Małgorzata Goliszewska / the last and the first person must have a dog, gallery LETO Warsaw 2015
ul.Lwowska 3/14, Warsaw
A dreamed exhibition
In her artistic search, Małgorzata Goliszewska keeps continuously experimenting and entering the documentary field. It is not, however, a classic strategy of using a document, but rather testing of its limits, checking of how to reformulate this documentary character, move it to a completely new register. The question that is most interesting in her art is: how do document that, which seems to be utterly "undocumentable". The exhibition 'the last and the first person must have a dog' is also a result of the abovementioned struggle with a conventionalized formula of a document. In the course of the last three years, the artist had been recording sounds emitted by her during sleep. Sounds that were described to her by other people, and which she did not remember, that functioned somewhat beside her. Curiosity about these unknown, night activities turned into a habit of recording herself during sleep. During those three years, Goliszewska gathered material, of which part is presented at the exhibition. The sounds themselves are disparate - beginning with unidentified noises, of snoring or lapping, through words, whole sentences or songs. These recordings turned into a sort of "dreamy" diaries of the artist, of which automatic registry, or rather documentation thereof, constitutes one of the chief parts of the exhibition. Using the word "dreamy" in relation to her statement, however, deserves an explanation - as Goliszewska's voice is far from being slow or monotonous. Words and sentences are articulated in a very expressive way - astonishment, enthusiasm and engagement intertwine in her utterances. At times, it is hard to believe that you are hearing the voice of a sleeping person.
Goliszewska's dreamy diaries escape narration, and among the broken sentences linearity becomes impossible to reconstruct. But does searching for elements and structure of a standard utterance has any sense when discussing sleep talk? The night diaries follow a completely different logic, one that escapes classic understanding, and the phrase "the last and the first person must have a dog" becomes a binding statement. Goliszewska documents her own self in a situation where "I" becomes for her completely alien and unpredictable. It is still her voice, her way of talking and articulation. But the words are no longer familiar and recognizable. Sentences, that in some way were never spoken, were preserved. These recordings allow getting to know oneself anew, they reveal thoughts that seem completely unknown. The Goliszewska from the dream presents herself to the Goliszewska that is awake.
A journey to the unknown layers of oneself, layers which lay in the subconscious mind and have something to say, has become the chief drive of the works presented by the artist. The recordings are not the only thing directly taken from the registry of the brain's night activity. The entire project has been borrowed from layers of subconsciousness and accurately projected onto the gallery's space. In short, Goliszewska has dreamed out her exhibition in many ways. The objects and their exposition are not of utmost importance here - the main point of reference is the process of the concept's creation and from where does it come from. And Goliszewska's subconsciousness allowed itself to become "selfconscious" and lead a metanarration.
The artist's exhibition is a documentation of her own subconsciousness (sleep talking), results from subconsciousness (a "dreamed out" concept) and evokes the activity of the subconsciousness. During one of the dreams Goliszewska saw an energy field created in the gallery's space. In order to achieve this, a Merkiva was prepared - an instrument with roots in the esoteric tradition, that strengthens the activity of spiritual energy. It is a spatial form that consists of intertwining tetrahedrons. Staying under it is supposed to affect the person's aura, benefiting the flow of energy, thought process, and also influence the brain's bioelectric activity, increasing the functioning of theta waves. These waves occur mostly during meditation, hypnosis, feeling of intense emotions, and also sleeping. Goliszewska's dreamy recordings happened mostly thanks to theta waves. The artists tries to lead to a situation, where being in the gallery would feel close to the state she talks about and from which the exhibition originates from.
"the last and the first person must have a dog" is an activity, where documentary strategies have lead Goliszewska to a domain that seems to have very little in common with "documentariness". Because how does one transfer a formula that is designed to preserve facts and has a deeply rooted informative dimension to a field of subconsciousness or spirituality? However the artist's way of working through an incredibly direct form of registration and reproduction of areas of the human subconsciousness that are so difficult to seize and hold, seems to overcome these barriers. Subconsciousness, or esoterically-perceived spirituality were already explored many times via the means of visual arts. However, the driving force in Goliszewska's art is not focused on deriving inspiration from subconsciousness or introducing of esoteric elements in art. The artist concentrates on the sole process of an utmost faithful, naive even, observation, and on the most accurate way of transferring of spiritual elements onto the field of visual art. Even though it sounds like an oxymoron, "the first and the last person must have a dog" exhibition is a document of the subconsciousness.