AFFAIR Warsaw | meltdown
Touching the objects of the immediate reality, the skins are succumbing to tactile pleasures. The porosity of (my) skin liquifies the exchanges with any form, shape, and content. Dark matter, dark spaces, dark leather sink inside their objectivity while creating voice for other potentialities to emerge.
AFFAIR Warsaw melts together dark undertones of human psyche, of objecthood, realities and surfaces. Yet “dark” here is turned into a path to fiction and release of pressure, to queer sensibilities, to subconscious joy to be explored in territories of uncertainty. Like jumping with your eyes closed inside a crystal clear water, entering this exhibition plunges you in common and unfamiliar realms, into a meshing atmosphere of comfort, discomfort and tension, into tacit dialogues and subliminal gestures of opacity. The bodies of some artworks expand to a posthuman and prosthetic understanding, yet pertaining to a nostalgia for well-known materialities and functionalities.
In relation to the instrumentalization of everyday imagery in the contemporary environment,
the exhibition tackles the reinterpretation of objects, images, and gestures in a twisted take. Partly refusing to generate visual representations anew, most of the works unfold as assemblages made of found, desolate objects, all bound in a process of creating new speculative circuits.
Piotr Skiba’s LED changing colour lamp is dressed in the dried skin of a snake as a gesture of camouflage and split image on micro and macro spheres. The melted traffic lights placed on the floor of the gallery may be a signifier of a failed utopia of modernity or simply a desire to animate the dead matter that is easily discarded. Tear, Covid tongue, Portrait of a vomit or Liquid laugh, Smashed cartilage are some of the few human and animal parts and emotions, mostly invisible and repugnant, cast in bronze.
Trinity – Triangle – Threesome by Apparatus 22 conjures three enigmatic forces that hyperbolically enhance the use of leather and industrial tripods. The headless figures dance, touch each other and fall apart, converging agonistic perspectives that attract and repulse. Upcycling second-hand leather is a common practice for the artistic collective, often creating magical sculptural works, kink banners, visceral images that are embedded in science-fiction and queer narratives.
Andreea Anghel adopts a gleaner’s gaze that animates through reinterpretation. The insertion of found objects, often in a disused state, fosters an anti-ad aesthetic, as commodity and waste collide in narratives of daily life. Images and artefacts of early and late
modernity circulate non-chronologically inside her works, mostly selected instinctively, under the influence of a gut feeling and collective psychic discomfort. In Catherine-The-Not-So-Great, the assemblage of a blond wig on the antique agrarian tool, with the representation of a dress worn by russian elite in the 1780s disrupts the linearity of preexistent images in a rather critical and ambiguous manner. Hothouse displays a found image of a broken trophy in the shape of a lion head, encaged and vandalised on its surface, reversing the logic of imperialist signifiers, of trophies as the dichotomy of success and failure.
Larisa Sitar’s practice explores the evolution of social and cultural values in relation to political movements, socio-economic contexts, technological advances, and our connections with the natural world. Physicality and nostalgia are key aspects of her creations; materials are chosen not only for their aesthetic qualities, but more importantly, for their ability to evoke specific cultural associations. Her new work allows for disruptive counter-memories to emerge. Inspired by the beautiful drapery arrangements in the empty vitrines and grocery shops during socialism in Romania, the large-scale curtain becomes an ironic gesture of monumentality. The curtain earned a new life form that has now the potential to be an object in itself and not the signifier of an illusion.
Exhibition co-curated by Piktogram and Suprainfinit
Text written by Cristina Vasilescu