youngest generation artists from Gdansk; Angelika Fojtuch, Anna Kalwajtys, Alina Zemojdzin, Julia Kurek, Gabriel Roszak, Kordian Lewandowski, Igor Duszynski, Sylwia Galon, Magdalena Mellin, Julia Kul.
opening party: April 4, 2009 @ 7 pm
press conference April 4, 2009 @ 6 pm
Curator: Grzegorz Klaman
Assistant Curator: Maks Bochenek
Fiction is a way of building a cultural narrative - creating a history whose telling may be connected with the participation of real places, people and events. These fragments of reality lend credence to the history, materialise its heroes and give to fiction a graspability enabling identification, disgust or rapture. To put it briefly, they make the relation exciting. They are an invitation to the receiver to participate in the process in which it becomes a mutual cultural experience. Although operating with fiction is strictly connected with culture, today's mediatised reality surrounds us with screens, which beguile us with various levels of credibility and various possibilities of participation. Although art, from at least the moment of conceptual disruption, analyses the language of the media, the issues of mediatised perception and - from significantly earlier times - ready-mades, it quite cruelly but in a way that distinctly gives food for thought treats both of the materialisation of the idea of a work of art and of the status of an artistic object; the confrontation between the need for an "authentic work" on the side of the reception and the conscious functioning within visual culture on the side of the creation seems to have no end.
"Fiction and Fiction" is an exhibition by the youngest generation of artists from Gdan'sk, those graduates or students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdan'sk connected with the Intermedia Department of the Sculpture Faculty. What their practice has in common is their conscious activity on the border of various areas of knowledge, competences, languages and aesthetics, which are regarded as not belonging to art. They create simulations of fragments of reality referring to the order of science or the language of advertising campaigns run by cosmetics companies and they enter into risky relations with the space of the city and exploit the unlimited resources of archived images. They reach out for methods of transmission that are deceptively similar to advertising, documentary films or presentations in a scientific laboratory or at university.
The need for knowledge, the need for novelty, the need for beauty, the will to succeed are all here - just like in life, satisfied through simulation. The artists reach for a set of means characteristic of those areas of the production of knowledge which in the common perception are regarded as being more authorised than art to undertake risky experiments, such as science (the right to seek knowledge) or the media (the right to equal access to information) or politics (the right of access to the public space). A constitutive element of the works presented is delusion and uncertainty about that with which we are dealing. Their ability to disturb relations between that which is real and that which exists virtually often leads to misunderstandings in the area of the identification of the orders to which they belong and to which they are making themselves similar: the scientific, media, spiritual, advertising and documentary orders.
As we can read in Baudrillard's theory of simulacra, the signs of culture and their mediatisation are identified in today's culture as reality. We fall, therefore, into an intended trap here which, by playing on the conventionality of the functioning of a work of art and the ability of falsifying that which we receive as real, leads to identifications which can then be condemned, mocked or criminalised. Activities of this kind presuppose an element of surprise and uncertainty about what is or could be identified as a work of art or is something else, which, falling outside the brackets of the gallery walls, can be identified as an object from a different order and also, therefore, being subjected to different criteria of assessment from artistic ones.
In essence, this is an exhibition about who the artist is today and in what way the consciousness of functioning in the sphere of simulacra affects strategies of art and the possible ways of communicating with the viewer. It is, therefore, also a question about the consciousness of the viewer, about his ability to undertake the game, about the desire to see something through the creations of hyper-reality. So - which tablet? The blue one or the red one?
txt: Aneta Szylak
English translation: Tadeusz Z. Wolanski