Małgorzata Goliszewska – ostatnia i pierwsza osoba musi mieć psa

07.02— 07.03.2015

The life of the spirit may be fairly represented in diagram as a large acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal parts with the narrowest segment uppermost. The lower the segment the greater it is in breadth, depth, and area.
The whole triangle is moving slowly, almost invisibly forwards and upwards. Where the apex was today the second segment is tomorrow; what today can be understood only by the apex and to the rest of the triangle is an incomprehensible gibberish, forms tomorrow the true thought and feeling of the second segment.

Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1912

In her artistic pursuits Małgorzata Goliszewska navigates through the field of documentary, experimenting with the form. Hers isn’t, however, a classic approach to the form. Rather, it is a pushing of boundaries and testing the ways in which documentation can be prodded into another register entirely. What is interesting about her art can be probed with the question of how one might document that which appears entirely “undocumentable”. The exhibition “the last and first person must have a dog” is also the fruit of her struggle with the documentary structure, which, as it were, the artist is essentially shifting away from. This time she turns inwards, releasing herself from the constant constraints of looking to the reality that lies beyond.

Over three years Goliszewska recorded the sounds she made in her sleep, sounds that she had heard about from others, but which she hadn’t remembered making, sounds that came about, it would seem, outside of the artist’s own consciousness. Her curiosity led her to start recording these sounds. The recordings depict a range of sounds, from inarticulate noises and smacking lips to words, phrases and songs. The recordings formed a sort of sleep journal. The automatic recording, or rather, the documentation, makes up one of the main parts of the exhibition. The use of the term “sleep” to refer to her utterances ought to be rectified – the artist’s voice is far from monotonous or sluggish. The words and phrases are articulated in a remarkably expressive manner – woven through with astonishment, enthusiasm and engagement. In some instances it’s almost impossible to believe it’s the voice of someone who’s asleep.

In the midst of these broken sentences, a linear scope and narrative structure are impossible to reconstruct – they are governed by an inverse logic that escapes traditional reasoning. We have, thus, the title of the exhibition, taken from the sleeping artist’s first recorded uttering, which doesn’t follow any rules of grammar or punctuation, it knows no commas or capital letters. Goliszewska stakes out her own self in a situation where “I” becomes completely alien and unpredictable. It’s still her voice, her manner of speaking and articulation, but the words are no longer familiar or even recognizable. Phrases that she would never have consciously said out loud have been registered. These recordings give her the chance to get to know herself anew. Sleeping Goliszewska welcomes waking Goliszewska.

The journey into the self, which has become the primary driver for the works on show, takes place not only through the recording of the brain’s nighttime activities. The entire project behind the exhibition is drawn from the many layers of the subconscious and faithfully reproduced within the gallery space. In effect, Goliszewska dreamed up the exhibition thanks to hypnosis or intentional dreaming. The process and the place where the concept for the exhibition came about are its most important points of reference. Its shape was not “conceived” or created by the artist’s rational mind, but instead it seeped directly from the areas of the subconscious that had been activated using these particular techniques. The objects on show, derived from dreams and hypnotic states, make up a coherent collection of symbols, transported into the real space of the gallery. The nature of the entire show is that of a structure open to the interpretation of dreams. The real author of the exhibition is, rather, Goliszewska asleep, and her main subject – the subconscious.

The exhibition “the last and first person must have a dog ” is a documentary and a narrative about the subconscious, which comes from the subconscious and impacts the viewer’s own subconscious. In one of her dreams Goliszewska saw a strong energy field manifest itself in the gallery. In order to make this vision real, she used a Merkivy Alfa, created by Michał Papierski – an instrument derived from the esoteric traditions that see the gallery space transformed in a Place of Power. The Merkiva is a geometric form, made up of tetrahedrons (four-sided shapes) that overlap, with semi-precious stones specifically arranged throughout. Standing beneath it is said to have a positive impact on a human being’s aura, improving the circulation of energy, expanding the mind, as well as improving the bio-electric activity of the brain, increasing, for example, the work of Theta waves. These waves appear primarily in the course of meditation, hypnosis, the experience of intense emotional states, and also in dreaming. Goliszewska’s nighttime recordings came about thanks to Theta waves. The artist strives to create a situation in which a gallery visitor can turn inwards and approach the state that is the source and focus of the exhibition.

The exhibition “the last and first person must have a dog” is an act within which documentary strategies have led Goliszewska into an area that ultimately appears to have little to do with documentary. How, then, to transfer a formula that is meant to produce a factual record into the realm of the subconscious or even the spiritual? In using the direct format of recording and sharing with others those parts of the human mind that are more difficult to grasp, the artist appears to shatter such obstacles. Goliszewska’s practice is not driven by her taking inspiration from the subconscious or bringing esoteric elements into her work. Rather, she sets her focus on the very process of precise, perhaps even naïve, observation and on the truest transmission of elements rising from the depths of the psyche into the realm of visual arts. While it may sound like a paradox, the exhibition “the last and first person must have a dog” is a documentary of the subconscious.

The show is crowned with a song, or rather, the looped phrase: “but I don’t know how that goes in life”, sung by Goliszewska in a hypnotic tone. The phrase becomes a mantra springing from doubts concerning “real-life” and a reversal towards the reality of sleep and one’s own inner workings. After years of documenting the outside world, Goliszewska has chosen to follow the words of Jung: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes”.

 

Małgorzata Goliszewska
b. in 1985, she lives and works in Szczecin
A fifth-year student of Multimedia at the Art Academy in Szczecin. She works across various media (film, installation, performance, audio), placed between the domain of contemporary art and documentary film. She completed the Polska.doc documentary workshop series (2011) and a documentary course at Wajda’s Film School (2012). She won the 13th edition of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition (Artystyczna Podróż Hestii, 2014). In 2011 she debuted her film “Dress Me” (trans. “Ubierz mnie”). She has taken part in numerous international residency programs (Indonesia, Holland, Latvia, Finland and Spain). Her works have been shown in international group shows, such as the Youth Triennale in Orońsk (2012), Pavilion 0, Palazzo Donna in Venice (2013), WRO Biennale 2013 in Wrocław (2013), at Keret’s House in Warsaw (2014) and at Spectra Art Space in Warsaw (2015).
She is the founder of the art group “miłość” (trans. “love”), which counts Rafał Żarski, Martyna Szwinta, Lonia Kaniuk and Mikołaj Tkacz among its members.

curator: Sebastian Gawłowski