Xawery Wolski "Lost-Found", Warsaw 2015
EXHIBITION OF XAWERY WOLSKI – THE WINNER OF THE 13th EDITION OF THE HAJ COMPETITION IN
THE PROPAGANDA ART GALLERY
13.12.2014 – 31.01.2015
Lost-Found, a vernissage of Xavery Wolski, the winner of the Hestia Artistic Journey 2014 competition, took place in Warsaw's Propaganda art gallery on December 13th. The exhibition is quite unusual, conceptual. Wolski's prize was a month-long residency in New York, where he gathered material, which he was supposed to present at the exhibition in Propaganda. Unfortunately, due to an unfortunate event, he lost all the video files he recorded there. This disaster, however, was transformed into success in the form of a very original, extraordinary exhibition, giving an insight to the state of the young artist.
One short video, photographs, tickets, receipts and other souvenirs from New York - these are Wolski's possessions you can see in the art gallery at 11 Foksal street, as well as a single Batman episode from the 1960s, a costume with a wig attached, and an audio recording resounding from the speakers. Videos that were supposed to be exhibited do not exist, we do not know what they contained, they are a mystery, just like New York, the dream city. This exhibition is not actually a figuration in itself, rather a story about many things, it is not "it", but "about it" - about the New York myth, the city of opportunity and success, about an impermanent artistic medium that is video, about the figure of a young artist. It presents an idea, a problem. Perhaps then, without the actual works we get to learn more, we are forced to reflect a lot more than we normally do?
A young man wins a prize, a residency in New York - he needs to meet tremendous expectations. He is full of emotions, and also feels the pressure coming from other people. He arrives at the "capitol of the world", the mythical city, where dreams come true, where everyone can achieve something. He is faced, however, with a reality quite different from the one portrayed in the movies, or in the imaginations of many people. New York overwhelms with its size, but is also incredibly inspiring. It is not Wolski's first time in this city, therefore on the one hand the arrival is a clash of memories, though on the other, it is packed full of new content, a new meaning of something important, something that needs to be utilized wisely and consciously. Video clips recorded during the residency were meant to be titled "Here I Come NY". Among other things they showed unusual situations, rituals characteristic of this city, a city that makes a huge impression. These videos, though, will remain a mystery. We can, however, read an intimate relation of the artist's stay in New York. Even though he lost the recordings, the journey was important and illuminating for him, he gained contacts that he may use in the future, he also got to know a different, more commercial approach to art. In the end, his thirst for this city, still has not been quenched.
By winning the competition, Xavery Wolski proved that he has potential as an artist. He still creates art, currently in France, where he takes part in the Erasmus education program. The works he created so far are full of contexts, references to philosophy, movies. When I read the interviews he gave or the texts he wrote, I imagine Wolski as a humanist, a proper artist by the standards of Vitruvius and other authors of great treatises on the subject of art through the ages; an intelligent, well-read, creative person. I think that the art he creates - video, installations, happenings - is difficult to sell, however as a whole, as an artist, I gladly take what he has to offer.
Majka Iwaszkiewicz for Hestia Artistic Journey