Franek Wardyński

    /Studio Visit

These projects that are currently in progress or pinned to the studio wall.
// Spanning Lattitudes

// Digital Dislocation

An installation by Franek Wardyński, Digital dislocation (work in progress 2021), contains a sculptural installation of lava sand from the hills of Flagstaff, Arizona, in sharp contrast to an Arduino-powered digital screen displaying negative images of clouds shot at the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument in November 2020. Drawing from Robert Smithson’s ‘Mirror Displacement’ and J.G Ballards ‘double perspectives’, Digital dislocation pays tribute to the popularity and significance of enantiomorphism, or mirror images, in the theory of 1960s land art.

‘Robert Smithson was in Méridan Mexico when he wrote the essay “Incidents of Mirror-Travel in The Yucatan” (1969). He was convinced that as soon as you start seeing objects in a positive or negative way, you are on the road to derangement. Are we mad for seeing objects in zeros and ones today? In Digital dislocation I become a close observer of the ground and its relationship to clouds, of the formed and unformed, random in their movement, and rarely symmetrical, of course.’ 

// Leftover 

Franek Wardyński’s 2021 work Leftover shows a performance behind a military shooting range in the borderland between Utah and Nevada. Wardynski’s ephemeral sculptures are a result of a residency of Land Art of the American West, and The Center for Land Use Interpretation depicted as a ten-minute-long film, shown alongside a series of prints and five poems. By getting access to the military area of CLUI Southbase, the artist uses the shooting range as a prop, referencing the complexity of the site by turning weights from target shooting into two-minute sculptures.

‘The work itself is all Leftover, practically a dance with what remained. The brutal history of preparing for war is lingering, but there, behind the shooting range, all is calm. The tone: playful and with courage. We create with what’s left, rearranging, filming, writing poems. These are freedoms we allow ourselves, but we have to be careful to leave no trace.

// Parawany 

In Franek Wardyński’s Parawany (work in progress 2021), a traditional windbreaker, commonly used for the beach, employs odd sales messages, to execute an installed homage to the billboard culture of the 90s in the artist’s native Poland. Wardyński’s compositions can be placed in the gallery (eight in total), presented as large photographic prints, or projected as a moving image of billboards placed along the Polish highway.

‘The generic sales message—there is something humorous or ironic with its brevity—appears along the road on the way to the Polish seaside. The words are abstract and often ambiguous, but in many respects minimal. In Parawany: a windshield, commonly used as a fence at the Polish beach is installed as a banner in the popular seaside resort of Dębki. Here the words, become irony, as Piach Luzem, polish for loose sand, suggests an offering of the surrounding landscape.‘ 
// Gettin’ Closer

Polish-born, London-based conceptual artist Franek Wardyński’s Gettin' closer (work in progress 2021) documents the artist’s perfectly timed looped journey through Lubbock (TX, U.S.A.) cemetery—visually accommodating Buddy Holly’s famous song Everyday (1957)—to combine sculpture, performance and land art. The artistic crossing is shown on a 5” Sony Trinitron portable colour TV from 1985, which highlights the characteristics of the monochrome and flat land of North-Western Texas.

‘The perfectly loop—how else to say it?—frightens me, and not only because I could never hope to ever replicate Gettin' closer or match its timing and rhythms and that weird sense of never-ending. In the fall of 2019, I was the final phase of my term at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. In a fit of touristic curiosity, I went to see Buddy Holly’s grave. I was in my car alone, asking Siri to play me a Buddy Holly song. For the first time in my life, I felt I was getting closer, finding myself eager to make my days “a little longer”.’ F.W

// Spectre

London-based Franek Wardyński presents Spectre (work in progress 2021) a short film that explores the relationship between the symbolic cinematography of 'spaghetti westerns' and a newcomer’s curiosity of the South Western landscape. The performative element of Spectre is a disjunctive, self-referential art film, an act echoed in the French Drama by Marguite Duras, India Song (1975). 'Spectre,' is someone who comes into the landscape from afar and behaves like he thinks he is supposed to. The film is accompanied by an off-screen voice, that seems to be reacting to the action or perhaps simply remembering it.

‘I like the awkward, both alien yet familiar, way that Spectre appears and disappears. To look at his landscape—the wild American West—is for me to discover myself seeing. This place already exists in my mind from films I watched when I was a child in Poland. Making a new contemporary of the West, therefore naturally involves mimicry and recursiveness. The minimalism is important, however, allowing for both flamboyant and austere moments. Maybe this is the point: Western cinematography is a way for me to perform, both poetry and farce.’ F.W

//  Crystal Portraits

A recent work by Franek Wardyński brings the crystal world into the gallery via a series of sombre aluminium plates, in Crystal Portraits. The square procession of metal prints can also be read as enlarged, giant, salt crystals from the Salt Lake in Utah, in an almost scientific endeavour or simply as an abstract form. Drawing from J.G Ballard’s The Crystal World (1966) which describes crystals as 'hanging like icons, in jewelled casements, fused into a lattice of prisms' Wardyński has used ink transfer to execute these captive compositions.

‘Having no developed knowledge of crystals, I began by collecting them at the Salt Lake and then scanning them, enlarging them seventy-five times. Look it up: there is an infinite world of patterns and geometries in a simple image search. The crystals from the Salt Lake were different however, they had thick lines within, old lines, from a different time. What was in the character? I had to explore the lines, as traits, beginning to unfold their stories in neat aluminium casings.’ F.W.
//  Mirage 
In Franek Wardyński’s photo book Mirage (work in progress 2021), form and content are merged in a poetic journey through the American West. Wardyński’s sequence of images, are a complete artwork, vital and resonant, framing the landscape of the Anthropocene. The presence of human land use is haunting, nearly monumental, in a variety of urban as well as remote places, depicting a rare intimacy with the location and its activity.

‘In a time of a constant flow of online photographs—the materiality of the photo book becomes significant—there is something particularly interrogative about its form. I spent six months photographing American land-use, investigating public space and infrastructure, capturing them almost like portraits. The book represents a moment in the land as if I was shooting one facial expression at a time.’ F.W.