Bownik. No title
Place: Gdańsk City Gallery 2, Powroźnicza street 13/15
Openning: 7th of July, 6:00 P.M.
Exhibion: 7th of July - 27th of August 2017
Curator: Monika Weychert
Bownik’s works are often exhibited in cycles connected to each other by a post-conceptual key, although an inattentive onlooker might easily be mislead by them and see them as a ‘note from reality.’ Cycles are created in rhythms that might be called artist’s research projects dedicated to different cultural phenomena and including a range of learned annotations and references. Photos are however no documentation, they are laboratory work rather: Bownik arranges situations, reconstructs objects, and often creates impossible and unnatural experimental situations. These collections of paintings are also bound by the clause of choice of the photographic pattern that is solely utilitarian: such as forensic or museum photography; historical, and sometimes referring to strategies used by young people for creating their avatars for Facebook profiles.
What will happen however if we shatter this order, so well-known to us? The exhibition at the Gdańsk City Gallery breaks all coherent narrations and strategies accompanying the creation of Bownik’s works, but also perceptual habits of recipients thereof. Cycles fall apart and undergo recontextualisation or reinterpretation. As Walter Benjamin used to say: Just as the work of art in prehistoric times, through the exclusive emphasis placed on its cult value, became first and foremost an instrument of magic which only later came to be recognized as a work of art, so today, through the exclusive emphasis placed on its exhibition value, the work of art becomes a construct with quite new functions. Among these, the one we are conscious of the artistic function may subsequently be seen as incidental.
The exhibition also includes works from the East-West cycle of which the co-author is Marcelina Guni.
Bownik (born in 1977)
A graduate of philosophy at the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin and of photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. The most well-known works of the artists include cycles of photos: Gamers, E-Słodowy, Koleżanki i koledzy [Friends] and Disassembly. Author’s photo book, Disassembly, published by Mundin, won the main prize in the 2014 Photographic Publication of the Year and was nominated for the 2014 Kassel Photobook Award. Bownik’s works are included in collections in, among others, Museum In Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, The ING Polish Art Foundation, and private collections.