Magazine article Artforum International

Monika Zawadzki: SVIT

Magazine article Artforum International

Monika Zawadzki: SVIT

Article excerpt

Monika Zawadzki's fascination with the relationship between amorphous matter and the various forms it takes on was the point of departure for her exhibition "Blackbird." The vastness and mutability of matter, its transformative potential, and its capacity for memory (new objects and shapes are not free of the traces of their predecessors) are key concerns for the Polish artist. They serve as the basis for her experimentation with hybridity: Only a hybrid visual language, she believes, has the power to mediate the natural hybridity of the world's entities and creatures.

The exhibition was dominated by a room-filling black object, John & Paul & Ringo & George (all works 2011), which fuses organic and inorganic forms. The work's vastness and the concomitant impossibility of perceiving and grasping the object all at once create a tension among the distinct shapes, both geometric and organic, out of which it is formed; the shapes seem to change with the spectator's movement around the gallery space--thereby also changing the potential content of the piece, yet with no apparent relation to its title,

Zawadzki's decision to invite Dan Perjovschi to participate in her exhibition might at first have appeared as an attempt to provide a contrasting setting for her own work. The Romanian artist's work Think at Have, 2011, was presented in an "anti-ostentatious" manner, specifically as a pile of about a hundred photocopies of a drawing. Perjovschi is known mainly for his cartoonlike drawings commenting on political and social phenomena, yet in this case the subject of his commentary remains enigmatic. The ephemeral and topical nature of Perjovschi's contribution would thus function as a counterpoint to Zawadzki's approach, rooted in the process of movement, gradual transformation, and interconnection of material phenomena through time. True enough, but Perjovschi's drawing also worked in the exhibition m another way that emerged through its relationship with Zawadzki's other works on view: a video showing a schematically depicted female figure with its head placed on a pedestal [Self-Portrait With a Raven) and one featuring a series of equally schematic human heads with what could be best described as a universal and mobile eyebrow, which gradually moves from one head to the other (Say Good Night to Daddy). …

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