Bartosz Zaskórski at Piktogram

Artist: Bartosz Zaskórski 

Exhibition title: Circle of Life. The Order of Death

Venue: Piktogram, Warsaw, Poland

Date: July 4 – August 29, 2020

Photography: Bartosz Górka / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Piktogram, Warsaw

Cirlce of Life – a song by Elton John with Tim Rice’s lyrics has been written in sake of King Lion movie. The film opens with the song and the first scene displaying idyllic and a little utopian vision of the animal realm, ruled by Mufasa – the wise lion. His orderly system has no room for random and pointless violence. The latter is represented by a figure of Mufasa’s’ brother, the evil and jealous lion – Scar, who conspiratorially take over.

By contrast, Public Image Limited’s (PIL) The Order of Death, comes from the Hardware (alternatively Mark 13) film. This sci-fi horror movie is a story of young female sculptor Jill specializing in metalwork. Her studio is located in a huge block of flats based in post-apocalyptic city. Jill’s boyfriend gives her a gift that turns out to be a part of a homicidal machine – the head of a militant robot that activates itself and reconstructs its body with sculptures and scrap-metals from the studio, which was previously functioning as the artist’s shelter, yet it turns into a death trap.

These two pop culture productions differ in its form, language and target. What they have in common is specific tension emerging from the need of making order. The need that yields between coherent story that offers a sense of safeness and the experience of the outside world as a chaos. A diegesis structured in this manner is always exposed to the invasion of the unexpected, that will come, sooner or later to blow up this ordinary life. The very consciousness of this threat let us see a slit in stories we construct. As John Campbell – an American professor working in comparative mythology claims, this aperture open to the cosmic energy is the uncanny, even in the situation where the uncanny is the very fact of being alive. The story seems to be a dream that is a private myth, and it seems to be a myth that become the common dream.

Both films refer to an ambiguous looping – to the life that is „doing” nothing, where everything happens by itself and which is a process of production and accumulation. Both narrations seek their closure that could be the vision of life as an ultra-horror or alternatively, the life as an extreme pleasure. And the life as life at last. These three schools of magic: the white one (life as a joy), the black one (the life as a suffering) and the grey one (the life as a process) was described by British occultist – Alister Crowley. In his vision there is no choice, but maybe also – no difference. There is only a hungrily gaze that hypnotizes the same crevice on the three different ways.

Bartosz Zaskórski, born 1987 in Żytno. In his artistic practice he focuses on drawing, recording audio dramas and creating objects referring to horror movies from the 80’s. A PhD candidate at Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow (tutor: prof. Dariusz Vasina). He works at Pedagogical University of Cracow, where he leads the authorial Audio Studio. His works were presented, among the others, in CSW Zamek Ujazdowski; BWA Bielsko-Biała; BWA Tarnów; BWA Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow; CAC, Vilnius; Plato, Ostrava. Artist’s works in the collections of CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw; Zachęta Naional Art Gallery, Szczecin. As a musician, he usually plays sad, dance music. As Mchy i porosty (Mosses and Lichens) he released music on Recognition Records, Brutaż, Transatlantyk, Kikimora Tapes and Pointless Geometry. His two audio cassettes with radio dramas: Villages (2015), And Then It Occurred That I Had Died (2016) were released on BDTA label. His latest album will come out on NOT NOT FUN.

Special thanks go to: Tomasz Zaskórski, Elżbieta Zaskórska, Darek Vasina, Anna Sidoruk, Anna Batko, Aleksander Celusta, Rufus Rufson, Monika Olszewska, Agnieszka Adamska, Edyta Sasin, Łukasz Radzisz, Kuba Gawkowski, Martyna Bolanowska, Małgorzata Borowska, Britt Brown (Not Not Fun), Bartłomiej Gniady. Głowa do was made with the help of Agnieszka Adamska. Wire sculptures were made by my father based on my drawings. 3D animations were made with the help of Rufus Rufson.