Dariusz Kowalski

Zwischenfälle

Dariusz Kowalski

Zwischenfälle

Exhibition

12 Dec –12 Jan 2012

Opening

11 Dec 19:00

Location

Bauernmarkt 9, 1010 Wien

Thanks to

Sammlung Leniku

Photography Sober cityscapes and deserted scenes; they attract the cinematic gaze of filmmaker and media artist Dariusz Kowalski. In doing so, Kowalski works with latent images of observation, with which he recalls the control aesthetics of surveillance systems. His theme is the inflation and instrumentalization of images - images as tools of institutionalized control and the increasing disorientation in a constantly accelerating flow of images.

Mario Blum, Wilfried Vetter

Sober cityscapes and deserted scenes; they attract the cinematic gaze of filmmaker and media artist Dariusz Kowalski. In doing so, Kowalski works with latent images of observation, with which he recalls the control aesthetics of surveillance systems. His theme is the inflation and instrumentalization of images — images as tools of institutionalized control and the increasing disorientation in a constantly accelerating flow of images.

As much as he is interested in the discourse on the relationship between image, control, and power, which brings to mind Foucault's ‘Surveillance and Punishment’, as well as the loss of identity in a reality overgrown by images, Dariusz Kowalski's images are, however, animated by artistic ambivalence and sometimes an almost impressionistic-romantic beauty.

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In his media-critical cinematic work, he resorts to the artistic means of acceleration, repetition, and the loop. In his films, the images oscillate between standstill and restlessness. Real-time, time-lapse, and time-slowing determine the dramaturgy of the films and thus lend a sense of uncertainty and powerlessness. They lead into a strangely familiar and at the same time unknown, unreal world far away from individuality and belonging. They are zones of transition and movement: Airport concourses, supermarkets, streets. Places that seem interchangeably similar, even emblematic of the loneliness and desolation of postmodern life. Places of existential homelessness, as Heidegger once called them. Nevertheless, Kowalski's pictures contain poetic moments of melancholy and symphony for a world in which people fight for their individuality and self-respect. People in search of their lost selves.

In his work ‘Zwischenfälle’ (Incidents), created under a common title, Kowalski shows two video works and photo prints at the Neuer Kunstverein Wien. The double projection tells of the surveillance recordings made by the Polish secret service in the 1980s. Recordings made over several years of the street in Nowa Huta, Poland, where the worker Bogdan Wlosik was murdered by the secret service. From the composition of image and text, the projection becomes a private commentary on the absurdity of the communist system of control. The other video work is a photomontage in which Kowalski connects private and public life by combining photographs from his personal, private photo archive with the archive of a stranger.

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Michal Budny, Rafal Bujnowski