Edel Assanti is pleased to present “Punch to the Sky,” an exhibition by Marcin Dudek.
“Punch to the Sky” is the latest installation in a series Marcin Dudek (Poland, 1979) began with his recent Brussels exhibitions “Too Close for Comfort” and “Wild.” Dudek’s youth as a fanatical football supporter provides an autobiographical springboard for this series of exhibitions, which explores the stadium as a metaphor for social reality, spectacle, and the kind of polarization techniques prevalent in all forms of socio-political rivalry.
Having exited the scene of his performance at the opening of his exhibition “Wild” (Brussels, September 2013) by kicking down the back wall of the space, in “Punch to the Sky” Dudek begins by burning a hand-sewn flag that engulfs the walls of the entire gallery. This charred collage offers identifiable elements, but no allegiance to any discernible identity, club or country. The potential importance of the object is reduced to subjective perception and material information: cloth, colors, and lines put together and melted apart in hands-on creative destruction. Burning the flag is part of the creation of the artwork - Dudek’s flag is ignited without risk of moral panic, outrage or imprisonment, while taking a position on what constitutes useful dissent.
This large work provides space and shelter for smaller collages, which serve to emphasise Dudek’s compulsion to resurrect the ideological bond between revolutionary avant-garde abstraction and socio-policital reality. Comprised of textile, tape, thread and recuperated sheets of steel, these works recycle the matter of our everyday existence to form evocative compositions.
As the title “Punch to the Sky” illustrates, violence here is purely symbolic, something that is reflected in the results of each piece, bringing to mind seemingly trivial events capable of causing great controversy. No matter how hard you punch the air, the sky remains an unscathed scapegoat.
This text is an extract from the essay “Punch to the Sky” by Harlan Levey, which will be published to accompany the exhibition.
Marcin Dudek studied at the University of Art Mozarteum and Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Recent solo presentations include Too Close For Comfort at Harlan Levey Projects (Brussels, 2013), Kopalnia I Fantom at Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Galerry (Krakow, 2012) and Exico at the 16th Biennial of Cerveira (Portugal, 2011). Dudek’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues including Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Kunstlerhaus, Salzburg, the Arad Art Museum and the Goethe Institute, Kiev. Dudek lives and works in Brussels and London.