Prototypes 06: Alicja Bielawska. At the Intersection of Lines, 2022

Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, 2022, Łódź
Curator Katarzyna Słoboda
Alicja Bielawska suggests we should treat works of art as models on which or thanks to which we can exercise our ability to sense the world around us. Artworks then may become guidelines leading us through reality, uncovering its hidden layers and aspects. The exhibition “At the Intersection of Lines” is the sixth in the “Prototypes” series, in which the artists tend to give new meanings and contexts to the works in the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź.

There are lines that lead us through the exhibition. The lines of steps, lines on paper, lines of encountered glances, lines outlining space, and finally—the lines covering the drawings, which number nearly fifty in this edition of “Prototypes.” However, drawing is not only an auxiliary medium here or a sketch for further work. It is also a full-fledged work of art, set in dialogue with the sculptures of Keith Sonnier, Thei Djordjadze, Katarzyna Kobro, and Alicja Bielawska herself. Abstraction is the dominant form in the works presented. However, the abstraction here is poetic and open to a multitude of interpretations. Its language is universal, it gives every viewer the opportunity to interpret the work intuitively and filter it through their own experiences. It engages with the memory of the recipient and their personal connotations, allowing the construction of new networks of associations around the recognized shapes, textures, and colours. The objects and materials from which the sculptures were made were taken from the real world that surrounds us and act as links between the abstract work and the recipient. Bielawska’s exhibition is a space separate from everyday life, but at the same time related to it. It is a microcosm where we can experience the ideas, thoughts, and feelings of the artists in conditions conducive to contemplation.

Alicja Bielawska has established an artistic dialogue with artists who have been active over the last hundred years, showing the flow of concepts and themes that keep coming back in the works of artists regardless of what period of time they represented, what place and what conditions they created in. The concept of openness in these works means that the authors of the exhibition are not only the artists whose works we can see here. The exhibition invites the viewer to cocreate it with their presence. Our own bodies that move between these works of art are not only the receptors of the art, but they also interact with the art. Each visitor brings their own rhythm. The choreographic theme is strongly marked by Johanna Billing’s film “I’m Lost without Your Rhythm.” In this screening — as in the whole exhibition space — simple, everyday movements create dialogues both between people and with their surroundings. The spatiality of the sculptures creates a situation in which our gaze does not stop at the sculptures themselves, but penetrates them and reaches beyond them. The shapes are not defined forever; each step we make generates a new view and thus a new creation. There is not one preferred and final image — Bielawska offers us a multitude of equally important perspectives.

Artists: Alicja Bielawska, Johanna Billing, Thea Djordjadze, Emilia Małgorzata Dłużniewska, Simone Forti, Maria Jarema, Koji Kamoji, Katarzyna Kobro, Keith Sonnier, Kajetan Sosnowski, Henryk Stażewski, Franciszka Themerson, Stefan Themerson, Teresa Tyszkiewicz

Phot. Anna Zagrodzka