Compost
at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL
curator Szymon Żydek photos Bartosz Górka March - April 2017
press release The title of the exhibition by Cezary Poniatowski refers to one of the paintings in which the artist captured the characters and motifs typical of his work in a joyous, peristaltic dance. The installation was inspired by the painting?s motifs and acts as its spatial interpretation as well as the evolvement of the ideas contained therein. It is an invitation to advance inside the artist, inside the space, wherein the remnants of reality, art, and experience are subject to the processes of decomposition, decay, and change into the material of future operations.
Composting is one of the deterioration processes of organic matter, different from anaerobic decomposition. It involves controlled microbial decomposition of organic substances. Its result is fertile humus, a material that allows for the growth of new organisms.
The theory of composting, transposed by the creators of the exhibition to the field of art, undergoes two different considerations. Compost acts here as a metaphor for commonly applied creative methods - artists cannibalize their own experiences as well as those of others, forming a closed circuit, the basis of the art world?s metabolism. On the other hand, interest in the decomposition of organic matter becomes a commentary on current political events. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" - Poniatowski's work stems from a sense of anxiety associated with the abandonment of the current meanings of words, leaving existing consensuses, turning around towards a mythologized version of the past.
However, the artist avoids nihilistic beliefs about the inevitable end and the coming destruction of civilization. He avoids a mentoring tone, or naive attempts at indicating a way out of a complicated situation. Through his work, he reminds that an oxygenated environment and the right temperature are enough to transform decaying rot into useful fertilizer.