Hidden Doubts, 2017 (solo exhibition)

(Phot. Marek Gardulski)
Kasia Michalski Gallery, Warsaw, 2017
The air takes on shades

In the beginning there are geometrical forms: a circle, a triangle, a rectangle. When they materialize in my hands, they embrace the third dimension, but also lose their mathematical precision. Geometry enters the sphere of objects, becomes subject to deformation, broken. And shapes acquire an individual character, begin to resemble something familiar, and evoke associations. These associations are like threads of time on which I slip shapes.

I assemble shapes in the space; important are the angles and points where gazes cross and footsteps overlap. Each shape can be enclosed in space and used to open this space up. The sculptures thus create spaces of personal rituals. We ascribe meaning to them. Just as objects which are dear to us, they become containers for memories. And rituals grant us continuity. I repeat one gesture. Each time, in this little gesture, I discover accumulated memories.

You sit amidst concentrically assembled ceramic cones, and you move them around slowly. You swap the colors. Blue instead of red, orange instead of pink, yellow instead of green. From the peak of each cone beams a streak of color. The cones are empty inside. The role of the cones is unknown, but their meaning is deeply felt. When you move the cones around, the streaks mingle, creating a wavy veal around you. The shapes merge with the air, and the air takes on their shades.

Before there are shapes, there is a line I follow. I use it to discover shapes. I hold it in my fingers, I stretch it and bend it. There is a boundless plane of paper in front of me; the line is in nite and can easily be modeled with my fingers. Sometimes I take the line out and watch it against the sunlight. It is then clearly visible that all shapes are formed at the intersection of lines.

Large beads, the size of a vessel, are mounted on a structure resembling those in the playgrounds designed by Aldo van Eyck. Steel bars follow the lines which bend, twist and intersect in mounting constructions. Silvery steel reflects the gray sky. You ip the bar in your hand, and with it—the whole construction. You look at it from different angles. In your hand, the structure changes in size, it grows bigger or decreases. And with each movement, the beads clang. Each bead encapsulates a cipher, a letter, or a dream.

Around the brass hands of an immobilized caliper or clock hang shiny hemispheres. The seconds of stillness are hardly visible between the moving shapes. Golden dashes meet in the corner; the intersection gives a direction, or maybe the direction is given by the pointed tips of the hands. The hemispheres revolve like the Moon’s colorful phases.

I revert the rims of fabrics, I lift their delicate hems, tuck the linings. The inner side of the cloth shows a different shade. A shade closer to touch.

The elements which constitute the sculptures build metaphors. Juxtaposed in space, interrelated, they create a new polyphony. They have no function, they are reflections of impressions, thoughts, and experiences. Before objects fall out of their own shadows, I need these elements to lean on, to feel my own materiality. I lean against smooth surfaces of glazed ceramics, the coldness and the metallic smell of steel, the soft touch of chiffon. I repeat shapes and stack them one on top of the other, trying to find balance. Slowly, the order of things is created, and sculptures find themselves in it.

Alicja Bielawska