‘What We Do in the Shadows?’ at Widna
House parties, meetings in the studios and excursions outside of the city. Strange commissions, carried out together or separately. Polish zlotys, euros, Icelandic crowns and yuans. Underground, on the surface, in front of the screen. Someone will use the very last piece of toilet paper. The revolution in the system can be triggered by any nonsense. The fight for life and everything from scratch. Involvement. Boredom. Love. And the small fact that we are old buddies, even though we are far yet from reaching the age of few hundreds.
Widna presents a collection of activities we perform when we’re not making art. We seem to think we’re not making it then. Marta Niedbał, recently overwhelmed by commercial graphic design commissions, stuffs an ikea pax wardrobe basket with her unfinished woollen art pieces. She’s currently working in Chongqing, China, on a three-month contract. A year ago, we were in the fastest developing city in the world together: Barbara, Marta and me (Magda). We’d been invited there as part of an exchange of experience between Polish-Chinese teachers, which produced a bunch of yuans and dollars to assuage the ever-burning holes in our pockets. During our last-year’s stay, we became fascinated with the omnipresent derision of copyright in the streets. This kind of joke-revenge at the Occidental world has inspired Barbara Janczak. The result is 4 plastic golden plates, simulating brass, manufactured at a local signboard and advertisement supplier: from a fake Nike logo to a shish kebab. Working as graphic designers, we are confronted with a spectrum of commissions, including designing the logo of – a smiley sausage. We take on commissions, temporary and permanents jobs. Bartosz Wajer is a fitter at a water and sewage pipe replacement company. He ventilates his daily occupation at the Instagram profile @more_than_just_plumbers. Piotr Urbaniec repaired his budget at a Californian farm. Whereas Hubert Gromny has for the past 2 years lived in Iceland and is currently linked to Poland, e.g., by writing critical texts in his mother tongue and visits to the dentist. Between work and work, we meet as friends, collect more or less bizarre objects. Marcin Dymek has an outstanding collection of white paint peeling off walls. I collect 1960s glass; partly trading in vintage objects, while retaining, for the time being, the more sensual vases at home. Gabriela Baka can’t get rid of a few music hits from her head. Marcin is an outsider – and parked his camper on the other side of the street, opposite the gallery. There are turning points – a year ago, Anka Juszczak had an accident. After the reboot, she’s had to learn everything anew. Her drawing is an effect of an exercise in synchronising her eyes and brain hemispheres. She has performed a titanic effort, the greatest work of all…
As I’ve mentioned, Winda is accompanied by a white, fat camper, which I and Marcin Pazera put up in bushes of the North and the South, avoiding human concentrations and camping sites. This fat, white, worn out, plastic-metal capsule has already traveled over 200,000 kilometers. In Sicily it was broken into, it hung off a slope in Croatia, and was scratched up on the highway by a speeding red supply van. The branches on its way did not take kindly to the varnish either. In December 2017, it was shot up at Krakow’s Dębniki (a district in Krakow – translator’s note). Due to insufficient evidence, the case was dismissed. The shot is still lodged inside the vehicle. The camper is an apple of Marcin’s eye – a safety valve from everyday rush of urban life. It allows him to access the present, which he visualises in the form of animations on mobile devises, usually serving our constant being online. To the ephemeral vehicular action, we’ve invited Marcin Dymek with his collection of conifer needles and Michał Koncewicz. Atop a folding table inside the vehicle, you can play Michał’s exciting game of “Zero” on a mirror-glass, while relaxing to the sounds of crickets of the field and a tram passing-by.
Text: Magdalena Lazar
Translation: Justyna Górniak & Piotr Mierzwa
|Artist||Gabriela Baka, Marcin Dymek, Hubert Gromny, Barbara Janczak, Anna Juszczak, Magdalena Lazar, Marta Niedbał, Marcin Pazera, Piotr Urbaniec, Bartosz Wajer, Michał Koncewicz|
|Exhibition||What We Do in the Shadows?|
|Place / venue||Widna, Cracow|
|Dates||20 April - 07 May 2018|
|Index||Anna Juszczak Barbara Janczak Bartosz Wajer Gabriela Baka Hubert Gromny Magdalena Lazar Marcin Dymek Marcin Pazera Marta Niedbał Michał Koncewicz Piotr Urbaniec Widna|