The diverse creativity of Wojciech Bąkowski, manifested via poetry, performances, installations, and videos, is bound by one major problem present in every project of the artist – the distortion of consciousness by the outside world.
The title work at the AVA exhibition, “Realizing”, consists of a rotating arm from which a miniature self-portrait of the artist hangs – the little head cyclically striking a speaker standing on the floor. The grotesqueness of the show results from the desynchronization of the individual elements of the action; the speaker is not only an obstacle but also reproduces the sound of the impact with a certain delay, accompanied with independent flashes of an LED. In this closed circuit, the sequence is diminishing – we observe the continuous comical spectacle of tripping over the same stone. The work represents the sluggishness with which the mind responds to facts, the model of idiotic daily struggles with the habits of thinking.
Disturbed orchestration is one of the main methods Bąkowski employs – asynchronization and dissonance – appear in each of his audio works. In the installation entitled “Poznań, Essen or Pittsburgh, in Aldi or Walmart, in a Sparrow”, the spatial reversal underlines the exceptional proportions of a once perceived situation: the song of a sparrow lost in the corridors of the supermarket, mixed with the sounds of electronic cash registers and the noise of the city in the far background.
Unlike reality, the architecture of the installation is in line with the hierarchy of the sound composition – the chirping of the sparrow sounds clear in the gallery and the sound of the city, recorded in an excessively compressed file, is located in a dirty cardboard box. The title gives the whole a universal sense: “The artist with impaired self-control does not distinguish the specific from the general. He urges to cry to his favorite songs, and he sometimes succeeds at that” says Bąkowski.
Defects and distortions of perception, the subject matter of Bąkowski’s work, are not the subject of criticism and are not to be repaired – Bąkowski sees them as nodal points of consciousness, a position from which it is easier to observe the brutal beauty of our relationships with the world.