artgenève 2016 / Angelika Markul, Konrad Smoleński, Radek Szlaga

Angelika Markul, Konrad Smoleński, Radek Szlaga

Out of Limits / artgenève 2016

27 — 31.01.2015

Angelika Markul, Konrad Smoleński, Radek Szlaga

Out of Limits / artgenève 2016

 

Booth: D9, Hall 2

 

 
The hidden desire to conquer and rule manifests itself in human nature in a way that is both unpredictable and aggressive. The control we have over our temptations and instincts by day can give way to compulsion after sundown. The shape they take on reveals the darkness of our desires, appearing in many different guises.

In the object “Untitled”, Angelika Markul transforms natural elements, such as wax, leather and felt into animated, animal-like forms. The structure and appearance of these tangled, intermingled bits of cord and flesh become a visual rendition of enslavement and subordination. The unbridled power conjured up through her work is often the result of a clash between opposing, antagonistically driven forces, in which one is always moving to subdue the other.

An old stereo speaker which has been disassembled and crushed is presented with its parts arranged in the shape of a geometric form reminiscent of the logo of the band Black Flag – a pioneer of hardcore punk. Musical references to punk are a significant component within the works of Konrad Smoleński, which focus on how energy is transformed, how it escalates and what it leaves behind. The remains of the speaker hold the history of an amalgam of sounds which have erupted, but which have since been silenced and forced back inside of it through the destructive action of a steamroller. Smoleński uses this silence to declare his dominance over our audiosphere.

The paintings within Radek Szlaga’s “Heart of Darkness” series have been inspired by the writings of Joseph Conrad, referring to the desire for subjugation that is deeply rooted in the colonial exploitation of Africa. In Szlaga’s work, these gestures are not simply an archeological exercise in examining the past and reading history, but very much vested in the present. He finds similar strategies and rhetoric at play today at an everyday level, on a global scale. The crimes and humiliating memories reworked within his narrative come around full circle, striking us with their relevance with regard to what is happening around us today.