TEMPORARY DENSITY OF MATTER
Project prepared in collaboration with Prof. Marek Krajewski.
When I was a child, my grandma taught me how to make traditional folk decorations (ornaments made of Christmas wafer, hanging structures called “spiders”, paper chains etc.) Image-based communication has been important for me ever since I was very young, but back then what I felt was particularly important was not only the creative activity, but above all the contact with the other person: the sense of closeness, the pleasure of learning and communication. Fond memories of that time spent together have been one of my inspirations in beginning to develop a project which addresses many aspects of our life: interpersonal relations, collective work, cultural awareness, environmentalism, politics, and even mathematics or quantum physics; after all, everything is interconnected.
Temporary Density of Matter is a project ultimately intended to comprise a number of sculptures, photographs and mobile installations. Many of them have already been created, some need to be completed, others still only exist as drafts. My objects are inspired by folk art, in which form plays a significant role. With their rich colours and complex designs, folk decorations used to be treated as lucky charms, securing good harvest or prosperity in the coming year. Apart from their symbolic character, what was important was the joint work of their makers, which involved talking, singing, spending time together. This was a kind of social consolidation for the sake of the common good. It is through such joint activity that I would like to activate local communities, inviting them to create together objects inspired by the folk art of both my country and the country in which the project will be carried out. I do not want these activities and the topics that will be addressed in their course to be merely an ephemeral event that is over on the last day of the project; instead, I would like them to become part of the local life. To achieve that, I am planning to collaborate with local culture animators in the country where the project will be carried out.
My objects are made of plastic collected from European beaches. The sea washes up what we had discarded. What seems very interesting and important here is the movement of objects – not only physical movement, as in ocean gyres, but also the circulation of things in the society. The production of a given object is commissioned on one continent, on another continent someone makes it with his or her own hands, and the object is then used and discarded in a yet another part of the world. Things circulate faster and faster with the growing appetite of the consumers and the producers’ desire for profit. Movement is the essence of the existence of matter and life in general. Galaxies, planetary systems, and oceans move, and so do we, so do our body cells, etc. Also objects and their remnants in seas and oceans keep moving. Their existence, their history, and their very materiality opens up a broad scope for discussion during collective workshops, at which I would like to encourage the participants not only to experience the materiality of objects found at the beach, but also to discover various issues concerning nature, humankind, science, the universe, politics etc.
In every town where the project will take place I am going to organize a workshop during which the participants would make objects inspired by the folk art of my country of origin and their country. Local culture animators would also take part in the workshop. Our material would be plastic collected together in the nearest surroundings. The duration of the workshop depends on the decision of the project organizers. The workshop result would be a joint exhibition; in the cases where it would not be possible to transport some objects to the exhibition space or display them, I would make a photographic documentation of them.
Apart from the workshop, I also want to create separate objects in each of the locations, to crown our collaborative activity:
ACTION I — “CONSTELLATION”
An object inspired by the folk decoration making (hanging structures called “spiders” in the Polish tradition). A sizable installation (several meters high) made of plastic straws and small items, symbolizing the complex structure of every entity (from galaxies, through the Earth, to the human body).
(Objects Paweł Błęcki)
ACTION II — “TOTEM”
A tall object (several meters high) made of larger objects. The installation symbolizes the adding up of things, referring to problems related to the anthropocene.
(Instalation Paweł Błęcki)
ACTION III — “GYRE”
A mobile object inspired by the movement of ocean gyres, in which plastic circulates. The work refers to movement, which is the crucial element of life and the existence of matter in general.
(Objects Paweł Błęcki)
(Objects Paweł Błęcki)
Born in 1984, Gdańsk. Paweł Błęcki graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk where he majored in Photography, and Intermedia at the Multimedia Communication Faculty of the University of Arts in Poznań. He defended his diploma at professor Piotr Kurka’s Department of Intermedia Activities. He also took up studies in the area of archeology and cultural studies. Recipient of an Erasmus scholarship to attend the photography faculty of FAMU, the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. His works have been shown on many exhibitions, among others, ‘Storm’, ShowOFF Section of the Photophy Month in Cracow 2014; Gdańsk Art Biennale, Gdańsk City Gallery, 2014; ‘State of matter’, Rotunda Gallery, Poznań, 2014; Urbild/Abbild, Lokal 30, Warsaw, 2013. Member of the artistic collective ‘The Empty Set’. Founder of the multidisciplinary design studio FALA. Currently lives and works in Poznań.