The Vanishing Ability to Rest

BWA Tarnów

05.07 – 24.08.2014

“Oh, it takes a great skill, being able to rest. Whenever I decide to have a rest, even for an hour or half an hour, I start to feel anxious; I feel almost physically that the time which flows through me speeds up, sweeping me up with it, and I can see nothing I could brace my legs against or hold on to”.
Wiesław Myśliwski “Ostatnie rozdanie” (part of the book)

The exhibition will be the first individual presentation of the artist’s work at the BWA Modern Gallery in Tarnów (as a member of the “Ośmiornica” group he had taken part in the “Polish Alphabet” series in 2009). In his works shown at the exhibition the artist compares their physical properties and permanent tension between them to the fatigue of human beings and their inability to rest, to which Myśliwski refers. In each of his works Smandek shows a state which the viewer has difficulty classifying as hard work or rest; an exhausting activity or idleness; tension or relaxation. In the work called Nothing More, Nothing Less, despite apparent statics there is hidden a great power of precise counterbalancing of weight and displacement. In the work called Tensor we don’t know whether the elements in the magnetic field are working hard or resting, floating freely; whether the movement of the balloons in the video Unnatural 2 portrays resistance, tiredness or just the opposite – rest. In the work called Drift the inflated balloons lifting rocks right above the water surface are working until there is enough air. When the weight becomes too heavy, the rock pulls the balloon to the bottom. Both elements are working until the moment of yielding. In the works at first glance nothing much is happening; it is only after grasping the laws of physics on which they are based that we discern the powerful forces working in them, shown in a subtle way.

The artist refers to the condition of modern societies and man in general, drawing attention to the vanishing ability of efficient rest, physical and psychical regeneration.