Action, installation

The word "zaopatrzenie" can be roughly translated from Polish as "supply", but "opatrzenie" means patching, cleansing it of something, filling it, performing a sacrament over a dying person.

The Giants project began for me a year ago as a series of large-scale sculptures in which I wanted to transfer my painting into three-dimensional space, to create a "body" for it. This long-term project started as a broad anthropological gesture, symbolizing the presence of man in the world as such, but over time it acquired a much deeper meaning and became an impulse to understand my own identity and my role in art. While working on the project, I abandoned the idea of myself as a universal person and an abstract citizen of the world, tracing my path of alienation from my native Belarusian background to the fact that I am its contemporary representative. The sculptures, on the other hand, have become a kind of blank canvas, ready to accept the diversity of traditions and histories. Every culture and nationality can be inside these works — I am creating a sarcophagus, empty and ready to be filled with any stuffing. The reason for continuing the series was to realize the uniqueness of the background, my own and unique. Each of us has a personal baggage of cultural codes, historical experiences and economic conditions. The contents of this "suitcase" remain a mystery. But the fact that this baggage exists has great significance to me. I brought the project to completion because of the personal territory I entered: the sculptures became an embodiment of the presence of my culture.

The context of returning or taking the "Giants" sculptures back to nature, to the natural environment, was originally part of and one of the reasons for the creation of the works, after being realized in the action Za'opatrzenie. The works also personify a person connected to the land. He grew up on this land, belongs to it and will eventually return to it.  The bedding used as the main material — sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases play the role of an element of inevitable oblivion. Old branches found near the Vistula River, plaster and bedding collected from various places become part of a massive object that undergoes a natural process of decay and decomposition, similar to the human life cycle. It is important to me that my sculptures return to the earth, dissolve into it and become part of it again. The last available works in the series have been returned to the site where branches that are integrated into the fabric of the sculptures have been collected — they have taken root in the park above the Vistula River.



Artistic intervention

An artistic intervention involving a series of Giants sculptures held in Warsaw on Friday, September 29.

During the action, two of the seven Giants sculptures were hand-delivered under the doors of Warsaw's cultural institutions — MSN and Pawilon Bliska 12 — where they stayed overnight. This action is a manifestation of both my authorial presence and the presence of the culture to which I belong. They are fragile monuments of memory, assembled from bedding, branches and gypsum, rising three and a half meters high in the indistinct silhouette of human figures without faces or personification.

Since their creation, the sculptures have been in the studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where I study. Friday, September 29 was the last day they could stay there because of the conditions set by the academy: I do not know what would have happened to the works. Because of the difficulty of transporting such dimensional objects, the lack of storage space, and the academy's ultimatum, I decided to put the sculptures on public display. On Friday evening, with the help of colleagues and friends, we loaded the giants on our shoulders and carried them to the doors of Warsaw's cultural institutions without prior consent: the first giant stood in front of MSN, the second in front of Pawilon Bliska 12. The three of us carried the sculptures through Warsaw, tying them to ourselves with a belt and placing them on a movable cart.



Gypsum, fabric, and branches
~320 cm high each figure

A series of 7 sculptures representing freely made "giants" resembling human figures. The giants appear as personification of memory, memories of people, events and places. Rising in the figures, although real, accessible to touch and interaction, they nevertheless remain a metaphor for the presence of a historical man, present at a specific time, whose image has already been blurred and erased.

The works are made in the technique using old bed linen impregnated with gypsum: sheets, pillowcases, etc. Dry branches, collected on the Vistula River, were used as a structural layer. The faces of the giants will be painted later.



Digital print, banner, 350x300 cm
The project refers to the relationship of being visible and being under observation, where the viewer and the artwork swap the roles of the observer and the onlooker. The printed banners were stretched under the ceiling of the gallery, guiding the viewer through the exhibition. The project was held during Museum Night at “Prześwit” gallery in Warsaw. 

Talking Heads

In the Belarusian art community, I became known as an artist working with "beauty," creating canvases with aesthetically appealing people. Despite the popularity of my works among viewers and collectors, I quickly locked myself in this area, experiencing a serious crisis related to the search for meaning in this kind of work. The lack of competent and professional art institutions in Belarus and the expectation of "understandable" content from the artist only accelerated the process. After a long break of more than a year and emigration to Poland, I returned to work on the old "beautiful" canvases, but very quickly moved on to a new series, finally admitting to myself that this kind of art is extremely foreign, unnecessary and unpleasant for me.

The "Talking Heads" series became a means of liberation in which I practically peeled the skin off the portraits, leaving the flared, exalted, colorful heads without masks. Working on each painting required more and more distance from the process of depicting the experience to the process of working on the experience.  The "Talking Heads" series depicts exaggerated, inflated talking heads with something to say all the time. Most of the works were made on glued sheets of paper.

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