Prey. The Pathetic Existence of the Worm
Piotr Bruch is interested in experimental music, avant-garde music, non-music, and gore noise. Audiovisual elements, in turn, are an effect of his inspiration with surrealistic and absurd films. Hence his graduation project, You'll die, consisted of twisted, expressive sculptures made with kilograms of plasticine. Drawing on sci-fi aesthetics, they became his entry pass to this year’s Project Room. Created specially for the event, Prey is a mobile audiovisual installation. Based on a wooden chest, it has been produced with rods, wires, and mesh, on the frame of which the artist has again poured plasticine. He has melted mixed shapes of insects and plants into it, added the industrial sounds of a self-playing accordion and bow. “Folksy,” he said.
The Project Room space is the germ of a plague. Here and there float parasitic motes that will eventually get to man too. The fungus will first penetrate into the bodies of the U–jazdowski staff, then into those of the artists and spectators. It will not kill, as Bruch promised in his graduation project, but only take over control. Sounds like a conspiracy theory that the artist is promoting. This is not, however, the result of any anxiety, but only a gore-style game. Perhaps a subliminal threat, or maybe an itch for a bit of the macabre. This temptation is already being fulfilled as the artist concentrates almost manically on putrefaction and decay; after all, he is building a group of insecto-fungal carcasses. The piece’s shape alludes to the sight of copulating insects that the artist once noticed in his garden. A human element is missing here, but that is not a problem.
A prey occurs in the gallery spaces, caused by the fungus Cordyceps unilateralis, which parasitizes on insects. It installs itself in the host’s brain and takes control over it, changing the host’s behaviour to more easily propagate its spores. Like in the Last of Us game series, where zombies are in fact people enslaved by the same fungus. This time we are dealing with a world that has turned from micro- to macro-scale. Everything is loud here. The sound of decay, of decomposition, but also of preying; the tangle of carcasses presents an uncompromising consumption of tissues.
- Daria Grabowska