Someone else, Socato Gallery, Wrocław 20.01-04.02.2017


Karolina Jaklewicz, Etyka przemocy. About the works of Paweł Baśnik:

The need to inflict pain upon paintings is puzzling. Willingness to cut, destroy, hurt. Willingness to spoil what has been created with painter’s inquisitiveness before. Is it a blow to the category of beauty? Is it a rebellion against the ideal? Brutality destroys the danger of superficial aestheticization. But isn’t it an alternative version of beauty itself? Hasn’t destruction become just as aestheticizing? We are used to the image of destruction. The media shows dramas to us in an acceptable version. Images of suffering become icons of the present. We have grown accustomed to suffering. Photographs of children from Aleppo next to the photo of an athlete, over a pop star, under a politician. Somehow, equally. Dangerous democracy on the main page of the portal. “The image as shock and the image as cliché are two aspects of the same presence” writes Susan Sontag. Destruction as pain and destruction as beauty are two images of bipolar contemporary perception. We become equally insensitive to beauty and pain. Sontag believes that photography has tame the suffering: Being a spectator of calamities taking place in an other countryis a quintessential modern experience”. Paweł Baśnik begins his paintings with photography. These retro-photos are the starting point for further painting stories. Stories about passing, disappearing, dying. Baśnik’s art fits in two trends of young art – work with photography and deconstruction of the painting structure. Photography in its smooth carnality takes away tangible dimension from suffering. Grasping the suffering on the basis of photography, means knowing it from experience. Because photography gives the suffering the dimension of optical illusion. Painting is tangible. The materiality of the painting surface destruction is real, it is here and now. The destruction of the painted photograph is a double game of Baśnik. It is an attack made on an illusion that “this” suffering does not apply to us, that “this” suffering is safely captured by photography. The destruction of the painting concerns us directly. Because we face ourselves in the face of the painting. Because looking at the torn-off face of a portrayed woman, we automatically check whether our skin is in place.                                                                                                                                                                                Karolina Jaklewicz