Bartosz Kowal

Safe Place

Project Info

  • 💙 Promocyjna Gallery
  • 💚 Kinga Cieplińska
  • 🖤 Bartosz Kowal
  • 💜 Kinga Cieplińska
  • 💛 Adam Gut

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Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place at Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2024, photo: Adam Gut
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place, oil on canvas, 100x120, 2023
Bartosz Kowal, Safe Place, oil on canvas, 100x120, 2023
Bartosz Kowal, Loop, oil on canvas, 120x130 cm, 2024
Bartosz Kowal, Loop, oil on canvas, 120x130 cm, 2024
The precariousness of the digital image manifests itself in its capacity for compression. Repeatedly squeezed through internet connections, reproduced, copied, ripped, pasted into other distribution channels, it loses data, sharpness, legibility, contrary to the common belief in the permanence of visual representation. Bartosz Kowal exploits the properties of poor images*. Using alternative search engines unrestrained by algorithms, he discovers low-resolution images with a potential for new connections. Their uncertain and fuzzy familiarity that can only be vaguely perceived, evokes nostalgia and gives impetus to the creation of new realities. Based on a concept of incessant re-creation, a continuous process of transformation, the artist attempts to materialise what has been dematerialised and permanently destroyed by compression, transferring digital qualities into the language of painting. He combines afterimages of degraded images with his own associations, subject to continuous transformation and reinterpretation in the creative process. He draws on his individual repository of gestures and signs, objects and figures that manifest themselves in the unrecognised, hazy shapes of digital artefacts. He goes beyond simple representation and introduces new methods of perception. Kowal's paintings build a tension between the specific and the anchored and the illegible and the ephemeral, that fall between figuration and abstraction. Rooted in reality, it is an attempt to capture undefined states, existential anxiety, the fissure of reality. It is a reflection on the sense of security that is unachievable or only temporary in a world dominated by simulacra and filtered by algorithms. Any attempt at capturing a safe place is doomed to failure and is driven by a paradox as it questions the unconditional security at the moment of its presentation. Dreamlike images will double, jam, and change their scales and perspectives and invite the observer to create his or her own narrative and to complete the frame. It stimulates the observer, who is constantly distracted and overstimulated, to concentrate and explore. It affirms the creative potential of memory. In a Deleuzian sense, it prompts the observer to transcend the conventional notion of passive recollection which involves a dynamic engagement with the past and emphasises the potential for transformation and circulation of thought. The works that have been created in relation to the digital spirit of the image will be dematerialised again, most likely in the incarnation of jpegs. After all, painting spreads mainly through online distribution channels in this day and age. They circulate in a loop, between the material world and the virtual archive. Their digitised form will return to the repository of search engines and perhaps be resurrected materially in the future. *After Hito Steyerl, In Defense of the Poor Image, eflux journal #10, 2009
Kinga Cieplińska

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