Interviews / Reviews

Czego się nie dotknę, na co nie spojrzę / Whatever I touch, whatever I see, aut./ by prof. Zbigniew Tomaszczuk

About the exhibition Whatever I touch, whatever I see, text from exhibition catalogue by Professor Zbigniew Tomaszczuk
The set of works by Izabela Maciusowicz is a photographic part of the exhibition, entitled Whatever I touch, whatever I see, shared with the paintings of Katarzyna Ferworn-Horawa. The work carried out in the two different media makes me reflect about their characteristics. The question arises as to how these different works complement each other or how they affect each other. To answer this question, it is worth capturing the fundamental difference in the way photography and painting are made. A painting is realized over time. The plane on which the image is created fills up step by step. The painting process can be interrupted and continued at any time. The photograph is created on one plane when the light is released into the photosensitive recorder. The dilemma, that arises at this point, concerns the painting works that arise from the imprint of the artist's body, close to the actions of Yves Klein with traces of naked bodies immersed in blue paint. This makes the body imprint comparable here to the light imprint in the photographic material. This also means that these media do not compete and wrestle with each other, but create different possibilities for interpretation. Therefore, an exhibition which is a kind of dialogue between photography and painting can be interesting, especially when there is a common idea behind it, expressed in the title of the exhibition. I will stop at the photo works. Referring to the title of the exhibition, I ask myself the question of the touch in photography. It is, on the one hand, an objective touch by the light of the photographed space, enabling the creation of a photo at all, and what constitutes subjective possibilities for creating photographs, "touch of the eye" of the photographer. "Touch of the eye" I understand as the art of looking, the ability to isolate coherent frames from the surrounding reality. The world is not made up of individual units. The frame, on the other hand, is such a unit. Therefore, creative photography is not about documenting a part of the environment, but about recording how it is perceived. The physical touch of matter in the case of painting works, of course, has a performative dimension, because besides everything, it is a struggle of the body, especially in the case of works by Katarzyna Ferworn-Horawa based on the convention of gesture painting. The photos of Isabela Maciusowicz seem to be a struggle of the eye. Today, in times of excessive imaging, we appreciate painting as an individual contact with matter, but we also appreciate photographs that are distinguished by their visuality from the mass of mechanically produced images. This visual message can be clearly seen in the photos of Maciusowicz. For me, the basic quality of these photographs is their contemplative value. We are used to the fact that the flood of digitally created photographs trigger rejection. Photos of Isabela Maciusowicz, on the other hand, encourage you to stop to look for longer. Minimalist aesthetics, which evokes comparisons with modest Japanese graphics, represent a visual opposition to the aggressive world of modern visual culture. The second part of the title of the exhibition – whatever I see, seems to provoke the claim that it is the mentioned gaze of the photographer that turns the banal surroundings into images of originality. At the same time, it proves the fact that in the painting that touches the matter of the canvas, it is equally important to see the artist’s ability to pick out an intriguing form from the energetic gesture of the body. The clash of expression and contemplation is, in this case, the media complementing each other and their conversation with each other. There is another important feature of the photographs of Isabela Maciusowicz, namely the very careful use of color. Photos based on monochrome planes emphasize the fleeting moment that photography can stop, and in this stop focus our attention on a single detail, a small element, a kind of "Barthes’s punctum", or referring to Walter Benjamin, recall the loss of the aura of the photo as a result of mass reproduction.
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