Wojciech Bąkowski at Stereo

Artist: Wojciech Bąkowski

Exhibition title: Waking up from Abstraction

Venue: Stereo, Warsaw, Poland

Date: May 31 – July 21, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galeria Stereo, Warsaw

In 2011, Wojciech Bąkowski made an exhibition entitled Lack of Access Radiates. It seems that this enigmatic title can be a useful key and saying a lot about the artist’s latest work. In recent years, Bąkowski has been shifting his interests to various media, the forms of his work are being transformed, but their issues remain unchanged. The core here is the relationship between the internal and external world, and to be more precise, the impossibility of communicating internal experience

– a problem quite fundamental to the man dealing with art. In this way, Bąkowski can be the creator of the “new worlds” as well as the experimental artist and reconcile the creation with the analysis of the language and structure of the work of art.

As we know, telling dreams is as much popular as much most boring among social entertainment activities. Impressive events and their absurd consequences, distortions of perception, clumps of anxieties and emotions, which the narrator experienced intensely in his dreams and to which he returns as memories, reach the listener usually in the form of a bit – a rickety story with no order and sense. Words definitely can not deal with this matter of indeterminate nature and reveal the essential inaccessibility of sleep experience.

The work “Difficulties with Telling Stories” (2016) pierces this problem acutely. This is a model of a banal scene in an apartment, built in various scales and through several (ridiculous) shifts. Here is a complete “no one knows what” – sculpture, assemblage, painting, drawing? (everything at once?) – just like a dream. How to convey a subtle and unclear experience, so as to save even its substitute?

Bąkowski’s latest works are not only records of dreams, hallucinations or daydreams. They are not so much imitating the logic of dreams, as revealing the conventions of their presentation. Therefore, the theme of these works is both fantasy and the language of its description, ways of expressing it. Here, with his usual skepticism, Bąkowski focuses on provisional performances, convinced that our dreams are made of “materials” of prosaic origin. Hunger, money, memory, view from the window. Plasterboard, paper, pencil, paint, chipboard.

Same thing that the artist does with every work, he also repeats on a larger scale by organizing the exhibition’s elements. Waking up from abstraction has a neighbor, a parallel being. Since we significantly reduce experience by trying to pass it on, since we are dependent on the persuasion of artistic language, and the author relies on the effectiveness of his own tricks, we will have to trust eyes and ears and come to terms with the essential lack of access.

This exhibition speaks one thing and thinks the other.

Wojciech Bąkowski, 1979 Poznan, PL, lives and works in Warsaw, PL. Visual artist, filmmaker, musician, poet, performer. Recent solo exhibitions include: Waking up from Abstraction, Stereo, Warsaw, PL; Holiday Power Supply, SVIT, Prague, CZ; Hideout in the Corner of Level 6, Bureau, New York;Main Issues,Vosberg, Cologne, DE; Weak Moods’ Control, Stereo, Warsaw, PL; There’s a Pain Somewhere In The Room, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, PL and Realizing, Audio Visual Arts, New York.

He has been included in group exhibitions: A Slight Ache, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff; Hours and Places, Bureau, New York; Things in Shapes of Things, Griffin Art Space, Warsaw; A Million Lines, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, PL; Prototypes, XII Baltic Triennial, Vilnius, LT; It Rained Again, Bureau, New York; Voice, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; The Day is Not Enough, Wrocław Contemporary Museum; The Generational: Younger than Jesus, New Museum, New York, among others.

His works have been screened at numerous international film festivals and, individually, at prestigous Anthology Film Archives, NYC (2015). In 2014, Sound of My Soul won the main prize at the 62nd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen. In 2009 he was awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize. His works are in the public collections of Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Museum Sztuki, Łódź and CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw. Bąkowski is represented by Stereo, Warsaw and Bureau, New York.

Wojciech Bąkowski, Waking up from Abstraction, 2018, exhibition view, Stereo, Warsaw

Wojciech Bąkowski, Waking up from Abstraction, 2018, exhibition view, Stereo, Warsaw

Wojciech Bąkowski, Waking up from Abstraction, 2018, exhibition view, Stereo, Warsaw

Wojciech Bąkowski, Assembly of Memories, 2018, cardboard, acrylic paint, 25 x 60 x 18 cm

Wojciech Bąkowski, Waking up from Abstraction, 2018, exhibition view, Stereo, Warsaw

Wojciech Bąkowski, Incomplete Awakening, 2018, plasterboard, plastic, wood, chipboard, acrylic paint, rope, fabric, dimensions variable

Wojciech Bąkowski, Incomplete Awakening, 2018, plasterboard, plastic, wood, chipboard, acrylic paint, rope, fabric, dimensions variable

Wojciech Bąkowski, A Tea and an Audience, 2018, watercolor on paper, frame, UV glass, 26,5 x 20,5 cm

Wojciech Bąkowski, Fading Dream, 2018, charcoal on paper, frame, tinted glass, 70 x 100 cm

Wojciech Bąkowski, Difficulties with Telling Stories, 2016, cardboard, acrylic paint, 22,5 x 30 x 40 cm

Wojciech Bąkowski, Waking up from Abstraction, 2018, charcoal on paper, frame, tinted glass, 70 x 100 cm

Wojciech Bąkowski, A Mock-up with Trangular Moon, 2018, watercolor on paper, frame, UV glass, 29,5 x 20,5 cm

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