Doing nothing is an approach to research; it is a way of thinking and doing. Nevertheless, what you will discover for yourself, as you learn the art of doing nothing is that you are much more at home in the wilderness. No longer will you be so dependent on a lot of tools and gadgets; no longer will you need to shape the elements of nature to fit our western definitions. You will find you need less and less, until one day you find you need nothing at all. Then you will have the time on your hands so that you can choose to do nothing, or even to go do something.
Agnieszka Brzezanska’s paintings show arrested narratives, self-contained motifs, every single one a very different story. Their intensity derives from a total concentration on one single mundane object, monumentalized to an alienating point like the gigantic black electricity pole in 800 MHZ against a white sky. Ghostly creatures appear in an opaque staging, at times unsettling as in Painting which kills, or absurdly playful like the flying snowman in Venus.
A tropical forest soaked into burning red, with loosely sketched palm trees standing in a fire is titled the Sixth Extinction. The picturesque motif suddenly morphs into an apocalyptic scenario. But Brzezanska’s style of painting always keeps the drama at a hallucinatory matter of factness, a quite unique tension with which she treats her subjects.
Kept in grey tones, the painting Spectacle shows an anonymous crowd of people raising their arms in exaltation up to an illuminated void. The motif gives rise to a range of interpretation: it could be a religious assembly, a political mass event or a rave.
Agnieszka Brzezanska was born in Gdansk in the north of Poland, the legendary town of worker uprisings and the beginning of the Solidarnosch movement. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and later lived three years in Tokyo where she attended the National University of Fine Arts. Her work was shown at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and at the Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw.
Her paintings and photographic series are influenced by travel, intense observation of public spaces and literature. Her recent work reflects on new religious phenomena and their political implication, on mysticism, esoterica and on new science.
Is Nothing not Enough? is her first show in the United States.
There will be a talk by Agnieszka Brzezanska about Nothing at Residence (150 Stanton Street, Apt. 3) on Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 7 pm.