[is the room full of smoke?]
When asked about his works, Jakub Czyszczoń said: “I would like these paintings to evoke an underlying event that is difficult to define in an unambiguous way”. However, it seems impossible to identify what is revealed and what is masked in Czyszczoń’s works. Perhaps it means that they themselves do not respond to any question, but are the result of searching. In this quest, just as with a work of memory, the direction of thoughts is not defined and has less to do with mathematical inference than with organizing elements and layers.
Layering is an essential feature of Czyszczoń’s paintings. The various types of canvas, amorphous details, paper, dust, scraps of newspapers or leaves, are all pressed into a rectangular composition. This multiplication of layers suggests depth – the elements intermingle and at the same time draw the viewer closer to the painting. Jakub often speaks about a reduction or shortening of the distance between the work and the recipient, in the physical sense. Soft cotton from T-shirts and sheets brings subtle connotations of a body, its temperature, and encourages a more intimate relation with the work.
Czyszczoń prefers this type of experience over words, and so in his paintings they are blurred, and text (usually printed) blurs into ink spots. But clearly we are dealing with the traces of something, and therefore evanescence. The nostalgic mood that shrouds his latest exhibition like smoke, results from a vague sense of presence. “Is the room full of smoke?” – Czyszczoń asks in the title of the exhibition. The smoke may have come from a small kitchen fire, or simply a few people meeting one evening. There is no smoke without people.