Mateusz Sadowski’s latest animated film, entitled “Time Settings” (2022), is another work by the artist that has been subjected to strict rigours, a kind of visual machine, but also a specific time machine. Sadowski’s practice connected with stop-motion animation stems from his interest in issues related to time and its perception. In his subsequent films, the artist experiments by putting forward new theses and formal assumptions, and sets in motion a mechanism that produces astonishing visual effects.
The procedure in “Time Settings” is based on animating a sequence of frames backwards, by subtraction. Thus, we first get to know the general form of the film (as fantastic as it sounds), and during the “action”, the scenes and events that comprise it, and simultaneously its destruction, the disintegration of the initial object, the burning. This is the metaphorical power of this film: we are looking at a catastrophe whose form is known to us from the very beginning. If it is true that time exists to prevent everything from happening all at once, Sadowski’s film could serve as a perverse illustration.
The second part of the exhibition is a series of colour studio photographs, created consequentially during the film’s production, in which a careful eye will recognise related elements and motifs. Contrary to the first impression, the principle of this series is minimum post-production. Arrangement and colour work in the studio precede the final release of the shutter. The decision to use the technique of sublimation printing on fabric in the production reinforces the sense of confusion. Sadowski continues his favourite game of appearances, questioning the status of things and asking what is real.