ARCO Madrid 2015 / Angelika Markul, Aleksandra Waliszewska

Typology of Violence

25.02 — 01.03.2015

Angelika Markul, Aleksandra Waliszewska

Typology of Violence / ARCO Madrid 2015


Opening Section / Booth: 9OP13


The question about the source of violence systematically reoccurs in human consciousness. The force is a cohesive theme of the work of two diverse artists: Angelika Markul and Aleksandra Waliszewska. The intention of this proposal is not just to shock with violence presented in the work. The destructive forces of these artists are hidden or concealed at various levels.
Angelika Markul’s artistic search focuses on the exploration of uncontrollable forces of nature, which becomes rather a source of danger, often of fatal and destructive consequences. Her works perpetuate the visions of these forces, or their effects – an example of which is the installation created from felt panels with a clear texture, coated with black wax. Wax in Markul’s works constitutes a metaphor for the occurred destruction, as in her other works, in which wax covers plants or animal fur. Black wax mummifies the act of violence. The artist’s actions make one reflect upon the nature of the juggernaut. Is nature capable of violence, or is it an exclusive attribute of man? If so, how should we define these “destructive explosions” of nature? It’s hard to consider neutral such forces as those able to flatten entire cities. The sources of this act of violence begin to be attributed to the demonic forces which give anthropomorphic qualities to the whimsical Mother Nature.
Alexandra Waliszewska’s gouaches are characteristic for a constant mixing of several distinctive motifs – small predacious girls, wild animals, blood, violence and eroticism penetrating each other in a fairy-tale style. Violence in the art of Waliszewska’s has very narrative character, but also ambivalent. Scenes of violence played out in a dark landscapes which conceals monsters and murderous children. However, they are covered with an extraordinary aura of eroticism, which fascinates rather than repels with the presented performances of horror. Waliszewska’s works also require a big approximation between the viewer and the manifestations of violence. Their small size (35 x 25 cm) and arrangement which cover entire surface of the wall require perturbing the distance. The viewer, willing to see what hides in the dark lanscapes of Waliszewska’s must lean, physically getting closer to the epicenter of the violence. One can then decide whether visual aggression repels or attracts.
Each of the artists – Markul and Waliszewska – raised the theme of violence from a personal perspective. Yet the subject is not easy – the forces are a threat, at the same time being very appealing. The artists have made attempts to approach the same phenomenon, its essence, concealed in various corners of reality; however, avoiding easily imposed moral judgments. These reveal the ambiguous nature of the acts of aggression, arousing the need for a change in a thinking manner associated with this dangerous category.

Show of LETO gallery at the ARCOmadrid 2015 International Contemporary Art Fair organized with support of Polish Cultural Institute in Madrid.


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