Gasworks, established in 1994, is a contemporary art organization based in South London, housing eleven artists’ studios and offering a programme of exhibitions and events, artists’ residencies, international fellowships and educational projects. In this reputable institution, during last three months, one of emerging Polish artists – Gizela Mickiewicz has stayed on the artistic residence. Today is the last day of her residence. But two weeks ago, 28 March, it was an opportunity to visit the artist in her studio and to see the project which she prepared in London.
Below you can see the photo-report on her project, that she has been preparing for the last three months. We had a pleasure of receiving Gizela Mickiewicz’s reflections on implemented cycle.
“The work, which I realize is a part of a sculptural series launched in late 2013 and has the working name Time of background – describes Mickiewicz – Two objects from this series I have already finished. This series concerns the matter of early quality. I concentrate on the stages preceding the recognition that something is finished. In fact the ready form is only the peak phase – the result of a long process that precedes it. A good example may be here the note by Kaspar Hauser describing the basement-period from his life. After Hauser had learned the basic vocabulary, a tutor encouraged him to write his reminiscences from that period. These notes are available in many versions and the individual copies are only slightly different from each other. Hauser corrected and transcribed them repeatedly. Each transcription was complemented by newly learned words, whereby he was able to describe memories more accurately. Among the mass of indistinguishable shapes, immersed in the darkness of the basement, thanks to this knowledge of language, he was able to identify and to name the individual elements. These notes bring the opportunity to review the evolution of the various versions into the form more precise.
In the Time of background I am interested in the very beginning, in an early quality, which is usually very poor quality, but also in the fact that ready, solid form is dependent on its obscure beginnings. In the object, on which I have been working during this residency, I isolate different stages of transition and I try to show them all at once, instead of presenting a form ready. I want to check what quality has a set of free connections between components. I’m interested in the status of the individual stages of implementation and in the most wrong decisions, mistakes, efforts, that have been made for nothing, residues with which you do not know what to do. These elements are the integral part of the final form, but are not visually present therein. They are not used, but their presence is essential to achieve the final shape. […]The first work from this series is the object Rolling back ahead.
It is a set of objects made of wire, that partially have been straightened. Each component has been stopped at a different level of deformation – starting from just slightly disturbed, to the items straightened so far, that it becomes unrecognizable. By depraving the form and shape of the objects, I deprive them of the usefulness, their properties and their names. I’m turning them back into the raw materials. This what I’m talking about is well illustrated by the metal bending machine videos, in which you can see how the simple wire starts to be modeled into the desired shape. Already at the early stage of formation you can recognize which item is produced. I’m interested in a short period of time, when the shape is still not recognizable, as well as transitional forms, which the item takes on before it becomes something concrete. Basically Rolling back ahead is like a work of this bender running in the opposite direction.
The second work is a Result in progress. It is more than a metre long sequence of audio adapters with identical entrances on the both ends. “
The result in progress refers to obtaining the assurance. It is visually presented decision-making situation, checking the many possibilities, finding the best solution and finally return to the starting point. At the same time I return to the starting point. And this is the difference between two identical-looking job ends. This time I’m sure of my choice. It is this certainty that differentiates two identically looking end-products of the work.”
Gizela Mickiewicz lives and works in Warsaw, Poland. She had the solo exhibitions at Frutta Gallery, Rome, Italy (2013),BWA, Zielona Góra, Poland (2013), Stereo Gallery, Poznań (2012). Her work was included in group exhibitions at Stereo Gallery, Warsaw (2013) and Kunstlerhaus, Dortmund, Germany (2012).
Her residency is supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Poland. The Institute is a state cultural institution, which aims at promoting the Polish culture around the world and actively participates in the international cultural exchange.
Written by: Dobromila Blaszczyk