KUBAPARIS ATELIER Tiziana Krüger
Marta Niedbał Paweł Olszczyński
Hold Me Closer
The exhibition Hold Me Closer is a sensual journey through the body and its need to absorb experience and heal wounds. We get hurt when we function in a numbed world dominated by competition. All too often this world has no room for mindfulness, intimacy and tenderness, both towards the surrounding reality and towards ourselves. The art of Marta Niedbał and Paweł Olszczyński revolves around entangling and tracing paths through imposed hierarchies. What unites their works is the theme of dissolution – in the most literal sense of the word, understood as breaking through the boundaries of the medium. For Marta Niedbał, fabric is synonymous with delicacy and instability, weakening the rigidity of painting or sculpture. At the heart of the exhibition are two fabrics created jointly by Niedbał and Olszczyński, which also blur the lines of individual authorship. Who made which part doesn’t matter. Polyphony is the basis of the works, and the dialogue resonates with concern for each other’s contribution. The aforementioned dissolution also means opening up to the surrounding reality and breaking through numbness and ostentation. The body is inscribed with histories that can be rewritten and redefined. Niedbał's activities return to the broadly understood aspect of healing, and in her latest works we recognize the motifs of digestion, mutations, but also massage devices. Her activities show a renewed interest in soft techniques of resistance. Processes that redefine the sense of attachment and enable connections with an unstable world, especially through tenderness and care. Her works show the cracks, leaks and unstable boundaries of bodies, engaging the viewer in the sensual sphere of being between ‘no longer’ and ‘not yet’, full of divergences and transformations. Her chosen medium allows her to work with a constant flow, a sensitive attention to what comes, what remains and what escapes in the creative process. In this context, the bars that appear in Olszczyński’s recent paintings can be interpreted as something that constrains and burdens us. Embedded in many of Olszczyński’s works are hybridised figures, symbolic figures of non-binary bodies that defy clear classifications and yet demand subjectivity and recognition. In their gestures, the figures express care, tenderness and the desire for sexual gratification as well as brutality. The highly sensual chimeras – starving, devouring obstacles – cry out for contact and embrace. The artist’s paintings and ceramics draw on European symbolism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fusing it with elements of contemporary visual culture. Olszczyński populates his works with characters of chimeras, harpies and sphinxes, who are usually secondary figures and metaphors for the current atmosphere of decadence and unease. He elevates them to a primary role, where they exercise control, seduce, take revenge and establish a new hierarchy. Olszczyński and Niedbał’s exhibition encourages us to embrace, to cling even closer, to smell intensely and hear the rush of circulating blood. In a tender embrace, we will feel the porosity and cracks under our fingertips. The space between us and the ‘other’ is both vast and closer than our own skin. Through the fluidity and porosity of bodies, we can open ourselves to a connection with the sensual, metabolic ‘we’, transforming the indigestible into a warm meal of pleasure.