Galeria Art Logo

EssayJolanta Wagner

By Jolanta Wagner

The Every-Day Life

I draw all the time, almost with no break. Drawing is my every-day life. Drawings are records of this life. When drawing, I use my private history, experiences of every-day life. I am saving my life and creating a kind of documentary: diaries, calendars, books, maps…notes of every-day things. Things objectively tiny and of small importance, important for me only.

THE HARMONY

Jolanta Wagner

Curator A. Saciuk: “…these drawings are being created…by changing their form on less or more thrifty in means and colors, the same way days and moods differ from each other. But there is something that is still unchangeable in them – it is harmony. A drawing that consists rows of small characters: houses, birds, plants, letters, geometric figures, signs and other things that are so abstractive and so hard to describe but at the same time – perfectly harmonic. All these tiny pictures – symbols – go well together creating a picture of a common and at the same time – exceptional world. Exceptional by its difference from the world of other people's…this one created by Jolanta Wagner is filled with small thoughts, silence and cheerfulness. It is cleaned up, though you won't find hierarchy in it. A human and subjects constructed by him are melted in in the natural life and together with it create the surrounding reality….”

Jolanta Wagner

THE CLEANING UP

In my opinion, every art act is in fact cleaning up different things. By acting I search for rules of cooperating with the surrounding world just to understand and maybe rule over it, or at least to get an illusion of ruling. An accustomed world seems to be a friendly world. By cleaning up the surrounding world I find a safe place in it.

In art “less”, “modest”, “simplier” most often means “better”. Creating – cleaning up – makes one to constant choice making. I think that when one makes a decision should be faithful to it. But still it is sad how many fascinate ways have to be crumpled, how many promising ideas have to be rejected…

Jolanta Wagner

THE TIME

When crating my “calendars”, “diaries”, “notes” I build rhythmical systems. I clean-up their elements so that they could be read as writing and give back a feeling of the time passing by. Quite often I give them an open, continuous composition as if they were a fragment and not a finished whole. Ambiguous, fluent rhythms of signs, likewise the passing time, have no beginning or end.

Jolanta Wagner

THE SIGNS

I cover the surface of paper with “a kind of writing, with self-made picture alphabet”, sings with The Every-Day Life

I draw all the time, almost with no break. Drawing is my every-day life. Drawings are records of this life. When drawing, I use my private history, experiences of every-day life. I am saving my life and creating a kind of documentary: diaries, calendars, books, maps… notes of every-day things. Things objectively tiny and of small importance, important for me only.

Jolanta Wagner

THE HARMONY

Curator A. Saciuk: “…these drawings are being created…by changing their form on less or more thrifty in means and colors, the same way days and moods differ from each other. But there is something that is still unchangeable in them – it is harmony. A drawing that consists rows of small characters: houses, birds, plants, letters, geometric figures, signs and other things that are so abstractive and so hard to describe but at the same time – perfectly harmonic. All these tiny pictures – symbols – go well together creating a picture of a common and at the same time – exceptional world. Exceptional by its difference from the world of other people's…this one created by Jolanta Wagner is filled with small thoughts, silence and cheerfulness. It is cleaned up, though you won't find hierarchy in it. A human and subjects constructed by him are melted in in the natural life and together with it create the surrounding reality….”

Jolanta Wagner

THE CLEANING UP

In my opinion, every art act is in fact cleaning up different things. By acting I search for rules of cooperating with the surrounding world just to understand and maybe rule over it, or at least to get an illusion of ruling. An accustomed world seems to be a friendly world. By cleaning up the surrounding world I find a safe place in it.

In art “less”, “modest”, “simplier” most often means “better”. Creating – cleaning up – makes one to constant choice making. I think that when one makes a decision should be faithful to it. But still it is sad how many fascinate ways have to be crumpled, how many promising ideas have to be rejected…

Jolanta Wagner

THE TIME

When crating my “calendars”, “diaries”, “notes” I build rhythmical systems. I clean-up their elements so that they could be read as writing and give back a feeling of the time passing by. Quite often I give them an open, continuous composition as if they were a fragment and not a finished whole. Ambiguous, fluent rhythms of signs, likewise the passing time, have no beginning or end.

THE SIGNS

I cover the surface of paper with “a kind of writing, with self-made picture alphabet”, sings with many meanings:

  • sings – abstractive compositions of spots and lines
  • sings – illustrations of remembered reality
  • signs – symbols
  • signs – magic spells similar to these found on ancient tools, arrows; they were used not for the esthetic but for the effectiveness of their actions.

“The artist invents a system of symbols that masquerades as a language while remaining as vague and fragmented as memory itself. Attempts by the viewer to decipher her diary pages sometimes fail, due to the willful obscurity of some of the signs and symbols. Wagner's diaries function at times as narrative stories, but more often, they are personal mnemonic devices, kept in a code only she can decipher. Subverting the communicative function of language, she builds a case for signs and symbols as object in themselves, worthy of contemplation…”

THE SILENCE

I create in loneliness. I love to work in a silent atmosphere, truly focused on my thoughts, isolated from the rest of the world. What helps me a lot to get a state of ideal balance and internal harmony is music. I only choose classical music. Most willingly – that kind of music that expresses silence. I want my art works to be a very private talk with the receiver that is why they speak with a lower voice, or even whisper. I am a little confused from time to time when they are exposed on big group exhibitions. I am truly convinced that works created in silence and loneliness are better to receive in cameral conditions.

THE PAPER

When drawing, I act only on the surface of the material. What is the surface made of, is rather of less importance to me. From emotional reasons I often choose paper, noble, white, or sheets of common packing paper or tracing paper.

Surface for the drawings – paper – I often make on my own from the old, used paper. I am fascinated with its mysterious past. Old newspapers, tissue-papers, or tecture boxes, are “sentenced” to death. When creating my works on them, I feel like bringing the life back to them.

THE SECOND LIFE

Realized in 1994 work titled “Come in” is a kind of building in a shape of a tomb large enough to fit a human in it. I made it from maculature paper covered with dozens square meters of drawings. After two expositions I made a decision to deconstruct it and recreate it again.

Inspiration for my action was a history of a wonderful palace in one of small German towns, which was first deconstructed and then, from its bricks, a whole housing estate was built up.

I used the papers that were firstly the tomb walls to make 120 boxes houses. I titled this work, and the map of it, a “City Plan”.

THE INTIMACY

Each of my drawings is a diary, a notebook for my private, often intimate, things. Controversy coming from a will to show myself and at the same time a desire to hide myself makes some of the works are not clear to understand.I make it hard to read sometimes by partial or even whole complete covering the signs.

Prof. Irena Huml writes that these signs “are records of privacy written with a code that is impossible to fully decript by a spectator. It is a kind of cryptography or a magic alphabet”.

A WOMAN ART?

A world of woman emotions is different from the man's, it is obvious. My art work is a reflection of internal, woman experiences. Can I call it “a woman art”? I think I can. I do not mind such description, when it describes a woman affirmation in art. This opinion is represented in my art, for example in a 1988's diary “28 days of woman's sexual cycle”. From this time several diaries of woman's everyday things were made.

A.Saciuk: “usually not women write epic or philosophical works – they rather focus on prose, on tiny reports of everyday life, on saving this what's the closest and more important. This is what Jola Wanger's work is all about – enjoying every moment, colors of everyday life, prose of day and passing by. About living with cooperation with the nature, about what's fragile and non-lasting.”.

THE DRAWINGS

A drawing is for me a beginning of everything. It's the simpliest way to transform thoughts into signs. It's a wonderful medium that enables to write down the most bold dreams, to create new forms and ideas.

A drawing is for me a encouragement to get into space. It gives a beginning for all my objects and instal-lations. When drawing I register common subjects and then I build installations: colletions of spears, masks, jars and boxes, I create “maps” to, like a city planner, build up houses and cities.

THE EXCEPTION

I created all my works lonely. All, beside one of them…

In order to make a large collection of empty cosmetics boxes – installation inspired by my earlier drawings, I needed a help from many women. And I received it! Dozens of women took part in action of collecting the objects. Some of them I knew, some I did not. But every each of them I consider a co-author of this work. A whole year they usually were using creams, perfumes and powders and they gave me the empty boxes that I could use for the installation.

The collection contained few thousands of elements: bottles, jars and tubes. Elements that were with no value anymore but they had exciting traces of passed private time. This is a diary “written” with help of many women but at the same time a very private, intimate diary.

I made an inventory of this collection and a drawing showing all the elements was created.

THE WORLD

Hurting problems of our reality are not indifferent for me. War, cruelty, death…They fill me with scare and realizes us our helpless, wake the humbleness up.

I avoid politics, watching tv and reading newspapers I bound to cultural informations.

In defiance of today's fashion I do not intend to do journalism in my art, I do not fill it with subjects that are the media keen on. The idea of exploding with anger in any, even right thing, is strange for me.

Anna Saciuk writes about my works: There is no fight, destruction and decease – there is conciuos contruc-tion, respect for other beings, and humbleness for the nature's rights.

THE FUTURE

World is filled with things. Many wonderful works are lasting through centuries and will last in future thanks to their solidity and durability. In defiance of common sense, I am attracted to these perishable, fragile. Drawings made from recycled paper and tissue-papers give no warranty of lasting, they make us enjoy the moment.

I am not counting nor collecting my works. They vanish somewhere in the world. I think only of these that still have not been done…

THE RESUME

I've had the passion for drawing and gluing as long as I remember. Though many other interests, choosing art school was obvious way to go for me. I studied in Art Academy in Łódź in years of 1967-1973 (PWSSP at that time). These years of studying was a wonderful, unforgettable time for me. The academy was for us – students an oasis of freedom and democration in gloomy reality. It was a window for fascinating world of contem-porary art. I recall my old professors – Roman Modzelewski, Maria Zieliñska and many others, with respect, gratefulness and with liking. I keen in touch with the Academy even today.

After graduation, I began work as an assistant at faculty of Fabrics.

Now I run the Drawing Faculty at faculty of Visual Education.

I received a professor title in 2002.

In my private workshop I draw, paint, contruct objects and installations. I had 43 individual exposiotions and at least 300 group expositions including Polish and abroad shows. I received several prizes and distinctions at national and international contests.