Anna Konik

Disco Relaxation

In the beginning there was a skull—a study of nature made out of polyester resins. Thanks to the mirrors stuck all over it, it reflected hundreds of lights while spinning around. The project was displayed at the exhibition titled Hidden Nature that presented the work of three artists at the Gallery A. R., which was once hosted by the Academia Theater at Targowa 80. This sculpture object evoking clear associations of vanitas has now become an art of individual exposition. It is an object that doesn’t merely allude to the concept of a memento mori, because its discotheque form doesn’t allow for that; it is also reminiscent of a death that has become familiar, death that one can feel at ease with.

In which direction does the sculpture activate our thoughts? It seems to lead us to a conclusion that there is nothing sacred in this world. The world, where everything might become an aesthetically presented product, made just for fun. There is something about it. Certain consequences of our existence are nothing but a sweet icing, a gold plating on a bare bone. Yet, at the same time this sweet icing is the way the world has been organized; a sort of a compact that people use to communicate. This is the way it is supposed to be. If someone is not able to accept these rules, their personal stories and genetic predispositions often place them in a spot that we call mental illness, or maladjustment. The rotating skull is accompanied by moving images of two people. The woman is caught in the middle of a hasty monologue, which, in its thesis, assumes that everything is all right. The man is singing his own poetry. They are the ones who aren’t able to share the common views on the world and human persona with us—at least not now, not at the moment.

The artist perceives certain forms of coexistence as fake and blocking. The skull, referring to a Warholian disco ball is, in a way, the sum of the dominant trends in a society of spectacle that wants to have fun at any price. It relates to people who aren’t authentic in their communication, even though they are living in a world in which every moment is precious. The world in which the ultimate is hidden underneath a thin layer. At the same time, while researching the behavior of ill people, showing their sensitivity, and by creating a therapeutic, relaxing space, it raises questions about an individual truth in spite of the world's conventional wisdom.

Disco Relaxation, 2000

Work in collection of Art Stations Foundation, Poznan, Poland
Text by Krzysztof Zwirblis (translation by Dorota Liliental)

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