Waking Up from Abstraction
In 2011, Wojciech Bąkowski made an exhibition entitled “Lack of Access Radiates”. It seems that this enigmatic title can be a useful key and saying a lot about the artist’s latest work. In recent years, Bąkowski has been shifting his interests to various media, the forms of his work are being transformed, but their issues remain unchanged. The core here is the relationship between the internal and external world, and to be more precise, the impossibility of communicating internal experience – a problem quite fundamental to the man dealing with art. In this way, Bąkowski can be the creator of the “new worlds” as well as the experimental artist and reconcile the creation with the analysis of the language and structure of the work of art.
As we know, telling dreams is as much popular as much most boring among social entertainment activities. Impressive events and their absurd consequences, distortions of perception, clumps of anxieties and emotions, which the narrator experienced intensely in his dreams and to which he returns as memories, reach the listener usually in the form of a bit – a rickety story with no order and sense. Words definitely can not deal with this matter of indeterminate nature and reveal the essential inaccessibility of sleep experience.
The work “Difficulties with Telling Stories” (2016) pierces this problem acutely. This is a model of a banal scene in an apartment, built in various scales, and through several (ridiculous) shifts. Here is a complete “no one knows what” – sculpture, assemblage, painting, drawing? (everything at once?) – just like a dream. How to convey a subtle and unclear experience, so as to save even its substitute?
Bąkowski’s latest works are not only records of dreams, hallucinations or daydreams. They are not so much imitating the logic of dreams, as revealing the conventions of their presentation. Therefore, the theme of these works is both fantasy and the language of its description, ways of expressing it. Here, with his usual skepticism, Bąkowski focuses on provisional performances, convinced that our dreams are made of “materials” of prosaic origin. Hunger, money, memory, view from the window. Plasterboard, paper, pencil, paint, chipboard.
Same thing that the artist does with every work, he also repeats on a larger scale by organizing the exhibition’s elements. “Waking up from abstraction” has a neighbour, a parallel being. Since we significantly reduce experience by trying to pass it on, since we are dependent on the persuasion of artistic language, and the author relies on the effectiveness of his own tricks, we will have to trust eyes and ears and come to terms with the essential lack of access.
This exhibition speaks one thing and thinks the other.