Villains — The Extensively Awaited Swap of Roles
Gallery of Glass and Ceramics, BWA Wrocław, 2008
Ceramics, wood, natural and artificial teeth, feathers, furniture and upholstery elements, sea grass; various dimensions
The works from this series were originally shown in Galeria Okna in the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (The Hunter, 2007), and then, in an extended form, at the exhibition Villains – The Extensively Awaited Swap of Roles (2008) in the Glass and Ceramics Gallery of the BWA Wrocław. As part of the second presentation, the sterile exhibition space was transformed into a dark and quaint hunter’s study. The picture of reality created by Brzeski reflects, in that case, the opposition of nature and culture; it presents a situation where the existing order has been reversed. According to an alternative scenario for the development of civilization, hunter trophies hung on the wall and made of black, brushed and smooth ceramics, are reminiscent of the creations of industrial production – machine parts, anvils, hulls of ships, technological waste. Their zoomorphic shapes have been subordinated to the aesthetic discipline, a result of some unspecified, utilitarian function. On the other hand, they bring to mind processed, “tamed” images of animals known from the world of fairy tales, or Disney cartoons. In that imaginary, surreal world of objects belonging to the man and his environment – elements of furniture and study furnishings – have, in turn, been transformed into an organic matter, subject to natural decomposition, like rotting animal corpses in the forest bed.
A hunter’s rifle – a weapon symbolising his supremacy over nature – now becomes a whitened bone the original purpose of which is suggested only by its shape. Villains are a visualization of a parallel reality, a sleepy picture permeated by and merging with other themes present in Brzeski’s various other projects, such as the motif of a character connected with the woods (as in the case of Major Moneta), working with the bust as a classical theme of sculpture (as in a series of sculptures from the exhibition Art Is Violence, BWA Awangarda, Wrocław, 2006), or the use of specific qualities offered by the ceramic material – in this case making it possible to obtain a precisely defined form.
Text: Patrycja Sikora / Translation: T.J.