...the subject of egoism*

WRO Art Center and Werkleitz Festival 2021 / June 18, 8:00 PM

An execution that takes the form of suicide.
When there is no more chance to escape, in intimidation, in silence, I choose the way of self-cutting, in silent protest of man.
*the subtitle refers to the book “Fabula rasa, czyli rzecz o egoizmie” by Edward Stachura

This performance will be another return to the motif of man-tree, ever present in Tomasz Domański’s works. It began with a find from 2007 – a piece of tree, empty on the inside, covered with bark on top, bringing to mind an organic shell abandoned by a powerful animal. When the artist put it on, it became his shelter, his solitude, but also his armor and a vehicle for transformation: “Physically and mentally I almost became a tree. I wandered with the hollowed out trunk on my back imagining various projections; I experienced the weight of the cross, the loneliness of Don Quixote, and even participated in personal tree therapy as I walked the streets and fields embraced by the tree. My dead trunk provided me with a super natural feeling of belonging to the ecosystem […].” – he wrote about the experience. It resulted in the video work I Am More Tree Than a Person, two parts of which were made in 2008.  These are recordings showing Domański wandering like a hermit crab through natural and urbanized landscapes. In 2010 both video parts were included in the installation “The Return of the Man Called a Tree”, where they were watched next to swaying trunks, moved like pendulums by the audience. In this installation, touch, movement, and the poignant sound of wooden blocks being pushed by hands build an unsettling experience for the participants. These works are far from didactic, infused with the environmental concerns of an unwitting participant in the Anthropocene.

Tomasz Domański (PL)

Tomasz Domański was born in 1962 in Giżycko. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, where he received his diploma in sculpture in 1993, and in 2003 he defended his doctoral thesis, the subject of which was ephemeral sculpture as a relative monument. He is the author of sculptures, installations, objects, performances, drawings and photographs. The artist works mostly with natural materials: water, ice, fire, wood, straw, ash, metal, using their specific processes. He creates films and animations as an integral part of many works. In 1995-96 he was awarded a scholarship by Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He has received five grants from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and from numerous foundations and institutions, including Pollock-Krasner (twice) from New York, CEC ArtsLink from New York, Laurenz Foundation from Basel, Montag Stiftung Bildende Kunst from Bonn, UNESCO-Aschberg from Paris, KulturKontakt from Vienna, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb from New York. In 1997 he was nominated for “Polityka” Passports. In the same year, he represented Poland at the 9th Art Triennial in New Delhi. Tomasz Domański’s works can be found in the collections of such institutions as: The Lower Silesian Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts (Wrocław), The National Museum in Wrocław, Wrocław Contemporary Museum, The Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. The artist has taken part in 70 solo exhibitions and over 150 group ones. Since 2002 in the village Komorowice in Lower Silesia he has been realizing the project of the symbiotic sculpture garden Wieżogród. Major solo exhibitions: Time Machine, Wrocław Contemporary Museum (2021), Monuments of Time / Retrospective, Centre of Polish Sculpture, Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, Orońsko (2020), Monuments of Time / Retrospective, Centre for Science and Art, Museum of Industry and Technology, Old Mine, Walbrzych (2019), Jacob’s Dream – European Capital of Culture. Wrocław 2016; installation in public space (2016), Square Dome – European Capital of Culture – Umeå 2014, Sweden. Another object from the series Monuments of Time made of ice and steel was created in front of the Town Hall in the city of Umeå (2014), Middle Age – Wro Art Center, Wrocław; multimedia exhibition (2011), Recycling Program – Avant-garde BWA, Wrocław; series of objects, paintings, collages and films, sparingly sculptural realizations in elementary materials (2008), Ephemeral Sculpture – Relative Monument – doctoral exhibition, Museum of Architecture, Wrocław (2003), Acropolis – National Museum, Wrocław, installation referring in form to the ancient temple, changing through the centuries into an industrial Technochram of the 21st century (1999).

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