“I rotate three-dimensional objects. Mentally”, says Eric Yang, one of the characters in a short story by David Foster Wallace*. “I close my eyes and form a perfect detailed image of any object. From any angle. Then I rotate it.” Yang has a unique ability and also an unusual occupation – he works in a field team of the Mental Health Department, visiting the most severe cases of the “isolated”.
The enigmatic work of Mateusz Sadowski resists explanations. Mostly because the subject is the game of appearances. Here, it is not so much that nothing is what it seems, but everything is more than it appears to be. Sadowski’s title “Wanders” take place both in nature and in thoughts. As a result, half-transparent images interpenetrate and pile up following unusual associations. Simultaneously, doubts about the character of representations proliferate (Sadowski also introduces the motif of new technologies and issues of film and photographic media). This process is about provoking cognitive anxiety at the same time avoiding exaggeration (“Something like order-in-chaos”, as Yang would put it). Thanks to that, we are granted the feeling that there is a key to solving this riddle. The same conviction makes Sadowski spin his own suspicions about the nature of things and thus we share the basic question with him.
A characteristic trait of this work emerges from a controlled muddle of imaging, layers and motifs. As long as perception, simply speaking, lies in the reduction of dimensions (the brain captures a memory in an image, an experience in words, etc.), Sadowski – aware of that loss – reconstructs the dimension discarded in the perception process. This is why he puts one image behind the other, pairs off details, and exposes the salience of relations. When he raises an issue, he looks at it in space as if he was rotating a prism in his hands.
“I can see textures and imperfections and the play of light and shadows on the objects. (…) It’s a talent I have.” That’s how Yang introduces himself to his new colleagues. He closes his eyes and rotates a stone with his head.
* David Foster Wallace, “Church Not Made with Hands” [in:] “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men”