lokal 30 / WARSAW (Poland)
26.11.2016 – 11.02.2017

Monika is a scriptwriter and a playwright. Mateusz is an artist and an art historian. What they have in common is paper or, actually, a mania for paper. They indulge this passion in different ways – Monika compulsively collects almost all paper manifestations of graphic design. In her own words: I see my collection, which mostly comprises paper ephemera – from yellowed unwritten notebooks, via unused matchbox labels, blank address books, empty envelops, virgin writing sheets, wrapping paper that used to serve as covers for valuable books, to long out-dated pocket diaries, old maps and travel brochures, and paper bags every decent bookshop once used for packing, according to the biological definition of these objects as “short-living organisms which have adapted to adverse climatic conditions.” The items in my collection have survived in spite of being doomed to fleeting relevance, and the collection started and expanded entirely by chance – for instance, I never bid for anything, most of the things were bought in second-hand bookshops, at flea markets, found in rubbish: filched, received, purchased for next to nothing. I like the fact that they are so out of place in today’s world, inappropriate, inapposite, antiquated – the fact that their time has passed but they have succeeded in surviving in such a good shape. Or, actually, they have defeated time as this is how I see this useless collection, kept together only by my aesthetic instinct and flair for assembling things.
Mateusz’ collection contains numerous volumes and magazines from the days when a middling piece of clothing from the West was worth as much as an average salary for a clerk. Collecting, however, proved not enough for Mateusz. When he reached the stage when he could construct partition walls with the collection in his flat, he decided to use them in his work. This was how numerous cycles of pictures came to be. At first, there were figurative collages in which the artist utilized visual clichés from the history of art, conducting his own research into the memory of image and cultural memory. Then time came for cities – utopian conglomerations of modernist buildings, with an occasional human figure passing between them. Searching for a new impulse in piles of old magazines, Szczypiński also began to create collages/pictures on the basis of old crosswords solved years ago. Handled by Szczypiński, this visual foundation has turned out to offer many possibilities. The artist chooses the monotonous grid filled in with a pen or a pencil to be the starting point. The play begins when he gets down to filling them with oil paint. This act of entering into interaction with a stranger who once amused him or herself by doing a crossword, brings to mind the architectural practice of putting up a building on the foundations of an old one. Szczypiński uses the basis/construction to transform the crossword into a multicoloured abstract composition. This method could be expected to produce a rather repetitive effect but the artist cannot stop himself from playing with the idea and, every now and then, unique pieces appear upon the ‘good old’ crossword. The visual motif has become a source of endless possibilities. The rock–paper–scissors exhibition is thus an encounter between two personalities and two collections. Displayed items from Powalisz’ collection have been selected by Szczypiński. Mateusz’ works to be presented at the shows have been chosen by Monika. This is going to be a play, an arrangement of something new on the basis of what is already there, as well as mutual interpretation.

Courtesy of the artists and lokal 30