Katarzyna Gajewska ~ “C’est La Vie”

at Origin Gallery  23rd February – 14th March 2017

Check out Katarzyna’s big story in Sunday Independent – click here to read the article

Katarzyna Gajewska, Origin Gallery, polish art, polish artist, art exhibition

“All my previous work was based on a prosthetic memory. Provoked by different mediums,  I – as a spectator – was conceptualising events, images and memories I had not experienced myself. For the first time, memories of experience which contributed to my work were my own. I no longer work with cadence; now my commitment to work is constant. There were a lot of parallels between books and music which lived within me during the last 5 somewhat perfunctory, overlapping years.”

William S. Borroughs treated language as if it was a type of physical matter manipulated by a visual artist. His method was similar to collages and cut-ups. And so is the jungle of references, memories hanged to dry in the adaptive fecundity of the studio. How many days spent on work? In a process of constant looping, everything flows, finds its own course.
Painting, changing, collaging together information not necessarily in timely order. In a cage of physical limits, being objected, stereotyped – body becomes a shift from innocence to unsettling. I decided to explore an overlap, an alteration between worlds. I started seeing more intensely, sometimes worried, sometimes proud of self-healing properties. This is the time when I began to wonder. The rhythm of breaths, breaths of co-patients, muffled noises, awkward silence. Newfound knowledge of people and their power. Power of love or power of contempt. Then you are becoming acquainted to be stared at, deconstructed with your brain redirected towards the past, future or simply void. There is no space anywhere else; body sickness, layers of tension, cold reality of everyday and social expectation. Lack of certain stimuli, the fact that time has limits and loses its innocence makes the mind more intuitive and penetrative.

The never ending wound – this is how Elfriede Jelinek describes her writing. By drawing a portrait of society and its non-written rules she is showing a grotesque body which makes me laugh but reminds how powerful and devastating it can be if touched in a certain manner or if intruded upon. She places the woman in the midst of it and then she keeps exploring little figures resisting or bending; heroic or pushed around.
Little figures; softened by the intrusion of darker colours, or emerging to the surface on a wave of different vocabulary and soft touches. The sisterhood is pivotal; but what it means is the unity of the body and soul rather than someone else’s presence. Before each surgery this is what I need to paint- conjoined bodies; before being claimed by tools, divided, stretched and stitched together, I am giving new size and form, three breasts, two heads; doubled up and protected.
Twinship establishes a playful relationship with risks. In African mythology, twinship represents completeness and perfection; wholeness. I am hoping that paint can assert that sort of duality. Candy pink, orange, bubblegum enamel, bright, seductive colours are a new language. Subverted bad conditions, a reflection of the banal horrors of life. In the chronicles of women, pink bodies are faceless; the future is unknown, it is not yet distributed in the rites of passages. Black masks, balaclavas, are preserving anonymity in a world exposure. The mask, or added face from Spanish, is a veil which stands for expression of inner space.

Literature has become a materialism of time to me. How to reach the forefront of this game? The temporal vegetation is omnipresent and humiliating. I need words to crystallize all embarrassing moments. The work is being marked by words of Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Muller, Allen Ginsberg, Baudelaire, Jonas Gardell, Cave to name a few. They tear, scratch, paste, copy to their heart’s content. A bit of laughter is good as well. Showing off the absurd side of it all, musical and textual citation is a consequence of the very narrow proportions. Finding ways to soften, change, layer, reverse.

Trading direct experience is also extending to the abstract lines, to fables, beliefs, personifications such as Ibbur (soul possessing body, impregnation), Dybbuk (dislocated soul of a dead person), Ohr (spiritual light) , Kelpie / White Horse , whose appearance used to be a portent of death, guardian spirit (in Ibsen) or triumph over negative forces. Elfriede Jelinek who paints with polyphonic monologues over a stereotypical surface is telling stories about the inability of women. She is creating various subversive juxtapositions with her words.

Those monologues; one by one, voices allowed to speak at the same time dictate a more allegorical approach to the space. Free form, improvisatory, unparagraphed, metaphorical writing helps to find my axis. And turns oppressive into ironic. I felt compelled to use her coarse language and formulate it into something tangible. The rhythm of applying paint, layered and dense is a system of unfinished sentences which apply to the same rupture. I decide to use paper, the energy and chaos of material so easy to model, the rough textures and monotypic patterns playing the role of repeated words. Employing chance in work is like a fascinating journey into the human psyche. Society is like a stencil to decorate a house with; humorous in its stagnant predictable is like a stencil to decorate a house with; humorous in its stagnant predictable nature. Oppression through reconstruction becomes useful. Such is the mourning in Ginsberg’s Kaddish. Fact and fiction becomes blurred; Ginsberg is restoring the memory of his mother through exposure, exasperation, and the desire to know. He is embracing her in the most direct way. I am shaping my work by fidgeting with the direct and the metaphorical. Draping dissonance between new and recycled; painting over new surfaces subsequently as an endless circle of life.

Show runs until March 14th 2017
Admission free

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