Pure Formality

The latest works by Anka Sielska "originate" in the medium of photography, their material realization, however, is complemented with specific "framing" – the wooden boxes, where the artist contains the photos and objects. It closes and remains open to other 'images' at the same time. This shape gives the works the character of objects which compose a different set and installation each time. The photographic class of artefacts becomes additionally enhanced by the material equivalents of the images presented – eg. the bedding shown in the photo and the 'actual' white canvas folding into obscure hangings. The resulting chiaroscuro might also be associated with a typically sculptular matter. At first sight, Anka Sielska's works could write into the image of contemporary lightboxes, which are often too articulate and offensive with their pushy clubbing style. As distinct from them, however, the artist's objects do not lure with artificial or reflected light...,
Anka Sielska tells us her stories. They are tales about the most casual events, which you often pass indifferently as "pure formality". Some of them are personal and intimate narrations, other obviously relate to the experience of author's generation. The artist diagnoses the privacy, with the discourse of body and emerging carnality and femininity, as one of its dimensions. The plots are lead synchronically and oriented about a few characters. The works, therefore, penetrate not only the field of being but dwelling as well. Their indiscernible element is the manifestation of identity along with the emotions and sensations it entails, which – as the author seems to add – are oppressive and filtered through the functioning social standards.
All the works in this cycle arrange into oppositions, instead of the traditional diachronia, and thereby construct their dialogue as a constant of contrasts and exceptives. At the same time, the discourse reveals the narrow-mindedness and conceptual conformity, which make us perceive the world in bipolar categories. What we can see is the development of repertoire consisting of the set of iconographic motifs (attitudes and daily use items) and their assigned cultural distinctions – pure / impure, innocent / foul, artificial / natural, orderly / chaotic, etc. The actual narration results from the clash of two orders, and the diagnosis and interpretation clearly attempt to bring to light the area in between. In these aesthetic and formal fields, there emerges the space of freedom and choice. Its origins are not to be find among the alternative figures we are taught to accept on an everyday basis, but just in between them. Therefore, Anka Sielska's works tempt us not (only) with their look, but they first and foremost show us that we can make decisions and, moreover, that it is worth to live in a more "pure", while not necessarily "formal" way...

Roman Lewandowski – curator of exhibition "Pure Formality".