Exhibition within the project Kulturatrium.
Exhibition Interventions. Space, time, memory is the result of an encounter of three artists: Frauke Dannert (Germany), David Leleu (France) and Michał Smandek (Poland), welcomed by the Ars Cameralis Cultural Institution as artists-in-residence in October 2016 within the framework of the international Kultur’a-Trium project, which involves cooperation of the Weimar Triangle regions: Silesian Voivodeship, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hauts-de-France.
At the basis of every invitation to come together, on the intellectual as well as symbolic plane, appears a shimmering illusion of some other world (or the world in general); there is a challenge to outline a common and coherent whole. A whole that could be traced back to actual contacts, relations and connections. In this context, the challenge is to reject the formula and figure of the lonely witness, embracing the necessity to reach beyond the private world, nurtured with great attention to personal space. This process is often hindered by one’s own experience of living among others and by the reality in which each subject speaks in their own voice, with the conviction that it will have a presence and be heard. Durs Grünbein, a distinguished German writer, in his essay devoted to Galileo, paints this image: ’Imagine a planet with the population of six billion subjects, and the image of an ant-hill, pitiful and terrible, will take on the shape of the real world where each individual speaks in their own voice and wants to be heard.’
However, aside from this vision of the world represented and perceived in terms of scientific knowledge, the closed systems of geometry, statistics or physics there is a parallel world of aesthetic phenomena where each voice has its place and value, it creates its own reality which stretches in a dynamic opposition between liberation and destruction, between the disappearing and emerging world. Here, the world is shaped by receiving a new form every day, passing evolutionally, or even revolutionarily, from liquid to solid state, and then evaporating again to assume a new form of illusory durability. In this world, located as if on the other side of the mirror, everyone can tell their story, re-enact their beginnings, present the scope of their experiences. Each voice that quickly becomes a voice of the past never loses its value, strength and power. Once articulated, it can become a source of inspiration for travel to unexplored lands, filled with light and hidden by the darkness of night alike, for, as Shakespeare wrote in The Winter’s Tale, “They look’d as they had heard of a world ransom’d, or one destroyed.” At the same time, this voice is an instant invitation to reflect on and rethink the present time, including the current situation, as well as to assess one’s own relationship with the world.
/Marek Zieliński, curator
Born in 1979 in Herdecke (Germany). Graduate of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2004–2010), Kunstakademie Münster (2001–2004) and Goldsmiths College in London (2009–2010). Participated in many individual and group exhibitions in Germany and worldwide. Collaborator of Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. Lives and works in Cologne.
The work of Frauke Dannert is a response to experiences of place with an emphasis on exploring architectural ideologies, the physical processes of de- and re-construction, and optical illusions of space. It explores spatial phenomenology and the physicality and embodiment of being in space, expressing this in forms that are in continual tension between the two- and three-dimensional. The artist draws on experiences in the urban landscapes (the UK and Germany), particularly that of post-war Brutalist architecture. In the collage and installation works assemblages are built up from basic architectural components referencing the use of primary forms suggested by the Bauhaus. In the construction process a new visual language is formed, where architectural landscapes are manufactured from photographic fragments forming a dense palimpsest of imagery. A number of the works explore how architecture exists in the collective memory, looking at how landscapes are invested with meaning and are presented and preserved to establish a sense or common knowledge of ‘place’. They question the idea of place-specificity and ‘landmark’, and what makes these places unique or differentiable when presentations of them are continuously re-worked over time. This is paralleled in the way the work incorporates layers of archive photographs, reflecting the ongoing physical re-construction and ideological discussion of the architectural environment.
born in 1973 in Chauny (France), studied at ERG (Ecole de Recherche Graphique, Saint -Luc) in Brussels. He participated in many individual and group exhibitions in France and abroad. He lives in Roubaix and works in La Malterie, Lille.
David Leleu is an artist who does not fully unveil his techniques and creative process, he plays with his image and, most of the time, he lets the doubts dominate the intentions. His installations, photographs or even unclassified objects, every artistic action is based on preexisting materials – gathered and revealed from the infinite world of images. These images drawn from various iconographic sources, magazines, books, newspapers and Internet are transforrmed by the artist, revealed in different way, reinvented and reactivated. His artistic activity revives the distant antagonism between “art” and “craft”. However, he does not contrast them, he intiates a dialogue. His technique and complex transformations open up towards an aesthetical question about the nature and status of an image.
Born in 1981 in Ruda Śląska (Poland). Visual artist, creator of sculptures, installations, photographs. In 2007, he graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at the University of Silesia in Katowice. He participated in many individual and group exhibitions in Poland and abroad. He cooperates with the Rodríguez Gallery from Poznan. He lives in Katowice and works at the city's Academy of Fine Arts.
Michał Smandek focuses on the codependence of human actions and nature, as well as space modifications. During his various journeys, he seeks inaccessible places which may become the background for his land-art. His artworks are founded on in-depth observation, detailed examination of hardly noticeable processes, awareness of choice and acknowledging the strenght of performed gesture. He believes in universal language of art, therefore he includes local communities in his artworks.
Stencil, Frauke Dannert
For the exhibition 'Interventions. Space / Time / Memory', the artist has prepared large-format wall painting. Presented forms are derived from architectural fragments that Dannert photographed during her residency in Katowice.
Anthropocene, David Leleu
Like the anthropocene, this geological era, marked by the influence of human activity, modifying the biosphere and the climate in depth, I mark the images and the works of my imprint. It is a matter here of bringing to light, as a geologist would do, a detail or an element of the image or of the whole worked. Whether it is a stack of photos or stereoscopic images, the images contained in the object then enter into symbiosis, merge, mingle, dialogue, creating a static journey, a static staging in the depth.
Plant care. “Wujek” coal mine, Michał Smandek
“… at one point these troops, who were in the square in front of us, pretended to fall back in panic, thus trying to provoke the strikers into going after them into the street. This manoeuvre did not work either. Then, a twenty-four-man special platoon, part of a ZOMO regiment entered, and from an elevation by the main warehouse building — a small ramp, from that ramp they started shooting at the strikers. As a result, thirty-three people were injured, including nine fatally. Six were killed on the spot, the seventh died after being taken to the hospital, the eighth on January 2 and the last one on January 23.” This passage is a recollection of the tragic events of December 16, 1981, by Stanisław Płatek — coalminer, chairman of the strike committee, shot in the shoulder.
Wounds are painful by nature. More or less, but still. Even skin that has healed is somehow different. When touching a wound, the finger is quickly withdrawn in a natural reflex not to irritate the flesh. It is hard to touch even one’s own wounds, and even more so – let someone else do it. A wound is an intimate spot, it is very sensitive. Once wounds were treated by applying herbs, leaves of medicinal plants to relieve pain, soothe and heal. In the above-ground facilities of the “Wujek” coal mine, plants are taken good care of, even in the least expected spot, among working people and machines. Strangely, in the engine room of Lechia shaft, there were nine plants, the operators never counted them, but it was so. Nine.
Stanisław Płatek — one of the leaders of the strike at the “Wujek” coal mine in December 1981, member of the Memorial Committee of Miners Killed on December 16, 1981.
Robert Ciupa — director of the Silesian Centre for Freedom and Solidarity
Michał Paprotny — director of “Wujek” and “Ruch Śląsk” coal mines
Grzegorz Sitkowski — occupational health and safety engineer
Marcin Gruszka — health and safety foreman
Daniel Bździuch — MM-1 team shift foreman