Jacek Malinowski’s art balances between reality and the lie. He makes quasi-documentary films in which average people tell stories about their life and problems. The images presented by the artist are never authentic. We sense the discrepancy, but it is difficult to determine the edge of truth and the reasons for our disorientation.
Malinowski employs this favored strategy in his new project, the film The Celebration of Erwin Koloczek, now being presented at Nova Gallery.
The main character is Erwin Koloczek, a fictional everyman who represents the social status and position specific to an average coal miner. The artist picked this particular occupation on purpose. He feels it is the most difficult, most dangerous, least comfortable and worst paid job ever. Malinowski found its contrast in the life of celebrities. He mixes these opposing worlds, achieving a destabilization of the conventional roles arrogated to those professions.
Erwin Koloczek and his friends talk about genius, satisfaction, talent, spontaneity, creativity, and success. It appears a normal conversation, but the dialogs are more typical of those conducted by celebrities: they always say how much they love their job and how nice is to work in general. In contrast to the stereotypical looks and lifestyle of miners, what they say in the film seems odd and artificial.
The artist puts himself in the role of demiurge, playing a game with the observer, who must determine his own way of dealing with the divergent inconsistencies. His film is a mystification. It is very difficult to identify why the contrarieties of the video image are so disconcerting. Maybe it’s because all sentences spoken in the film are realistic direct quotations from quite different personalities than those uttering them.
Jacek Malinowski’s video is accompanied by a presentation of photos made during work on the project.
Jacek Malinowski – The Celebration of Erwin Koloczek
(April 27-May 16)
Nova Gallery, ul. Kochanowski 10