Bożenna Biskupska. The Artist and Possible Construction [2]

In the exhibition’s centre, the iconic sculpture group Mystery of Time takes pride of place. In 1984, Bożenna Biskupska presented it at the Polish Pavilion at the XLI Venice Biennale.

Bożenna Biskupska. The Artist and Possible Construction

Thirty two sculptures from the series bring to mind human figures but do not represent them. They are made of organic matter: sawdust and tow, bound with epoxy resin. Monumental, larger-than-life, they resemble sarcophagi or cocoons and simultaneously reference death and cycle of life. These associations are not contradictory: in Biskupska’s oeuvre, death and birth define the poles of time between which enfolds each individual existence. The sculptures’ relationship with space is likewise dialectical. These figures are not only to be looked at but also experienced physically: the onlooker is encouraged to move around and between them and measure their presence with their own body. The figures organize the surrounding space but they also harbour an active space within. Rather than solid masses, they are vessels to contain time and preserve the evidence of life and transience.

The Mystery of Time sculptures are accompanied by the 7.1 sound installation by Pior Pawlak specially created for Bożenna Biskupska’s present exhibition at the Four Domes Pavilion. The installation is the result of Pawlak’s personal encounter with Biskupska and also his stay at Sokołowsko where Biskupska has lived and worked for many years now, transforming the former sanatorium through artistic projects.

During his stay at Sokołowsko, Pawlak, a musician and sound artist, listened to vibrations of Biskupska’s works and her unique workplace. He also recorded the artist’s voice and heartbeat and used the recordings to compose a sound sculpture. The structure of Pawlak’s installation echoes Biskupska’s special relationship with matter and space in which she works and which she co-creates. Sculptures from The Mystery of Time series explore a similar relationship: their matter gets animated by the human voice, consciousness and heartbeat of the artist and the viewer.

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