Curated by Post Brothers
Krolikarnia X. Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture, Warsaw 2013
I will explain the motion by which the generative bodies of matter
give birth to various things, and , after they are born, dissolve them once more…
-Lucretius, De Rerum Natura
Clinamen integrates recent projects by the artist Iza Tarasewicz with selections from the collection of the Krolikarnia and various departments of the National Museum of Warsaw. The exhibition is titled after the ancient Roman philosopher and poet Lucretius’ description of a spontaneous and unpredictable “swerve” or deviation in the motion of atoms—the smallest possible initial turbulence. Lucretius proposed the clinamen as a sudden capricious rhythm that at once leans bodies toward one another and breaks them apart, reshuffling relations to make all things manifest. Clinamen highlights Tarasewicz’s sensitive examination and transformation of common and base materials as a complex interpretive exercise—aggregating, deconstructing, and reorienting physical, social, historical, and ideological systems.
In general, Tarasewicz’s objects and arrangements resist the binary of natural/artificial. She joins ordinary, ignoble materials such as clay, plaster, concrete, gold, steel, glass, tar, animal fat, skin, fur, intestines, plasticine, plant fibers, dung, and ash. Often bordering on hylozoism (the concept that all matter and non-matter has life), her works serve as temporary conduits for a meeting of substances, energies, locations, temporalities, and concepts, events in a continuous series of material and symbolic interactions. By identifying a correlation between the principles of the clinamen and the idiosyncratic ways Tarasewicz combines, deconstructs and redirects materials, this exhibition asserts that objects are not static entities, but things in constant fluctuation.
Clinamen also demonstrates a certain “swerve” through the collection itself—the material, historical, and ideological properties of the Krolikarnia have been placed under examination by intuitively selecting marginal archival images and artifacts and juxtaposing them with Tarasewicz’s works. Objects from the past and present are resignified through direct interaction. As an instance of neo-classical “Stanislavian style” architecture, the building itself expresses an ideological legacy of static equilibrium and “reason,” which linearly connects the present and ancient times just as the museological apparatus itself similarly organizes all things under an empirical and chronological rubric. The windows of each gallery have been left uncovered to connect inside and outside and bathe the displayed objects in the glow of light from the surrounding park. The Krolikarnia can be seen as a site of shifting relations between humans and nature, of haphazard and socially bound histories, of the display of objects and representations and traces, and these foundations are interrupted by an unanticipated tilt, deviating from the tidiness of these systems. By opting for an instinctive approach that abstractly interprets and recontextualizes the images and artifacts, Tarasewicz emphasizes the bare materiality of the works in the collection. She articulates certain properties and histories while equally signifying a contingency, distance or deficiency in rational knowledge to access such properties. Just as her own materials serve as speculative indexes of actions and processes, the ruins found in the archives are regarded as incomplete, in continuing processes of creation, destruction, reinterpretation, and redirection.