commissioned by gallery lokal_30 in Warsaw, 2020

The exhibition addresses the history of Polish Constructivism, including the forgotten oeuvre of Henryk Wiciński and his theatrical projects that never came about. The starting point is the visionary design of a Constructivist stage, but also the costumes that reduce abstraction to “sensual structures of the sight”, designed for the spectacle Triangle and Circle at the experimental Cricot Theatre. For the avant-garde revolutionary, the stage design was meant to work like an abstract painting – and organic machine built with simple geometric shapes and abstracted patches of light. The actor formed part of that machinery, a marionette whose body collapsed in aggressive matter, leading the viewer’s gaze to the interior. What Wiciński sought was the liberation of emotions, psychosomatic feeling and looped sense of subjectivity. The presented collages are based on scans of faces of invited project participants – their skin of various shades and pigmentation, which became the material of an abstract composition, not only a historical Frankenstein, but also a collective body. In other words, it is a body whose Constructivist form allows it to function like a single skin and become a medium of social polyphony, while preserving at the same time the individuality of the bodies that build it. A chosen abstraction can be superimposed on the face in the form of a digital mask, which makes it impossible to recognise ethnicity, and therefore allows for manipulating the algorithm. The body superimposed on another body thus becomes a subversive gap in the virtual system to which we are all condemned. To a greater extent today than it is usually the case.

Curator: Anna Batko

If you want to blur your ethnicity and the cheat the computer algorithm reproducing prejudices, put the mask on. Open this ︎link on a mobile device to see the effect.


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