19 february - 21 march 2010

Piotr Żyliński Roots

Perfectly minimalistic works constituting an exhibition “Roots” present Piotr Żyliński as an analytical artist who is familiar with poetical synthesis. Combination of sobriety and comicality, of personal confession and critical intention characterizes his oeuvre.

Who knows the artists earlier works, his into-camera performances “Trans-atlantyk” and “Memento of Polish class”, also realizes that experience of Polish education is a frequent subject of his artistic actions. Embarrassing figure of pupil – it is not clear whether he is primus or ignoramus – stands also in the centre of “Roots” exhibition. Żyliński imposes chilling tasks on himself (examine and confession) and organizes psychological session, intimate but embedded in glittering with humor game of culture images. Like a phantom appears here Polish landscape, revealing Żyliński’s passion to focused on romanticism’s myths fantasmatic criticism – title “roots” refer mostly to the roots of national identity. There are no however direct references here (one can find both Polish and German tropes, and also an atmosphere of common “romanticism”), an artist calls up romantic spirit as a balloon, in which he sticks the pin of a jeering humor.

Piotr Żyliński’s exhibition is in the matter of fact nothing else but an artistic expression of elementary emotions and universal themes asked as a possibility. Working over film’s and television’s conventions an artist performs a showdown, in which an antagonist is his own fear. In Bergman’s film “Serpent’s Egg”, demonic doctor Vergerus is testing on patients substance called thanatoxin – it seems that Żyliński stung by it would rescue himself by the force of exuberant irony.

Zuzanna Hadryś
Michał Lasota