Where the convenient possibility to use a variety of objects is scarce, the cleverness begins. Thinking about how to change one-purpose objects into multifunctional tools accompanies every traveler who would prefer not to carry excess kilograms on his back. After all, it is better not to worry about what is missing in your backpack while travelling and to use what you have in many different ways.

In the Skeletons project we have two opposing concepts: minimum and maximum. ‘Minimum’ applies to the use of a minimum number of items, carefully selected, weighed, tightly packed and carried in a backpack during my trips (aluminum tent frame, tent pegs, string), whereas ‘maximum’ to the possibility to use them in multiple ways. Spatial arrangements made of a string-stretched aluminum tent frame were created during my trips to the Altiplano in Bolivia, Atacama Desert in Chile, and the Nazca Plateau in Peru. The shapes of the line cut the space, set points, curves and angles, define significant planes of emptiness, disturb the sense of distance. The project shows the potential of sculptural possibilities in radically raw space. The skeleton as the initial structure, but also the remnant and the last trace generates the possibility of conceptual addition and disassembly of sculptural matter onto layers based on the layout constructed by the lines. The ability to reassemble and unfold this installation becomes a ritual – a repetitive activity which constitutes a way to observe and remember the places during my trips. This place gains a unique meaning, is discovered just like white spot on the map, becomes at this particular moment the centre of the universe for me, the distant location which was my destination, the finale of the difficult venture. This way, a tent, a portable house, becomes a material carrying ideas and thus, a multifunctional object.


Michał Smandek

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