BWA Warszawa
BWA Warszawa
"It hurts when I laugh"
05.07.2019 - 14.09.2019
Martyna Czech, Leszek Knaflewski "We have nothing in common"
25.05.2019 - 30.06.2019
FOAF 2019: BWA Warszawa hosting Gianni Manhattan (Vienna) + Kristina Kite (LA)
06.04.2019 - 11.05.2019
Witek Orski "I would prefer not to talk about this"
14.02.2019 - 30.03.2019
Between Salvation and Constitution
11.11.2018 - 05.01.2019
WGW 2018: Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Jan Dobkowski, Zuza Krajewska "Goddesses"
21.09.2018 - 27.10.2018
Jadwiga Sawicka "Protest Reflex"
23.06.2018 - 31.07.2018
Ewa Ciepielewska "Emotional Support Animals"
12.05.2018 - 16.06.2018
FOAF: Jiří Thýn, Piotr Makowski, Witek Orski, "Line"
07.04.2018 - 28.04.2018
Adam Adach "Demos and Demons"
03.03.2018 - 04.04.2018
Agnieszka Kalinowska "Heavy Water"
27.01.2018 - 28.02.2018
WGW 2017: Yann Gerstberger, Sławomir Pawszak, Hanna Rechowicz "The Uses of Enchantment"
22.09.2017 - 25.11.2017
WGW2017: WYKWITEX
22.09.2017 - 24.09.2017
"Living in a Material World" Paweł Dudziak, Adrian Kolerski, Michał Sroka, Eliasz Styrna, Katarzyna Szymkiewicz
02.09.2017 - 16.09.2017
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz "Stretching of Concepts"
27.05.2017 - 29.07.2017
Ruben Montini "One Person Protest"
27.05.2017 - 27.05.2017
Wielka 19 Gallery
04.03.2017 - 06.05.2017
THE DYNAMICS OF DECLINE
28.01.2017 - 25.02.2017
Witek Orski & Maria Toboła "Spinning sex"
17.12.2016 - 14.01.2017
WGW 2016: Karol Radziszewski "Ali"
23.09.2016 - 19.11.2016
Small Sculptural Forms
19.06.2016 - 10.09.2016
Sławomir Pawszak "Heat"
12.03.2016 - 28.05.2016
Krzysztof Maniak "Snow Is What Comes To Mind"
06.02.2016 - 05.03.2016
Lada Nakonechna, Zhanna Kadyrova "Experiments"
05.12.2015 - 30.01.2016
WGW 2015: Ewa Axelrad "Minimum, Necessary, Objectively Reasonable"
25.09.2015 - 21.11.2015
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz "Postproduction"
26.06.2015 - 12.09.2015
Joanna Janiak, Piotr C. Kowalski "The Nature of Things"
25.04.2015 - 13.06.2015
Iza Tarasewicz "Reverse Logistics"
14.02.2015 - 19.04.2015
Karol Radziszewski "In the Shadow of the Flame"
29.11.2014 - 04.02.2015
WGW: Olga Mokrzycka-Grospierre, Nicolas Grospierre "A Glass Shard in the Eye"
26.09.2014 - 22.11.2014
Jadwiga Sawicka "Fragments of Stories"
24.05.2014 - 24.07.2014
Jakub Woynarowski "Saturnia Regna"
15.03.2014 - 17.05.2014
Sławomir Pawszak „Cannabis, whisky, ananas”
11.01.2014 - 08.03.2014
The Gardens. Laura Kaminskaite, Augustas Serapinas
23.11.2013 - 19.12.2013
Agnieszka Kalinowska "Eastern Wall"
27.09.2013 - 16.11.2013
Zuza Krajewska "Solstice"
29.06.2013 - 14.09.2013
WITHERED, Kisterem Gallery, Budapest BWA Warszawa
21.06.2013 - 15.08.2013
LITTLE WARSAW "Enter"
25.04.2013 - 21.06.2013
“Warsaw: The Day After..." Vartai Gallery, Vilnius
11.04.2013 - 11.05.2013
Self-Organization, vol.2: New Roman
23.03.2013 - 20.04.2013
Ewa Axelrad "Warm Leatherette"
26.01.2013 - 20.03.2013
Self-Organization, vol. 1. Certainty
05.01.2013 - 19.01.2013
Ziemilski / Marriott / The End of the World
21.12.2012 - 21.12.2012
Kama Sokolnicka "Rusty elements of our garden"
28.09.2012 - 30.11.2012
"ALPHAVILLE" Griffin Artspace, Warsaw
28.09.2012 - 30.12.2012
Krystian TRUTH Czaplicki "The Changeling"
21.07.2012 - 09.08.2012
Adam Adach "Reprezentacja"
21.04.2012 - 07.07.2012
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Przemek Dzienis "Sub Pop"
25.02.2012 - 14.04.2012
Nicolas Grospierre "The Bank"
03.12.2011 - 11.02.2012
Tribute To Fangor
05.11.2011 - 20.11.2011
"New Order", Art Stations, Poznań
29.09.2011 - 09.02.2012
Wojtek Ziemilski "New Order" performance
23.09.2011 - 24.09.2011
Agnieszka Kalinowska „Extinguished Neon Signs”
10.09.2011 - 30.10.2011
Jarosław Fliciński "Nobody Knows That For Sure"
25.06.2011 - 28.08.2011
THE OPENING "Plundering the Ruins of Reality"
07.05.2011 - 11.06.2011

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english version
WITHERED, Kisterem Gallery, Budapest

EWA AXELRAD & STEVE PRESS, AGNIESZKA KALINOWSKA, KAMA SOKOLNICKA, MAŁGORZATA SZYMANKIEWICZ

The state of the world after the fall - crisis, catastrophe - or simply a state of flux, a dwindling of energy. Something come to an end, its remnants still dominating the landscape. We've seen such things before, as with Piranesi, in his sketches documenting the burning of Ancient Rome. Today we're well aware that "our antiquity is modernism". An empire disintegrating before our eyes, these modular tower blocks, swing sets designed in the name of progress, concrete parking lots on the fringes of the city. The modernist conception for the ordering of everyday life has fallen into ruin. It isn't a spectacular catastrophe, rather, a slow decline, an ebbing away. Death in installments.

The question is, is this still of any interest to anyone? Contemporary art revolves around a collection of similar images from a decent period. And this increasingly resembles a dog chasing its own tail. The modernist utopia has already been over-analyzed from every angle. What's left?

What would happen if we tried to escape this hackneyed set of associations? To go in search of new metaphors? Freshen up our own lexicon? At least remind ourselves of experiences on a slightly more sensual level, taking our own bodies as our guides, with all their impulses? What would happen if we compared modernist cities to an organism? To plants? To the human or animal body? "Withered" attempts to answer such questions through the works of Ewa Axelrad, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Kama Sokolnicka and Małgorzata Szymankiewicz - artists who tie in that which is organic with the social. They liken the human body to the collective body. In the sick-nesses of living organisms, animals and plants they see the symptoms of a greater crisis, even a political one.

Agnieszka Kalinowska's "Extinguished Neon Signs" are objects that have already passed their prime. Once the glittering lights of the city, today extinguished, they have lost their purpose. Kalinowska points to the transience of matter, also to evanescence and the changeability of the ideas that stand behind it. A symbol of the prosperity of old has reverted into a dismal, insignificant skeleton. Kalinowska takes this idea further by making her dead neon signs out of withered plants.
Another work by Kalinowska, made of concrete blocks, cites the realities of late modernism: at first glance they appear simply as rough, heavy pieces covered in moss (the "moss" is a green string dotingly arranged by the artist). A closer insight reveals an idea of almost mythic proportions: the remains of civilization swallowed up by the wild. This process can be understood as a return to a state of nature - or perhaps conversely, as a sign of civilization's own aspects of untamed savagery.
In the films of Ewa Axelrad (made in collaboration with Steve Press) she depicts a city undergoing a constant, yet almost imperceptible, change. Ventilators and surveillance cameras melting under bright lights represent a city as an organic beast, living its own life. Throughout these changes there are no signs of any major drama, rather, these are the products of gradual entropy. The city is withering away like a dried-up plant.

Kama Sokolnicka's "Locus Solus" collage series draws upon Raymond Roussel's novel of the same title. It's a characteristic reference, not only because Sokolnicka's own artistic narrative ties in with a phrase often associated with the literature of Roussel: "stories with cabinets". In Locus Solus the inventor Martial Canterel invites his friends over to witness a show of miracles he'd created in the garden of a villa outside the city. Remarkable and strange, these miracles would have satisfied the surrealists of his age. The tale reads as a refined game with the mythology of the garden - this is the trope Sokolnicka trails. Her garden isn't a metaphor of an orderly world. There is a multitude of meanings to be found, but certainly it is not a garden untouched by the tread of a barbarian.

Sokolnicka turns to a similar perspective in a series of three paintings on wood. On the surface these are beautiful, subtle pants. In truth, these are plants copied from the atlas of plant diseases. Here is a garden of illusions, masking death.

The most astonishing of these works may be the painting by Małgorzata Szymankiewicz. A large abstract canvas, painted with a recognizable degree of fluency, is actually an adaptation of a screen shot from a pornographic film. The visuals cue in the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, in-jecting abstraction with erotic overtones, revealing the similarities between plants and the female anatomy. Szymankiewicz uncovers the body in a moment of crisis, climax - at the moment of orgasm, that "petit mort". What would happen if we tried to present the contemporary (post) modernist crisis as a post-orgasmic chill? Is the juxtaposition with the enigmatic crux when the body experiences release and a slackening of the limbs after achieving a height of sensory satisfaction not a telling insight into the demise of the modern utopia? Perhaps, at the very least, the entire thing would become slightly easier to grasp? More accessible to the touch?