The Directory of Artists

Edward £azikowski

Obiekt  104A, 1987 z cyklu Fragtory
OBIEKT~1Z cyklu "Fenomeno-Post-Postacie", fotografia
Z cyklu "Fenomeno-Post-Postacie", fotografiaZ cyklu "Fenomeno-Post-Postacie", fotografia"Do czysta i do sucha", 2013

Edward £azikowski is the type of artist who auto-comments on his own works. This places him among those artists who develop not only the art forms but also art consciousness. The theoretical part of his art is very extended and it crosses the horizons of his own art and suggests a general reflection, which refers to the actual situation of art. Also, the literary style of his texts sometimes adopt a poetic form which causes the language of the art discourse to find an additional grounding in the expression and emotions presented in text form.

£azikowski’s artworks and the content of his texts are tightly related. But the relationship is not only about the adequacy of the word and visual forms, the correct phrases or the adequacy of metaphors or finally the philosophical truth expressed by them. The connection results from the fact that it’s rooted in a conceptual art tradition, which in the seventies was blooming within the £ód¼ milieu. At the same time conceptualism in £ód¼ presented itself in many versions and paths of development, “schools” from which artists could take inspiration, starting with the tradition of the constructivist avant-garde and finishing with the (then) newest photo and film media. All these conceptual art trends were connected with the work not only through their form, but also through their awareness; the belief that developing a theoretical basis of art leads the artistic work to new, innovative results. The true avant-garde were only interested in such. The artists of that time were connected with the belief that good theory is the basis of good art. The results of this way of thinking are impressive and instructive for younger, aspiring artists. Coming back to £azikowski’s art, it was this approach, this atmosphere of conceptual £ód¼ which was the pre-source of his artistic concept.

£azikowski is a par excellence intermedia artist. In his practice he connects not only visual and textual form. He works with the space and creates installations, very often site-specific which he connects with performance. More precisely one should say, he includes live action into installations or objects. A spatial visual structure becomes this way supplemented by the presence of the artist. The material character of the work becomes complemented by the psycho-physical condition of the artist himself and to say it more general – the condition of a human being. Art becomes anthropologised. It opens a field for deeply humanist interpretations which talk about the subjectivity of art and its ability to liberate the individual. This kind of agreement between the visual form and the human condition ensures the intermediality of his works. The intermedia method is about connecting elements so that they merge into something new, a new medium. It is a dialectic method. Creativity based on intermedia dialectics is very difficult. It requires the artist to use a medium, plus various media, often of various characteristics and features, and at the same time to contradict the nature of this medium, destroy it in order to create something new. Something, which on the one hand keeps its characteristics but at the same time has other ones, which do not belong to the primary, initial medium. It is a contradiction which is difficult to cross and which is a big challenge for intermedia artists (hence everlasting discussions as to whether a given artist “really” is an intermedia artist).

£azikowski using a method of intermedia dialectic includes his body into a sculpture (installation). Then those two factors – the sculptural matter (installation) and the body blend into one. It is a situation which models one’s presence in the space, also one’s common, everyday presence in the real space in which we function. For a moment or for longer we enter a given space and we create a space and time continuum with it. An example of such work and an illustration of intermedia dialectics was a work devised in 1979 in the ¦lad Gallery run by Janusz Zagrodzki. £azikowski stood in front of the wall covered with posters in the pose of a “Vitruvian Man” and was covered with a white canvas (as if it was a poster) with a sign: “Personal appeal”. The canvas was then nailed to the wall around the contour of his body and he was standing like this for 12 minutes. An image – a relief emerged, and at the same time the body immobilised like this, evoked a psychological experience, which was a par excellence performer’s experience. Based on a similar principle he “built himself into” structures-sculptures (since 1982, Frozen performance). He also moved them, first slowly, then with more and more sudden movements, until the objects were destroyed. This kind of action (interaction) with a sculpture (installation) was repeated by him multiple times in various configurations, scale, sometime truly monumental, or with various expression. In the QQ Gallery (1992) the motion of the artist strapped to the structure of an installation was associated with a sound layer. It was therefore a kind of ballet, or modern dance. The artist’s movements were correlated with the rhythm and tempo of the sounds. So the action had a modular structure, not linear, which would aim at destruction. The finale was the artist’s “liberation”, so in the interpretative layer, the artist gained independence and freed himself from art as a matter – what remained was the man with his condition and individuality. In 2005 he made a performance in the Patio Gallery in £ód¼ entitled Micro/macro zone, which included spreading around the dust that remains after woodworking. Photographic and film documentation of that work became an independent work, as a set of trans media changes. On the same principle he also based his open air work Until it’s clean and dry.

The artist also published a book Fragtorisation of the world. The labyrinth of the reflections about the world’s form-creating processes (2004), which is so far the main presentation of his theoretical stance.

£ukasz Guzek

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