Curatorial project:
ID: E21.1


Marek Wodzisławski:

February 25 — April 04, 2021

Ujazdowski Castl Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland

Sergey Shabohin

Marek Wodzisławski

Marek Wodzisławski:

Optics, picture, vision. The compulsion of looking, the (im)possibility of seeing, and the eye to get under somebody else’s skin. Through human and animal corporeality, the artist creates a space where the eye is guided by its own logic, affectively searching for contact. POV is a story about the distance between the eye and the “I,” where intimate fantasies mix with brutal imagery, revealing the underside of reality.

POV has been produced specially for the Project Room as part of a series of presentations of young Polish artists, following shows this season by Kornelia Dzikowska, Jan Baszak, Adelina Cimochowicz, Piotr Bruch, and Sebastian Sebulec.

Marek Wodzisławski holds a degree in painting from the Katowice Academy of Fine Arts; he is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Intermedia of the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, finalist of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition, and winner of the Gdańsk Municipal Gallery Award for best art-school master’s project. His practice is informed by notions of bio-existence, trauma, and fiction as well as animality as a critical point of experience.

Curatorial text:

Extreme beauty: other vision optics

“. . . and although your brain twisted, like the horn of a ram,
Nothing drips of blue eyes.”

Joseph Brodsky

Can beauty be extreme?

POV 1 is a show that deals comprehensively with the experience of other vision. The eye is an omniscient narrator here, but also an irrational subject and consumer of sensations. Searching for extreme aesthetics, the artist tests aggressive visuality. Inspired by representations of digital streams – shocking images of violence, pornography, dismembered body – he identifies them with an iconography of fantasies. Moreover, he himself is unable to look away from them, his eyes being wide open, the radical closeness fecundating him.

Optic-nerve damage, monochromacy, retinal detachment, cataract – these and similar disorders reveal the physical limit of contact. Is it possible to break through the membrane of the Other’s gaze? In his projects, Wodzisławski makes use of animal bodies or body parts. The animal being for him part Other, part alter ego, he finds in them a means of searching for a common identity as he approaches them in terms of the animal, bestial, twinned.

Reflective membrane, cut-off eyelids, cosmic cataract: the show’s protagonists bring into being a story about the eye and identity, cruelty and pleasure, impregnation and freezing.

Sergey Shabohin

[1] Acronym for “point of view.” Denotes a style in pornography where the camera operator is also one of the actors. By extension, a pornographic film representing the viewpoint of a person involved in sexual activity.

Joanna Saran  

Communications coordinator
Natalia Karas

Curator of exhibition series
Michał Grzegorzek

Visual identity
Tomasz Bersz

Marcin Wawrzyńczak