If you can, take absolutely nothing personal


Plaster relief in four parts, ea. 150 x 200 x 12 cm.
Installation in "Etwas Mehr als Arbeit" at Kunstverein Göttingen

Zakaz Palenie (No Smoking) 2020, watercolour and pencil on paper, 70 x 100 cm.

If you can, take absolutely nothing personal, 2020 is a staged proposal for a public sculpture for a typical concrete buttressed street in Warsaw, Poland. The figure’s bodies are fluidly distorted, sexually and gender ambiguous, and have the ability to speak. “Rest now, and if you can, take absolutely nothing personal”, is a small message of relief. The installation in the group exhibition “Etwas mehr als Arbeit” in the Kunstverein Göttingen includes a scale drawing, a production plan, and the life-sized plaster pieces of my proposal scattered through the room, as if they were in motion, either just about to be installed or have just been taken down.

The exhibition “Etwas mehr als Arbeit”, at the Kunstverein Göttingen shows a constellation of objects, materials, processes and documents from art and design, art production and restoration. The group exhibition examines the importance of handcraft and manufacture in contemporary art and examines the question of who, how and under what conditions is art produced and how knowledge of its production affects its perception.

I wanted to reflect on the socialist realist reliefs that I have seen in Poland since childhood that portrayed the proletariat, the workers of the marxist utopia, of coal miners, weavers, soldiers and farmers. I love their inflated bodies, their exaggerated lips and slavic cheekbones, but these stoic and impersonal figures also inevitably represent the brutal expectations of labourers under the communist regime. Under a capitalistic system, the representation hasn’t improved: no longer representing the expectations of every man and woman, now only of the labouring man and woman. My work is personal, as I knew that these strict expectations weighed heavily on my grandmother, my aunts, uncles and immediate family and continue to weigh heavily on people in Poland today. With this seemingly simple gesture, I want to relieve the pressure.
installation photos: Marius Land
drawing documentation: Gunter Lepkowski