Marcin Dudek: Rite of Passage

9 July - 24 September 2022
Marcin Dudek: Rite of Passage, installation view, Edel Assanti, London, 2022.

Opening Reception | Saturday 9 July 1pm-6pm


Edel Assanti is pleased to present Marcin Dudek: Rite of Passage. Bringing together a selection of collages, sculpture and film, the intimate presentation continues Dudek’s exploration of the politics of identity and space, conflating hooliganism, memory and the architecture of social experience. An autobiographical dialogue with his own past underpins this discussion: Dudek’s preoccupation with hooligan subculture retraces traumatic teenage experiences as a member of an infamously violent Krakow football fanclub, embodying the prevalent youth culture in post-communist Poland.


Passage VII, 2022, a dense and intricate collage, explores the mechanics of crowd dynamics, visualising the dissolution of the individual into the group, and the violent assault on personal agency overwhelmed by the movement of the mass. An orange lined bomber jacket hovers in the centre of the composition, bound around an implied anonymous figure. The item of clothing was a signature hooligan uniform: once turned inside out, the glare of the lining announced that the group were ready for confrontation. This action is revisited in the film of Dudek’s performance at Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, The Group, 2021, where the artist reenacts club rituals, lighting smoke grenades and leading a procession of viewers through a mirage of thick orange. A jesmonite sculpture from Dudek’s Sovereign Heads series augments the sense of transformation and masquerade, referencing the balaclavas worn to mask individual identities during the group’s exploits.


Dudek’s collages are the product of an intensive process that incorporates rubbing photo transfer onto cloth, slicing and applying small tiles of sports medical tape and thick emulsion painted on wood and aluminium. Parts of the work are slashed by the blade of an angle grinder and others are burnt. The frenetic aesthetic communicates a psychological journey of reliving violent trauma, with scorch marks and lacerations disrupting the clarity of the imagery, evoking the dissociative nature of memory. 


Marcin Dudek (b. 1979, Krakow) studied at the University of Art Mozarteum, Salzburg, and Central Saint Martins, London, graduating in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Current and forthcoming exhibitions include 8th Biennial of Painting, Museum Deinze and the Lys Region and Museum Roger Raveel, Deinze, Belgium (2022); TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (2022) and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2022). Recent solo institutional exhibitions include Ultraskraina, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris, France (2021); The Crowd Man, MWW Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, Poland (2019); The Lure of the Arena, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania (2019). Selected group exhibitions include DOPPELGANGER, Entreprendre & KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Brussels, Belgium (2021); Psychic Wounds: On Art & Trauma, The Warehouse, Dallas, USA (2020); Giochi Senza Frontiere, Palazzo Mazzarino, Manifesta12, Palermo, Italy (2018). His work is included in international collections including MWW Wroclaw Contemporary Museum; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; Museum of Art of the Province of Hainaut. Dudek lives and works in Brussels.

Installation Views
Video tour of the exhibition Marcin Dudek: Rite of Passage, 2022