I’m Looking for Some Balance
The exhibition of Ludwika Ogorzelec’s sculptures at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art is the first such extensive presentation of her artistic output. The artworks on display will allow the viewer to follow the evolution of her unique creative programme carried out for nearly forty years.
I would like my sculpture to be a fleeting sensation stemming from the worlds of biology, machines, and instruments – Ogorzelec writes about her work. – From the understanding of sculpture as something heavy, seen from the outside, made of durable materials, I take a line – that speaks with properties of the matter it is derived from (...); Taking meaning from the worlds of biology, machines, and instruments, I analyse the problem of meaning and the absurd. I’m looking for some balance. The results of my explorations are light, delicate structures-objects combining these meanings into a new quality.
The exhibition will feature early works from the 1980s series, Equivalent Instruments [Przyrządy równoważne], which includes mobile sculptures constructed with reference to the shape of the tree. The display will be complemented by four sculptures – created especially for the exhibition at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art – from the series entitled Krystalizacje przestrzeni [Crystallizations of Space]: creative actions involving interventions within existing space, carried out over the last 29 years in various places around the world.
Equivalent Instruments are openwork structures created with the use of a firm, but simultaneously very delicate, line. Even though they melt into the surrounding space, they remain to be portable objects that can be viewed from the outside and fit into the traditional formula of sculpture. On the other hand, the Crystallizations of Space series reverses the understanding of the medium where space itself is the artwork, sculpture and matter, that is, the conglomerate of physical and chemical phenomena that the human eye cannot see.
The intersecting, visible lines crafted form solid matter (these are different materials: hard and soft), introduced into space by the artist, help the human eye see something that is invisible. They are a contour in the process in which the space crystallizes, that is, its subjectively divided into separate, but co-existing figures: the “crystals of space.” She invites the viewer in not to show an aesthetic object, but to touch their first and universal compassion with the help of a physical change of space with which they are confronted. The artists links this process aesthetic feelings resulting from the contrast between the feeling of lightness and elusiveness and the geometric order and the organizing line dividing the space of the exhibition. This experience meant to take the viewers out of everyday life and let them experience life anew, in a positive emotional state. Perhaps the viewer will realize that they are not just a cog in the social machine, but also a person with the right to choose and make decisions.
Ludwika Ogorzelec graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław in 1983. She has been living in Paris since 1985. Between 1985–87 she continued her work in the studio of prof. César at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. As early as 1986, she exhibited at the de la Jeune Sculpture, d’Automne, Réalités Nouvelles, and de mai 44e and began working with the prestigious Barbier Beltz Gallery in Paris. In the following years, she worked in Sweden, the USA, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain, Australia, Canada, China, South Korea and Bangladesh. Numerous times, she has also exhibited in Poland. Almost always her shows, and later her site-specific works, were events that attracted media attention. In the 1980s and 1990s, critics wrote about her innovative view of sculpture and space and the unique aesthetics of her works. In 2007, she was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta Officer's Cross for her opposition activities in the underground Solidarity network in Wrocław between 1980–85.