Tomasz Saciłowski CLFN
24.06 – 27.08.2017 Tomasz Saciłowski CLFN
curator: Magda Kardasz
cooperation: Julia Harasimowicz
Tomasz Saciłowski’s exhibition at the Zachęta Project Room, titled CLFN, consists of new works combining photography and painting. According to the author himself, ‘the prints have been made from negatives and slides with images of leaves, flowers, and trees, taken in the second half of 2016’. He continues, ‘I exposed the films multiple times, including with RGB lamps in the darkroom. Mysterious works arose, very important to me, at the contact of negative images of plants and colour light. Another group of works uses foil from dye-sublimation tapes containing floral motifs. I used thinner to degrade the ink afterimages visible on the foil, nearly to the point of their complete destruction. The result were images of simple patterns and icons inspired by nature, deceptively similar to painting after scanning and serious magnification.’ This is another project where Saciłowski works with the photographic medium, exploring its essence. In producing these images, he paid particular attention to their visuality — colour, scale, proper capture of light in the image. Their descriptions feature technological terms indicating the specificity of the artist’s explorations and experiments in this area.
Saciłowski employs artificial means to capture essential characteristics of nature. As he writes, ‘I’ve used Lambda printing technologies on paper-free plastics: Duraclear/Fuji clear and Duratrans. The idea stems from my conviction that photography has always been based on chemistry (paper is but an ennobling component here, meant to align it with traditional techniques), and it is in this formula that it can be best presented. The second reason is a sense that, paradoxically, we can better capture the essence of nature through the use of artificial, transparent polymer materials.’
Saciłowski’s show design takes into consideration the Project Room’s spatial specificity, which differs from the standard white cube. We have here framed paintings mounted on the walls, but also works in the shape of curtains on the large ground-floor windows or a printed plastic sheet hanging above the stairs, where the classic curtain should be. The compositions reveal to a greater or smaller degree the details of the underlying visual motifs. They affect the viewer primarily with swathes of contrasting colours, showing the world as if under microscopic magnification. Entering the -1 level, the viewer passes through a kind of red light filter to reach a room where the artist has arranged a display of the chronologically earliest nature-inspired works in colour.
The exhibition is a survey of the results of the author’s aesthetic/technological experiments with images of nature. Using found images and material refuse from photo labs, Saciłowski produces compositions of striking formal beauty. His ironically post-photographic show restores our faith in the power of photography as well as being a high-tech paean to nature.