BACK TO THE GARDEN
10 MARCH – 14 APRIL 2012
AGNIESZKA BRZEZANSKA BACK TO THE GARDEN
„Trees have long thoughts, long breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But then we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” Herrmann Hesse, Wandering, 1972.
Agnieszka Brzezanska photographs, films and paints pictures of her daily surroundings in which she sees a particular significance. The title of her second solo exhibition at Galerie Kamm, Back To The Garden, implies the return to a place of rest and nativeness. Much like in nature, one comes across objects, images and sounds that can be surprising, humorous, mystical or even uncanny.
The installation of the show with oversized photographs hanging from the ceilings in the middle of the space and different sized objects placed on the floor create the overall allusion of a forest. Leafs and tree branches – painted, photographed, filmed or computer-generated – are the common motif that tie together the pieces. They serve as a cover-up for a nymph-like creature in Title for instance, or seemingly form an entity with the movement and colour of human hair in Title. Any personal characteristics that could identify the depicted person as the artist herself are purposefully eliminated, thus evoking a sense of mystery and uncertainty.
This image is formally echoed in the piece Title which Brzezanska shot with a simple digital camera. The film shows an open-air screening of Wim Wender’s film Pina (2011)as seen from the artist’s second floor studio. Through the leafs of a birch tree we can catch small glimpses, almost like sparkles, of the dance movements and the colours against the dark background, accompanied by the dramatic orchestral sound of Igor Strawinski’s Le sacre du printemps. The film is screened inside a “tent”, constructed of two painted canvases. The viewer is invited to crawl inside the tent, reminding him or her of huts or tents children build in play in backyards or forests.
Agnieszka Brzezanska invokes the canon of theories, doubts and beliefs regarding cosmic order and the influence of plants on our existence. She leaves her own position ambiguous, her work opening up a world whose elusive mystery elicits a sense of longing, and which continually culminates in the question of the human being’s long lost knowledge of nature. In this show Brzezanska brings back the innate wisdom and vitality of plants that have been and will be around much longer than us. As the Canadian painter Emily Carr put it: “Trees love to toss and sway. They make such happy noises.”