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Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski castle
Bartek Kielbowicz
"Building Diary"

Opening of the exhibition: March 11, 2014 at 6 p.m.
On view through: March 30, 2014
Curator: Marcin Krasny
Coordination: Katarzyna Tomczak-Wysocka

It all started with a photograph of an old burnt wooden house which Kielbowicz took somewhere near Warsaw. Completely burnt down, the house’s roofing revealed the remains of the roof truss, however the structure of the walls remained almost intact. Later, the artist’s collection was expanded to include photographs showing American wooden detached houses after a hurricane which have fallen apart like a house of cards, photographs of wrapped houses, houses only being built, bristling with shoring boards and supports, photographs of houses from Canada, where his father lives, which had been downloaded from the Internet, house designs from the book “Budownictwo stalowe w Polsce do ko?ca Drugiej Wojny ?wiatowej” [Polish Steel Architecture Until the End of the Second World War] (by Eugeniusz ?ledziewski, Gliwice 1979), and many others. All this documentation of the creative process, including drawings, photocopies, prints, projects and sketches, has been presented at the exhibition next to the effects of Bart?omiej Kie?bowicz’s artistic quests: nine large-format paintings. “What I am interested in is the wonderful impossibility of order, the moment of transition from one state to another when everything which has been carefully organized shatters”, says the artist.

The houses presented by Kielbowicz dismantle the composition of the paintings; their structures pile up and gain complexity until the moment when they start to resemble an abstract pattern of dynamically intersecting joists and trusses. Some of them are falling apart, mixing and decomposing only a little like Transformers from the movie, and yet they are not aiming for any permanent structure. The artist presents, as he himself explains, “a vision of a house constructed so passionately that its construction gets out of control and starts to fill up all the space in such a way that it is no longer habitable because the residents keep stumbling over the beams”. It is easy to guess that these constructions are rather mental ones; they are phantasms of buildings, images equivalent to mental states, to fears connected with the need of having a permanent dwelling, a living place safe from any danger. Some of the them are pre-houses, archetypes of human domiciles, others have a nesting composition, they contain within themselves smaller buildings and recollections of earlier estates, still others are transformed to such an extent that it is hard to recognize their original shapes.

Kielbowicz himself moved eight times. “I am in a moment when I am looking for a structure for my own life, for its every personal and professional sphere,” he explains. “All these entablatures, wooden ceilings, floors and wood blocks make me think of the attic in Kaniowska Street, where I lived as a child. The attic had been remodelled by Kazio and I sometimes dream of that place; I dream that this attic keeps remodelling itself, it keeps changing and growing…”

Bartlomiej Kielbowicz (born in 1985). He graduated in painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 2009, where he had studied under the supervision of Prof. Jaroslaw Modzelewski and Prof. Pawel Boltryk. Later that year, Kielbowicz received the Siemens Artistic Prize. Works in Warsaw.