Poddani / Łukasz Gronowski


Spark of Hopelessness
Galeria COLLECTIVA, Brunnenstraße 152
10115 Berlin

Otwarcie 4 lipca 2008 19:00
wystawa do 2 sierpnia 2008


Łukasz Gronowski's works presented at COLLECTIVA gallery inquire into processes of signification in art and reality and thus encourage an individual viewer to experience art as a critical open space. The ambivalence of the gesture of hands resting on a nape in his photographic cycle Poddani does not only come from the fact that, as Gronowski wrote, it can signify both surrender (e.g. while being at a gun point) and a moment of relaxation (it seems this dichotomy does not apply to all the photos, though). In fact, relaxation is also a sort of surrender: giving up our bodies to external factors, the lessening of tension. Surrender is of a twofold kind: when it is a consequence of oppression, it results in an inward act of closure of the body, at a moment of relaxation – openness. Inthe photographs the gesture is subject to repetition and becomes an object of paradox formulated by Shlommit Rimmon-Kenan: "constructive repetition emphasizes difference … (i.e. to repeat successfully is not to repeat)". In each photo we find the same as different because the representation of the gesture varies and is shaped by the context of a photograph, being both a part of a series and a singular entity. The artist repeats (on the level of language) by not repeating (on the level of the visual) and thus repeats constructively. Repetition is also an important element of Gronowski's videos. The work titled Relacje operates on a metaphorical level. The performance consisting of a series of unsuccessful attempts to perform and maintain lasting physical balance in acrobatic positions can be translated into a difficulty in sustaining an emotional relationship between partners (man and a woman, in this case). The video is inconclusive and open-ended. The logic of repetition is there again: whereas the signifier is different (a varying position), the signified turns out to be the same (attempt at the relationship), though never fully realized and thus re-enacted, re-performed. Gronowski's artistic projects seem very simple, minimalistic (white interior and background should not be overlooked; see also another video: Stać cię na więcej) but they turn out to be quite complex when it comes to analyzing them. The concept of "constructive repetition", highlights the paradoxical rich minimalism of Gronowski's art, which makes these works conceptually so compelling.
Text: Filip Lipiński, NYC