/ Tinted Lines


For his first solo exhibition in Germany, the London based Polish artist Franek Wardyński born 1989, presents Tinted Lines, as a development of research and techniques explored during the first ever live-in Art in residence program at Galerie 102, under the direction of Annemarie Laber.

When cultural shifts happen, modern architecture is often a strong source of criticism and commentary, formulated through provoking concepts that tell a story of a place. Materials and structures are, in fact, often a medium for expressing profundities, as Berlin’s cityscape reminds us. As a great mode of drama, buildings reveal a story of comedy and tragedy, openness and fear.

As formulated by architect Arthur Korn in his1926s book Glass: ‘The transparent glass tower symbolized the clear and uncomplicated future; it was an icon for the beneficent triumph of modern technology,’ he describes how glass became the emblem of democracy in Germany. However, what exactly do we mean by transparency today? In a time where we are increasingly living and working in glass cities, the outlook on glass in architecture has become rather different. How will the events of privacy affect the citizens positioning on the material—and will another cultural shift make the reversed criticism and commentary?

The work of Wardyński sits between art and design, repeatedly exploring projects of cultural criticism, making a constant contribution to the movement of print, moving image and sculpture. His approach to research and methodology is investigative, resulting in critical outputs of text, reproductions, prints, collages, video and large-scale objects. The prints featured in Tinted Lines explore meanings of glass and exposure, a result of looking at glass in Berlin architecture through the lens of 19th-century photography technique, blue cyanotype. By sourcing glass from the neighbouring car glass exchange firm, Carglass, Wardyński has configured reclaimed glass-scapes using broken car windows, light and photosensitive material.

In a pursuit of asking questions around transparency, Wardyński shows an interpretation of vulnerability through waste-glass compositions. Just like the architects were prototyping glass facades when the material was first introduced, Wardyński is reflecting on where personal exposure begins and ends? A reminder to revisit the 1921 novel We, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s critique of an imaginary future totalitarian society, echoed in buildings where ‘the individual will is suppressed in favour of a collective technological dream.’

Tinted Lines highlights the exposing nature of glass, using the sun and photographic emulsion as a brush-stroke, revealing permanent marks created through transparency.

Text: Lia Forslund