TESTCARD is a cycle of paintings is a response to a new, highly abstract kind of social space resembling virtual games, applications, and the technological word of microprocessors.
The widespread use of computers in the contemporary world does not foster a liberation from the feeling of alienation; to the contrary, it intensifies the impression of animation with respect to human reality. Freedom becomes locked in microprocessors and integrated circuits. And we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. We feel less, we are less sensitive, blinded by millions of impulses from the technological world. We are not prepared to receive art which we prefer to consume like we consume products in contemporary art centres and shopping malls that are so far removed from idealistic visions of modernistic "temples of art'.
Geometrical abstraction in the paintings is merged with the reality of contemporary television. The formal coldness and immobility are supposed to represent the future of the world, dominated by numerous artificially created divisions which strive to introduce an order. Therefore, there are allusions to the pixel grids of a computer display, television screen, or the video game world.
I paint the fluorescent stripes and geometrical figures, taking after a technological order. I regard geometrical forms to be codes, signs which I connect and disconnect entirely freely and arbitrarily. The colour is artificial, strong, irritating, and applied with a roller or spray paint. I avoid the touch of a brush as a unique signature, an author's gesture. I decrease the individual character of my paintings as far as I can.
Deconstruction and double coding in the 'Testcard.'
Deconstruction in my art is revealed by the change in meanings ascribed to geometrical art. I play a post-modernist game, based on deconstructing meetings, in this game, I fluently cross between what is an element of reality, its signs and pure abstraction. In my paintings, I merge geometrical art with everyday life. I am ironical about the idealistic and humanist assumptions of avant-garde artists, I create so-called cheap mysticism.
I question old illusions about geometrical abstraction.
The artificial fluorescent colours used in my art seem to be a twilight of mystical radiation, a type of light which is technological, thanks to its artificial fluorescent colour, devoid of natural colour tone. The paintings, therefore, attack with aggressive colours; they inflict pain, intensifying the feeling of void. Is there any room here for putting anyone into a mystical trance?
On the other hand, double colouring is expressed by alluding to modernist painting. I mix a high code, hinting also at the works of art of modernist masters, with the low code of popular, mass culture, which links works of art to everyday life.
This is the way in which I try to create a post-modernist painting, where different memories of images meet. The artistic performances do not send the viewer to any reality or individual imagination, only to certain signs. It is not an imitation of the real world, it is only an imitation of its symbols. On the one hand, at the first contact with the painting, thoughts and associations appear, traditionally ascribed to this type of art. Geometrical abstraction seems to be detached from the surroundings because it is governed by its own rules and principles. On the other hand, in the paintings there are clear references to the contemporary world. In this case, the “real element” is a popular testcard, a set of colours which we, contemporary people being part of post-industrialist society, are used to, or rather quite tired of.
I, therefore, generate a shock of recognition, not a shock of novelty. I refer to a certain set of signs, existing images, creating an impression of déjà vu. The paintings also quite apparently hint at modernist and minimalist art, for example, at Barnett Newman, Marc Rothko, Kazimierz Malewicz, Daniel Buren, Leon Tarasewicz and Piet Mondrian.
Let us then define the “Testcard” as a fake form of modernist abstraction, a pastiche created by means of a number of quotations from modernist painting, a game based on modifying the original significance by double coding. In this case, geometry ceases to be abstract. On the one hand, it brings about associations with modernist tradition, but on the other, it counterpoints that tradition by making references to the reality. Testcard is known to everyone. Is this display panel, therefore, not a contemporary image of everyday life?
It seems that, at present, the only thing that an artist is left with is to play and use irony. In times when everything is questionable, the only thing that makes sense is ironical distancing.
I use irony because I perceive it as a method of striving for truth. So I assume the attitude of an ironist or a jester, described in the following manner by Leszek Kołakowski: "the philosophy of jesters is the philosophy which, in every epoch, exposes as dubious everything that appears to be most unshakable, it reveals a contradiction of what seems to be self-evident and indisputable, it mocks the obvious common sense and sees virtue in the absurdities (...)". 'I agree and acknowledge that the irony of every generation is likely to become the next generation's metaphysics. Metaphysics is, so to speak, an irony which has become deflated, a public matter, a solidified vault, providing new background to enter new figures."