In Home Fires 09, Jeremy speaks with Marcin Dudek about his most recent work Faces in the Crowd (2020) - an intricate collage composed of 208 individual panels.
Marcin Dudek explores 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, drawing on his own experiences of violent football subculture and post-Soviet societal climate as a point of departure. Faces in the Crowd again retraces the materials, messages and political contexts of group behaviour and the dynamics of crowds.
'Dudek’s art is filled with shattered glass, rubber bullets, police helmets and broken fragments of burnt stadium seating; his installations are bathed in orange paint, the colour of the insides of bomber jackets, and dominated by peering, hollow eyes watching you from under balaclavas. These are the symbols of a violent past he has abandoned but not truly dealt with. His art is his attempt to come to terms with his own acts of shocking belligerence, and the ones committed against him.'
Faces in the Crowd, 2020
Acrylic paint, oil paint, steel dust, image transfer,
UV varnish on wood and aluminium
220 x 170 cm
86 5/8 x 66 7/8 in.
In the studio
Marcin Dudek studied at the University of Art Mozarteum, Salzburg, and Central Saint Martins, London, graduating in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Recent exhibitions include The Crowd Man, MWW Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, 2019; The Lure of the Arena, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, 2019; Giochi Senza Frontiere, Palazzo Mazzarino, Manifesta12, Palermo, 2018; Steps and Marches, Edel Assanti, London & Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels, 2017. Dudek’s immersive installation The Cathedral of Human Labor, 2013, is on permanent view at the Verbeke Foundation in Antwerp. His work is included in international collections including MWW Wroclaw Contemporary Museum and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest. Dudek lives and works in Brussels.
'I believe personal experience should always guide our choices, or at least form a skeleton to be dressed by the reality of the present moment.'
- Marcin Dudek