechanical codes of her visual matrixes to a symbolic dimension. She is aware of our tendency for seeing everything in a symbolic way, expressed in binary oppositions, sometimes their unity, in contrasts of the complete with the incomplete, the dynamic with the static. She confines herself to found, selected forms. She uses them to compose autonomous objects that engage in a dialogue with not only our aesthetical tradition but also the civilisational one – the axiomatic supremacy of technology over other forms of culture. Both are treated here in a way that falsifies each of them. We are having to do here neither with important signs organising our communities, nor with an apology of technology. The artist chooses splinters of complex processes. She deliberately narrows down the repertoire of used forms to open us to our own interpretations, the effort of searching, of creating the sign, or at least awarding it a unique meaning, filling with content, even if heroic or individuating. If we were not to treat Jung’s archetypes as given forever or unchanging, then now is the time to build new ones. Nothing is certain but the process of production and the properties of our mind, and where it goes from there is hard to predict, but it is likely to be ever more niche, ever more individual, despite the galvanisation efforts of the Old. The politicians will still be trying to draw from that primitive tribalism, revive and organise it under the eternal signs, but the new is already there – in the followers of the various music styles, dress codes, yoga, vegetarianism, extreme sports, piercing, or whatever. All that is becoming somehow equal to the old incantations, and – horrors! – of the same intellectual weight. And for the thinking, sensitive ilk, there are more discreet codes, more delicate provocations, there is irony and non-classified emotions. Do Katarzyna Januszko’s decorative works fill some void left by the hard signs, or are they only a play about them? Those references to the civilisational anxiety, to the poetry and domination of the machine, viewed a bit like Piranesi saw his ruins and carceri, a bit like the underwater rubbish-traces in the Stalker, will provide us with emotions that may be underlined with fear, but are our own. Someone offers us something that has already been seen, something from a world that has persisted in its perhaps kitschy but warm culture, and says, ‘oh, does this imprint left by the car battery not look like a cult object, and this here, isn’t it a mandala, and that, perhaps a Hermes Trismegistos chart, and that thing there, couldn’t it be put the logo of the New Order Party?’
The works bring to mind the automatic female art of carpet weaving, using the same patterns for generations over and over again, but there stands behind them a thought about random meanings, unplanned aesthetic. They are also a perverse reaction to contemporary art’s call for maximum individualisation and originality. - Krzysztof ?wirblis
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