Jan Mioduszewski / Furniture Factory

06 Dec 2014 - 07 Feb 2015

Gathering and Hunting
6 December 2014 - 7 February 2015

Jan Mioduszewski has been collecting objets trouvés for a long time. Obviously, it is a rather sublime type of gathering. It does not aim at collecting per se, but at creating assemblages with furniture elements. Mioduszewski becomes personification of bricoleur transforming objects into multithreaded works. The artist’s activities, from the initial moment of gathering, have
a performative character; he admits to be playing a certain game with “competitors” in this field, that is, with other hoarders. Sometimes, when he finds an interesting specimen, he hides it under other large objects with the intention of collecting it on his way back. He realises that others can forestall him, but he sees taking the risk as a part of his work.

Mioduszewski often treats performance as complementary to his painting. Even when it seems to be an independent form of expression, it always refers to painterly practice. Here, at the Gathering and Hunting exhibition, the artist engaged the audience in a “performative” way, inviting them to literarily enter the painting. I see this gesture as a continuation of the artist’s deliberations on the status of painting. Or rather, on the status of painting and the viewer, who is encouraged to take on a double role: of viewer and someone being viewed. Besides, there is a trap in here: how incomplete is Mioduszewski’s assemblage without the presence of the viewer/performer? Does this active viewer determine the meaning of his work? Does the audience, by accepting the game proposed by the artist, become a co-author of the work, or are they only being taken advantage of to play a given part?

“As art blends into life, painting no longer provides a mere view by way of a window in and on the wall, but becomes a three-dimensional space in which this creative dissolution can be tested, played out, narrated, experienced.” – suggests Dieter Roelestreate. Mioduszewski continues his experiments on the viewing process by provoking the viewers to climb the installation-pulpit and hunt out the works which are not visible from the floor level. In this way the paintings created with furniture elements gathered from the rubbish are caught by the active viewer-performer.

The installation Planks, Battens (2004), early work by Furniture Factory, has been reconstructed for the Gathering and Hunting exhibition. This work is evidence of the artist exploring the boundaries of painting: what is more, his interest in illusion and drawing the audience into the visual rebus. Planks, Battens leaning against the wall, have small, difficult to spot painterly interventions. It is a game with non-recognition, with the vanishing of art, its blending into reality. This moment of “jamming”, the incapability of recognising an object’s status, appears to be the quintessence of Mioduszewski’s art.

Tags: Jan Mioduszewski