On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the town twinning of Düsseldorf and Warsaw, Curated Affairs is bringing a piece of Warsaw to Düsseldorf in two group exhibitions. In a dialog-oriented presentation, positions by young contemporary artists from both cities working in the media of installation, sculpture, and photography will be exhibited and examined for possible similarities and differences. With the exhibition titles The Difference in Similarity and The Similarity in Difference, the curators deliberately play with the perspectives of readability: It is thus up to visitors to focus on either commonalities or incongruities.
w/Aurel Dahlgrün, Alex Grein, Anna Orłowska, and Witek Orski
November 07, 2019 – January 17, 2020 at Polish Institute, Citadellstraße 7, 40213 Düsseldorf
The fascination with water that characterizes the works of Aurel Dahlgrün (b. 1989) testifies to the boundlessness of the subject. Photographs produced by intaglio printing depict abstract sections of bodies of water and point to the hidden and unexplored. These are, however, not distant water sources, but rather the local Kaiserteich in the winter. The two-part photo etching of an underground reef fascinates not only by its size but also by its isolation from the immediate outside world; an artificially created swell plays with the perception of a landscape from below and above. With her paraffin pictures, Anna Orłowska (b. 1986) also explores what a change in surface appearance can achieve on a conceptual level. Whether lying in a wax bath or hanging, the pigment inkjet print changes depending on the warmth of the material within which it is encased. The artist intentionally plays with (in)visibility, regulating both mood and vision. Less narrative than analytical, Orłowska’s works define photography itself. In contrast, the works of Alex Grein (b. 1983) and Witek Orski (b. 1985) deal with the environment in a narrative manner. Grein consciously alludes to and questions the documentary role ascribed to photography. In the collaged photographs, she drops an oversized teapot or a brown ceramic pitcher in front of images of interior found on the Internet. The dimensions of the objects remain fictional and hypothetical. In Grein’s work, we often see reproductions of reproductions; only upon closer inspection do we recognize corners and edges of the original pictures. Do you still trust photography? Better not. Witek Orski brings about a similar shift in interpretation with his lenticular prints. Digital transformation regularly accompanies Orski in his artistic practice. His atmospheric post-photographic works recall surrealist approaches and appear three-dimensional. Developed with the utmost precision, they, too, demand closer inspection. Littered with cultural references, they contradict the original directness. Visitors will find autobiographical notes and contrasts in each work, which fascinate Curated Affairs curators Kasia Lorenc and Angelika J. Trojnarski. Something is what it was not, something pretends to have been something. Little remains unambiguous. And in no way classical.