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The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

The EL Gallery as an inter-space – a virtual tour around the exhibition

Anka Lesniak, 2011-11-04

On September 8th an exhibition entitled miedzy-przestrzen (English: inter-space) was opened in the EL Gallery in Elblag (Poland), in which artists from various countries who work with non-objective art and site-specific projects participated. Most of the works presented in the EL Gallery were prepared especially for this exhibition to match the unique gothic interior of the building built as a church in 13th century.

10 artists presented their artworks in the EL Gallery, including Margaret Roberts from Australia, who wrote an introduction to the exhibition catalogue. The author paid attention to two terms that are crucial to understand the exhibition: non-objectivity - the term introduced by Kazimir Malevitch and site-specificity related to minimal art. The works presented in Elblag were located between these two categories.

It is worth mentioning that the EL Gallery is a historically important place on the map of Polish art. From the 60s Elblag has hosted progressive artistic activities such as the “Biennale of Spatial Forms” initiated by Gerard Jurgen Kwiatkowski Blum. We can see sculptures made of industrial materials in the Elblag urban environment even today, as they created during the subsequent editions of the Biennale.

Most of the works in the exhibition miedzy-przestrzen were presented in the Gallery’s main room, which is a former presbytery and also in an aisle to which a modern inner gallery made of metal and glass designed as an additional exhibition space was added.

On the ground floor we could see Margaret Robert’s work entitled Black. It consisted of flat white objects made of plywood, laying on the floor side by side, placed in regular spacing. They were of various shapes and sizes. At the first glance they resembled white canvas prepared for painting. However, after a while we could realise that the white objects were a repetition of the shapes of dark niches located on the Gallery walls.

Niches in the walls were also used by Bogumila Strojna. She placed her objects made of protective pipes in three arched niches. The artist juxtaposed two seemingly contradictory qualities – industrial material and handmade braiding. By adding the braiding she achieved a regular pattern. Because of the flexible material used, the work adjusts to the shape of niches. The vivid red colour of the objects was a strong feature against the background of a monochromatic brick architecture.

The artwork by Jacek Przybyszewski’s (who was also the exhibition’s curator) was almost invisible, which was ironic, considering that the whole installation was quite large. It consisted of mobile screens which are usually used to divide the exhibition space, arranged in various directions. The artist noted that the light illuminating the screens caused various geometric shadows to appear on the floor. He drew these shapes on the screens and painted them brown. This way the artist played with an image as an illusion, an image as an object and also with the surrounding space. He also used the ephemeral quality – a changing shadow, whose shape he fixed as a frozen moment.

Charles Payan’s video-installation entitled Reflection was situated under the modern inner gallery made of glass, between the pillars of the aisle. It consisted of a few videos projected on the floor showing grating. From time to time one could notice a blurred shadow passing through the image. As it turned out later, these were human feet. The author played with the concept of abstraction (non-objective art) and figurative art. The grating on the projection might have been both an abstract picture or for example a window. In the EL Gallery we succumbed to the illusion that it was a live projection of the translucent floor of the inner gallery and the visitors walking on it.

On the inner gallery level we came across the artworks of Roland Orepuk’s and Marcus Bering.

Roland Orepuk’s work entitled Two triangles was made of very basic materials - fiberboards, paint, screws, metal pipes. Orepuk consciously refered to the heritage of the Constructivists. Two long metal elements used for building construction hung horizontally looked as if they were levitating in the space. The work seemed to refer to architectural elements of the building - gothic ribs and a modern metal construction. The artist used an intensive yellow colour that he also “spread around” the work by wrapping a transparent yellow plastic around the door of the elevator, that one needed to take to see his work.

Marcus Bering’s work Reading Pi consisted of one installation with numbers stuck to white screens plus a sound installation of recorded voices reading the number PI in their own language. PI is an irrational sequence of digits which means that its decimal never ends or repeats. At the same time, however, as noted by the author, using the number PI we can very precisely calculate the circumference of the horizon. The recording of voices reading PI were placed in the whole gallery space and played simultaneously. The huge gallery space, impossible to fill just with visual artworks, was filled with recorded voices. Apart from the voices used for the installation, that were partly recorded in Elblag, the artist engaged other artists and the gallery staff in sticking the numbers to the screens, leaving them to decide the exact manner and order of position. The artist documented the situation on video, but the video was not presented in Elblag.

Pam Aitken placed her work in the space between the aisle and the presbytery. It was a long sheet of plastic (suspended from the vault and reaching the floor) on which the artist painted blue rectangles. The plastic was illuminated by light coming from a presbytery window, which made the work oscillate between the materials of the object (foil, paint) and immateriality of a phenomenon by which the appearance of the work, influenced by the light coming from the window, changed constantly.

Jacques Weyer also used plastic as a basic material for his work entitled Taking off from the ground. It was the artist’s reflection on the relationship between the sky over the church and the tombstones built in the church floor. This way he created a poetic form of communication between what was inside and what is outside. The artist put plastic on the floor and then marked it with black dots indicating the location of the main stars which can be observed in Poland in autumn (the area around Lesser Bear and Great Bear). Around the dots the plastic was covered by strokes of blue pastel and represented the rest of the sky. The artist also applied rubbing technique in order to mark some parts of inscriptions taken from grave stones on plastic.

Richard van der Aa presented his work More reasons to be cheerful in a former sacristy. The starting point of Richard van der Aa's art is painting, but he considers painting as mainly an object. In Elblag he showed a few white objects with rounded shapes, but inspired by geometric forms – a cube, quadratic prism, etc. The divisions marked on the gothic vault of the church were a starting point for this installation. The objects and the relationship between them were an artistic response to the character of the space, a kind of dialogue with it, and as such could be considered to be site specific.

John Adair’s installation was also presented in a separate room. By using coloured lines stretched in various directions and illuminated by light, the artist created new spatial relations and a distortion in the perception of the space. The viewers moving between the lines of the installation felt the distances and the tangibility of the objects in various ways.

The exhibition was complemented by a catalogue interestingly designed by Jacek Przybyszewski - the exhibition curator. The catalogue included photos of the exhibition in Elblag, other works representing the participants of the exhibition and texts in Polish and English version. The exhibition was presented in the EL Gallery until October 9th.

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