Honza Zamojski at DREI

Artist: Honza Zamojski

Exhibition title: Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7

Venue: DREI, Cologne, Germany

Date: February 16 – March 23, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and DREI, Cologne

In Praise of Looking

The sequence of events, as it turned out later, didn’t matter. The performance began with the murder of a traitor and ended with the same—the murder of a traitor. The act of murder, motives of crime and costumes in both scenes were almost identical. Even the curtain was raised (at the beginning) and lowered (at the end) at the same, steady pace. And only in the meantime technical staff have changed the movable elements of the stage set design, and the public got to know the names of traitors / killers / victims.

***
– What do you think—whose fault was it? – asks suddenly, lowering the voice.
– I do not know. How should I know? Maybe you’d better ask why you are looking at it?
– Why are you looking at it? – inquires.
– Because I want to watch the sentence being executed. Because I know how this drama ends.

***

Of course, it was not without spoilers. As soon as three bearded witches began to report the further events, the less patient spectators simply stood up and irritated left the room. The more observant ones noticed that the main character really lost his head much earlier than he should have been. And it was for nothing to wonder “what about the free will” and “maybe it won’t come true?” some elderly gentleman who was sitting comfortably in an armchair, commented on everything that was happen-ing on the stage. Of course it will come true.

***
– And you know – asks again and without waiting for any answer continues – that the bearded witches
do not exist? These beards, in the swamp scene, are nothing but Usnea longissima—quite a rare
lichen, which has the shape, colour and resilience of the lush, gray beard of a man in his prime.
– It actually explains everything.
– Not everything, but …
– But what?
– … but HE just chopped off someone’s head, so you know …
– What I know?
– Well, if someone who kills and justifies their further deeds with what he has heard from talking
moss, than it must end poorly.

***

I have read somewhere recently that the politicians behave in a predictable way, because leaving the imposition of the role (imposed by the electorate and opponents) would involve not only betrayal of the public alter ego, but also the breaking of promises made to the most hard-headed voters. Admit-tedly, small lies are inscribed in every political act, but the repolarization of politicians morality is not. Such a drastic change could simply annihilate the avatar.

The same thing, in same second, took place a few meters away from me—the predictable extreme of emotions, actions and reactions. The madman melted in his own madness, the crazy girl went cra-zier, and the “good one” with every spoken word became better and boring. The characters were not able to oppose either the text written 400 years ago or the expectations of the public. The nuances of acting are no longer relevant. The action headed towards the inevitable—bloody end / beginning.

***
– What I liked the most was the moment when the actors told us to shout “Hail Macbeth” and the
whole room stood up and instead of clapping, shouted “Hail Macbeth!”; it sends shivers up my spine.
– I don’t know, it was somehow staged.
– Sure—that’s what it’s all about.
– Ok, it is simply different to look at it and appreciate the art of my own will than to be an accomplice.
The worst thing is that you find out about it after the show. Not cool.
– Stop complaining. It was clever.
– And that’s what I’m afraid of.

We are excited to announce Honza Zamojski’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

In his artistic practice Zamojski draws upon a broad range of media from illustration and illustrative sculptures to infographics inspired by Corporate Communications and Concrete Poetry, creating at times humorous narratives, constructing a cohesive, multidimensional realm wrought with doubt and a visual language governed by a genuine grammar and formal structure. Through minimalist forms and recurring characters, loaded with abstract compositions and figurative representations the artist investigates the materiality of language and the state of the human subject itself, making use of cul-ture histories and pop culture alike while being deeply invested in the present moment: the pervasive dread fostered by political ideologies that casually discard the human, the humane; and the laden violence of our society.

’Macbeth: Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7’ features a loose tale about a headless man who can be found in a numerous documents and artifacts from antique greek epic, over visual representations of the middle ages to Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871) reflecting upon a deep curiosity and fear in Western cultural history towards a possible existence of a human tribe of headless men somewhere on the edge of the world.

In the mid 1930s George Bataille published the first of five public reviews named Acéphale (greek: headless). The first article, signed by Bataille, is titled “The Sacred Conspiracy” and claims that “Secretly or not… it is necessary to become different or else cease to be.” Further on, Bataille wrote: “Human life is exasperated by having served as the head and reason of the universe. Insofar as it becomes this head and this reason, insofar as it becomes necessary to the universe, it ac-cepts serfdom.”

A relating secret society named Acéphale was founded by Bataille and his close circle of Surre-alists—among them Pierre Klossowski and André Masson—around the same time. Its members were required to adopt several rituals, such as refusing to shake hands with anti-semites and celebrating the decapitation of Louis XVI as an event conjuring up the “chiefless crowd“, mirroring the antiauthor-itarial and antifiscist approach of the organization.

Honza Zamojski (*1981, Polish) lives and works in Poznan, Poland, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2008.

The artist has staged solo exhibitions at OSMOS; Lisa Cooley; Andrew Kreps; Cleopatra’s, all New York; New Bridge Project, Newcastle, United Kingdom; BWA Zielona Góra, Poland; Futura, Prague; Zacheta—National Gallery of Art; Foksal Gallery; Leto, all Warsaw; KIM?, Riga, Latvia a.o., and furthermore was part of exhibitions at Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Drei, Cologne; Frutta, Rome; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; CoCA Torun, Poland; Arsenal Municipal Gallery, Poznan, Poland; 15th Tallin Print Triennial, Tallin, Estonia; Czech Centre, New York; SKUC Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia a.o. In June 2019 Zamo-jski will be contributing to the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, curated by Slavs & Tatars.

The artist has authored more than a dozen books (including: Love Letter, onestar press, 2017; Four Eggs Theory, self-published, 2015; Fishing with John, NERO, 2013). He has also presented his original lecture series on How It’s Made at the Centre Pompidou, MoMA Library and Printed Matter, New York. Zamojski teaches at the Poznan School of Form in Poznan.

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, The Body, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on wood, elastic string, twine, metal pin, gold hammerite on MDF, Variable hight: 220 × 80 cm (86 5/8 × 31 1/2 inches)

Honza Zamojski, The Body, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on wood, elastic string, twine, metal pin, gold hammerite on MDF, Variable hight: 220 × 80 cm (86 5/8 × 31 1/2 inches)

Honza Zamojski, The Body, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on wood, elastic string, twine, metal pin, gold hammerite on MDF, Variable hight: 220 × 80 cm (86 5/8 × 31 1/2 inches)

Honza Zamojski, The Body, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on wood, elastic string, twine, metal pin, gold hammerite on MDF, Variable hight: 220 × 80 cm (86 5/8 × 31 1/2 inches)

Honza Zamojski, The Body, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on wood, elastic string, twine, metal pin, gold hammerite on MDF, Variable hight: 220 × 80 cm (86 5/8 × 31 1/2 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, The Well, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on styrofoam, painted MDF, Four parts stacked: 195 × 120 × 120 cm (76 3/4 × 47 1/4 × 47 1/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, The Well, 2019, Acrylic and hammerite on styrofoam, painted MDF, Four parts stacked: 195 × 120 × 120 cm (76 3/4 × 47 1/4 × 47 1/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, The Head, 2019, Plasticine, acrylic, hammerite on MDF, string, Variable hight: 45 × 30 × 10 cm (17 3/4 × 11 3/4 × 3 7/8 inches)

Honza Zamojski, The Head, 2019, Plasticine, acrylic, hammerite on MDF, string, Variable hight: 45 × 30 × 10 cm (17 3/4 × 11 3/4 × 3 7/8 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (The Gathering), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, 40 × 60 cm (15 3/4 × 23 5/8 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (The Meeting), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, 40 × 60 cm (15 3/4 × 23 5/8 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (Hail Hell), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (The Well), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, adhesive plastic eyes, adhesive gold paper, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (Three Victims), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), mounted on MDF board, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (Macbeth), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), mounted on MDF board, adhesive color paper, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (Headless Hell), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (The Crowd), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), mounted on MDF board, adhesive color paper, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (The Praise of Looking), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), dry pastels on paper, mounted on MDF board, assemblage of painted MDF, 60 × 40 cm (23 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches)

Honza Zamojski, Macbeth, Act I Scene 3, Act V Scene 7, 2019, exhibition view, DREI, Cologne

Honza Zamojski, Untitled (Hail Macbeth), 2019, Drawing (made using carbon copy paper), mounted on MDF board, plastic eyes, adhesive silver paper, Two sheets, each: 40 × 60 cm (15 3/4 × 23 5/8 inches)

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