Virtue is its own reward.
Sit in the corner and wait to be found.
Don't speak up, don't say much. Best of all, say nothing.
No need to get excited.
Don't fuss. Nothing wrong is going on; we just eat each other.
Everybody does. It's always been like that.
Limitation and enclosure. Safety and control.
Volunteer and give up your privileges in return for limited access to certain rights.
All this fretting about tiny wounds and illusory dramas.
The overwhelming truth of a cliché, the captivating charm of simplification.
Go ahead and surrender.
The treacherous plasticity of the substances; their wicked submissiveness capable of anything.
And the final result: curtailed freedom, poor quality materials and a garbled message.
Betrayal of pure form will have its consequences. A lie camouflaged with colour will not last for ever. Fear is gnawing at your insides disclosing an immoral lack of structure, the blade of the intellect cuts through soft and trembling formlessness: lack of frame has been confirmed. What shall we do. Do what you wish, but do your best; render the untruth realistically, be consistent in your mistakes. Remember that the universality of a sin is no justification. A betrayal is a betrayal.
Fine Form / Fajna forma, 1996
Nonsense bothers. Where does this undefined hunger come from? The empty form does not satisfy the craving for nutritious substance. The eyes are satiated but the brain rejects it, the stomach refuses to digest. Symptoms are developed: weariness, disturbed concentration, plaintiveness, frustration. Everything seems to undergo a constant change, yet nothing is new. Everything nauseatingly repeats itself. The cheekily advertised attractiveness of evil fails to work in everyday life.
Forms cries to be used/Forma wzywa do użycia, 1998
It is sometimes difficult to detach ourselves from objects around us; so many of them by virtue of their functionality, simply demand some sort of action on our part. FORM CALLS FOR USE. It is nice to feel the support of something concrete. Having support one can venture answers and solutions. A rather attractive lifestyle has been recommended to quite a number of people this way. But BEWARE! All of a sudden one can find oneself maneuvered into an awkward position bearing emotional overtones. New things give you a thrill, old things give you a headache. Their silent persuasion alone unjustified by the charm of novelty, strikes you as overbearing. MATERIALS WEAR OUT BUT CLAIMS REMAIN. Our natural drive to use combined with an equally understandable dislike of being used, clashes with respect for authority and brand loyalty. THIS IS A REAL CONFLICT NOW. Inanimate things contend with the living demanding their attention, time and emotion. Confronted with such absurdity WE GIVE IN. Some discouragement may be experienced now, as may a sense of inappropriateness and upset proportions.
Form cries to be used/Forma wzywa do użycia, 1998
It's only natural that some should have and another should not. In many cases the purifying experience of not-having may be stimulating; resisting temptation and continually justifying the present state of affairs make one feel intellectually invigorated. Yet now that, as it seems, all the arguments have been suitably applied and the position clearly established, the possibility of failure lurks where it was least expected. Those territories where one can be free from material needs, so alluring but as yet inaccessible owing to our weak will, seem hauntingly empty, once reached. Besides, the very word "territories" is no longer valid. Fathomless depths open before the frightened eyes of the have-nots, an untamed void terrifies them. And now what? Mistrusted objects will offer no support. Things will never be as they were and it is no use pretending that nothing has happened.
The old feeling is back / Powraca dawne uczucie, 1997
The old choking feeling is back. Once again panic wins out over precision. This fight is about a grain of sense and the trueness to one's emotions. The problem is by no means intractable but needless haste transforms the task into an unbearable choice. There is still time to stop and choose one of the options but sudden weakness makes you accommodate to circumstances. You concentrate on the contemplation of chaos and the question of choice disappears for a while. The common and the available are tempting you: take things as they come! All random attempts to clear up confusion suddenly seem seductively purposeful. Soon, however, the pressure and disorder become intolerable, sentences and images contradict or cancel each other. What next? But then the colour fades away (as if in protest) offering another way out. It seems that order has prevailed.
The old feeling is back / Powraca dawne uczucie, 1997
Your clothing may constitute as good a proof of the harmony of the universe as anything else. Your garment is a mould and your task is to fill it in.
Clothes protect, adorn and testify to a figure they cover. The logic resulting from these functions should make things easy. Unfortunately, the body is not always up to standard; all to often it fails to meet even not very stringent requirements. Of course, it is obvious that, for variety of reasons, perfection is not to be achieved by everyone. Although, technically speaking, there is little difficulty in adjusting clothes to any shapes, even those which are far from ideal, it does not mean that such adaptation is the right thing to do.
One should not depart too far from the ideal because the farther you go, the more dangerous it becomes. The probability of esthetic failures increases in proportion to the distance until the remotes areas where weak will and self-indulgence let the most outlandish absurdities flourish.
Why should this esthetic deficiency be reproduced in another material? Surely, the origin of a failure may be often quite convincingly explained by some extenuating circumstances and the overall complexity of its causes.
But why should a material, potentially capable of adjusting to the most beautiful curves, be involved in the multiplication of errors?
The oppression of grotesque forms is upsetting the established order. Freaks and excesses are being encouraged by too prompt all all-embracing acceptance, copious excuses and justifications add to confusion. Aesthetics and morality take sides in the battle and the body is plunging into chaos.
Neither pleas nor threats / Ani prośba ani groźba, 1999
Neither pleas nor threats work here. Neither can persuade these smooth, pliable yet resistant surfaces to give way, and, by means of some sort of a mystical inhalation, make room, or better still, part - reluctant as they are - and let one in.
The longer one tries, the more obvious it becomes that getting inside will be very difficult if not impossible. The inaccessibility makes the inside even more attractive; the feeling of being ousted and alienated from things that really matter grows proportionally (and for a good reason, too).
In a blatantly unfair fashion one is given to understand that only the practical knowledge of what is going on inside makes your life worth living.
Neither pleas nor threats / Ani prośba ani groźba, 1999
Is there balance in the world? It is hard to decide which is dominating: formless and abundant substance in the active process of searching shape, or passive form that waits to be filled up. Is this necessary? Substance should incessantly be filling up stabilising forms. Consequently, hollow, empty, open and absorbent forms are needed. Is absorbency right? Absorbency is a justification for emptiness and reprehensible passivity, it is an expression of a desire to do away with an unsatisfactory state of affairs. At the same time, though, it creates an atmosphere of nervousness and rush. Selection of input is needed. There are rules to it. What rules? Moral rules, and others. The establishment and observance of these rules takes time and attention, which may cause undesirable slowing of substance pouring into form, or - if one is unduly particular - standstill. What then? The praiseworthy activity of substance may prove unbearable pressure and a push at any price. What can the price be? The price can be discord between form and substance. A disagreeable bloated feeling results from too many good intentions; abrasions and open wounds occur when there is too much expression. Is is not worthwhile, then?
They say that everything is better than emptiness.
Empty into Emptiness / Przelewanie z pustego, 1999
Appearances may be misleading, but a choice of appearances can give us away. What is left after throwing off the mask is a clear intention of camouflage, which is sometimes respected. Then, one depends on an opponent's good manners and the worst that can happen is losing one's face.
Masquerades / Maskarady, 2001
Revision and consolidation.
The material may look familiar - well, at least we knew it once; it was a challenge, a problem and eventually a nagging remorse.
Comprehension and mastery are still the objectives, but why is that no matter how frequently revised, the material seems untouched?
This fact alone might not necessarily be a drawback; one can still see it as the initial stage, where the task remains a challenge.
The worrying thing, however, is that, despite all the effort, the level of difficulty stays about the same.
Besides, problems appear rather too soon in the process; at the very first attempt the cognitive apparatus fails, the skills prove insufficient.
As time goes by, even perseverance seems to be a disadvantage: how many times can one try?
What went wrong?
Was the resistance of the material underestimated? Not enough time and energy allocated for in-depth analysis of the problem? What to allocate, though, since there is no energy left?
Talking about depth is just as inappropriate: one is still on the surface, still confronted with the first obstacle.
So after all this time one is still in the early stages - hardly a progression!
A change of strategy would be recommended. It is by now obvious that making immediate headway is out of the question, nothing can be achieved in a hurry; some adjustments must be made; some parts of the material might have to be abandoned.
Still, it is not lowering of the standards - yet - or is it?
Maybe the point is not to make progress but to maintain the positions?
Is it a success or the beginning of a failure?
Revision and consolidation / Powtarzanie i utrwalanie materiału, 2002
Sometimes you need to take a closer look at the negative emotions: the pent-up anger and resulting frustration. We know, more or less, where the anger comes from: we cannot cope with the demands. Our refusal meets with more pressure, pleas and then threats. Or it is us who want something, keep asking, issue demands, without much hope.
At first anger warms you up quite pleasantly. But then the pressure gets unbearable, blood rushes to your head and you see red. You are trapped.
There is a hot bitter taste of hate in your mouth and you suddenly feel the urge to hurt someone. Your own helplessness is paralyzing but does not bring you any calm.
Only drugs can bring peace, smoothen out this angry frown and take all the barriers away.
The image of your enemy becomes glazed and suddenly you can keep your distance and the anger is no more.
2006 Force fatale, Centre for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw