Radek Szlaga's "Nafajdały" and "Angel/Pig" in "Freedom Club"
Freedom Club is the most comprehensive institutional presentation of Radek Szlaga’s works to-date. In the centre of the exhibition, the artist placed a map of the cosmos and the portraits of his parents - and thus creates an image of the world into which he fits his own genealogy. This cosmogonic gesture suggests that the creation of such an exposition is the construction of his own private model of the universe. However even if it is so, then Szlaga’s universe represents reality, whose forces of entropy and the crisis are pushing towards original chaos.
The exhibition itself is a space of confusion and of overlapping narratives. Among them is the story of "returning to roots", which turns out to be a civilizational decline - the return to provincial Poland, to the land of ancestors, full of chickens, pigs, potatoes, illegally distilled alcohol, old, burned cars, and even older smoldering prejudices. It is a story about the Ochotnica village and the Szlagowka mountain - the mythical birthplace of the Szlaga family - and about America, to which many members of this family moved in search of new life. In the artist’s perverse narrative, the American promised land however is presented as Detroit - a fallen city, which went bankrupt, and is depopulating at an alarming rate - functioning today as a symbol of awakening from the "American dream".
Center for Contemporary Art "Ujazdowski Castle"
Jazdów 2, Warsaw
Opening: 7 September 2012
The exhibition runs until 18 November 2012
Exhibition curator: Stach Szabłowski
source: press materials