The Fetish of Fitness / 2017
In ancient religions, the term fetish meant an object – a talisman or amulet – believed to have magical power. The object was thought to have energy which could be released by means of particular rituals. In sexology, fetishism means attaining sexual gratification thanks to the presence of a stimulating object.
Modern times do not welcome magic or surrendering to instincts. Only a strong sense of reality and full control of every sphere of life guarantee success. Incessant work on the surroundings and your own body offers this sense of control over life as well as boundless opportunities for creating its every aspect. One of its manifestations is the ubiquitous mania for doing sports. The seemingly positive, health-promoting imperative for staying fit turns into addiction making people transform their bodies into living sculptures, but also yield to a whole range of sport-related elements. Fitness has become a way of life, a thief of time and money, a measure of social status and determinant of interpersonal relationships. Material objects are tangible symbols of this phenomenon. They include devices, machines and contraptions which have evolved from objects resembling instruments of torture to small, shapely gadgets that have become desirable fetishes themselves.
Maciej Kasperski’s objects are ceramics symbolically imitating their utilitarian counterparts. The perfectly made dumbbells, weights, bobs, kettlebells and gloves are idealised, proportional, beautiful gadgets. In reality, though, they have no practical application. They are reflections of modern-day fetishes-talismans with power embedded inside them. They are also fetishist objects making the human body perfect and desirable. In the process of creation, the artist went through everything fitness freaks go through before they reach their aim: he kept repeating the process of firing countless times until he got to the ultimate, perfect form.
Kasperski poses questions about the contemporary form of magic, rituals, attempted implantation of magical thinking into reality. In his narration, the modern man is entangled in a paradox: the more he tries to control life in all its aspects, the more he needs objects of cult which guarantee the control. At the same time, objects become symbols of social status resulting in a compulsion to pursue the unremitting, fervent struggle for perfection, a state which is both desired and unattainable.
curator: Alicja Klimczak-Dobrzaniecka
The Fetish of Fitness
Camera / Edit: Alicja Kielan
Sound: Michał Skrzypczyński
Breathing: Maciej Kasperski
Triplex System, The National Forum of Music / 2016
Resonances of Art in The National Forum of Music in Wroclaw.
10 works from the collection Triplex System was exhibited with other works selected artists from Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw.
Opening of the European Capital of Culture 2016.
Sequences of Touch / 2016
In a sequence the elements follow each other in a specific order. Sequence is organising systems and structures. The concept of the word relates not only to the object or the system of objects, but also the succession of time and order of appearance.
The relationship between successive objects within one cycle interests me. This order contains a specific code – logic, easily recognizable in every object. I juxtapose older works with the latest is to analyse the evolution of forms. As the defined cycles follow each other in a DNA sequence, thus providing a unique code, so in my works the cycles that I have produced in a certain chronological order represent my individual character.
All of my works revolve around the matter of touch, body, but also space and context. Often enough the starting point for my inspiration is the object and its function. I aim to achieve a shape, not so much organic (derived from nature) as sensual, affecting the senses, so that the aesthetic pleasure resulting from the visual sensation triggers the need to meet other, more direct ones, for example touch.
(A)symmetry / 2014
(A)SYMMETRY, Beata Mak-Sobota & Maciej Kasperski
NEON Gallery, Centre of Applied Art, Innovation Center, The E. Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, 2014
Two materials, two authors, two creative attitudes in which (a)symmetry plays an important role. Neon Gallery at the Wrocław Academy of Art and Design introduced a show under the title “(A)symmetry”, which appeared as a sort of a question about the role of symmetry and asymmetry in artistic quest. Symmetry is a source which both the authors take from, and the presentation showed the differences in inspiration. Symmetry is easy to trace down in geometrical vessels created by Mak-Sobota, whereas Kasperski’s objects, despite using symmetry, seem to be asymmetric in general reception. Symmetry understood as equality and similarity regarding axes and surfaces are the dominants of the glass exhibits, asymmetry as lack of this similarity, or even some kind of interference, is the rule applied in creation of the ceramic objects.
Kasperski by replacement of symmetric parts achieved a special formal value which derives from symmetry but eventually turns out to be asymmetric. Presented on exhibition the cycle of Ritual Objects, which applies this method, has synthetic bodies in shades of white, green, cobalt and earth colours, and work for the spectators mainly by the relations between light and shadow, and the proportions of scale between the two comprising elements. The juxtaposition of a synthetic block of a simplified shape and an element of a baluster profile, results in an item which refers us to tradition and ritual. The particular arrangements of these objects have become specific functional landscapes.
On the other hand Mak-Sobota’s Rocking Vessels are based on symmetry rules, and by applying bent elements the author puts them in a sort of balance. They have become unreal because of transparency of the material, being drawn in the space with their shiny edges the vessel forms balance, “hesitate” between equilibrium and movement. The motion is possible thanks to bows and spheres which co-create structure of the objects. The transparent surface, symmetry and instability are the parameters following which the cycle Rocking Vessels has been created.
These “mathematical” formal issues, which the authors of objects from the exhibition are engaged in, have turned out to be the ways to individual and creative use of geometry rules. As a result we have received two original worlds created in ceramics and glass, at the point where art meets design.
Worn Ceramics #2 / 2012
WORN CERAMICS #2
Eπcentrum Gallery, Jastrzebie Zdroj, 2012
Worn Ceramics is a collection from the borderline of fashion, in which specially suited ceramic objects are worn and presented in the way that resembles haute couture shows.
The action is an effect of searching for new forms of expression and creating a situation in which the way of exposing, the reception of sculpture and its character
change radically. I got interested by body transformation which resulted from moving the object literally onto models’ shoulders. This cycle was about finding the relation between body and an object. The aim was to make an abstract item which can be worn and presented this way. Worn Ceramics for a moment interferes with a body’s real nature. Thanks to which it can reveal its character in a new way. The body becomes an idea medium. When I was working on this cycle, I was thinking about sculpture which is not bound with one specific place but which becomes a mobile object that exists in unity with a person who wears it as an exceptional accessory. Each of them is unique, unrepeatable, and dominant in the person’s image. An object like this could work as an element accentuating importance or personality of the people who wear it. Thanks to these ceramic items it is possible to manifest own individuality. Why a precious object around
a neck cannot be bigger than usual and more visible? Certainly, the more specific it is, the louder message it communicates.
The role of a mutant object, transformed into something not easily defined though close is very important in my show. It is close because of a soft shape and perfect
matching the body like a mascot, “a pet” we tend to stroke and cuddle. Worn Ceramics is emotional and sensual experience in which the whole body is engaged. Its form and shape derives from an idea of an object – an amulet with a symbolic meaning. Then I used to call these items jewellery, as I associated them with peculiar necklaces or bangles. The name Worn Ceramics initially served as a working title to single out these new works from the others. It seemed banal, little original to me. After some time however I realised that it defines the items exactly. I refer to the essence of phenomenology in this way. As time went by it occurred that search engines relate this expression with my name – it appears in ten most relevant results.
Karesansui / 2012
Konduktorownia Gallery, Czestochowa, 2012
I was inspired by its interiors painted sterile white and neutral grey and the arrangement resembling a temple. I made my first cross-sectional exhibition there. Already after my first visit to the gallery I had no doubts about the character of my presentation. The aspect of contemplation, spirituality and references to the space were joining elements of the show. The sort of meditative ambiance prevailed. The show title Karesansui refers to Japanese gardens, dry landscape composed of stones, sand and gravel, spread over with special rake.
The empty spaces between the objects affect the visitors; subconscience and encourage ordering up and calming down. I left large empty space in the middle, which “welcomed” the audience and at the same time allowed them to have an overall view of the show. In Japan the space between the items has its own name defined as ma, i.e. interval. It is a classic term in perceiving the space by the Japanese. A perceptive organ is the whole body, memory as well as imagination. At the exhibition I showed solids made of little rollers, whose creation process could be compared to saying one’s beads: extended in time, repetitive and elaborate. I made use of the similarity of the hall’s arrangement to a church division. The sight was directed from the entrance towards the central work Set 12+1. In the bays I placed four other works (Ritual Objects, Samples, Worn Ceramics, Wrinkles), on the side walls there were title surfaces of Karesansui directly related to gravel gardens. Along the main part of the exhibition sculptures from the Triplex cycle and the cycles formed of little rollers were placed. The exhibition was of a totally different character, and particular compositions gained new layers of meaning. The Zen world intermingles with Christian symbols and harmony of forms.
To see or to use? / 2009
TO SEE OR TO USE?
Winda Gallery, Kielce, 2009
The spectrum of ideas included in the phrase to look or to use is wide and covers many different aspects. They range from usefulness to uselessness, from touch to avoiding touching, from a mass product to a unique product. I would like to reveal how close to each other the two separate worlds of applied art and so called high art are situated. How often it happens that they intermingle within these two areas.
Works from the collection Ctrl C and Ctrl V, which comprise three groups of ceramic objects: Triplex System, Non-functional Forms and SVC / SHC, were on exhibition.
On display there were also vessel-like forms (Cut Bowls and vases). The bowls and vases were designed in the way accentuating the impact of senses, especially the sense of touch. The scale matching human hands and the difference between smooth inside and rich in its texture outside were the means I have applied in order to intensify haptic stimuli.
Ctrl C, Ctrl V / 2007
CTRL C, CTRL V
BWA Glass and Ceramics Gallery, Wroclaw, 2007
The title of the collection of ceramic works Ctrl C, Ctrl V refers to two popular computer key combinations: copy, paste. A simple gesture allows as to copy and repeat endlessly a chosen piece of digital information in an uncomplicated way. While making these works I was thinking over the question of originality of a copy in the relation to a prototype. What kind of connection is there between the copied objects?
The collection consists of three groups of ceramic objects: Triplex System, Non-Functional Forms and SVC / SHC. Each of them refers to the question of repetition (of a shape, an idea or a gesture), at the same time linking them up with a mechanical reproduction, what is stressed by the titles of the works.