Being there: a disturbing thing

Małgorzata Baranowska By Małgorzata Baranowska

It is a rare phenomenon that we deal with paintings which make us reflect on time and ‘being there’, or ‘lasting there’, in such an unexpected manner. Actually, it seems to me that to paint a ‘being/lasting somewhere’, ‘as it is’, is merely impossible. However, there is something to it in Adam Patrzyk’s paintings.

One would often like to pay a visit to them, to enter into those interiors which at first glance are beguiling with their ‘literal’ nature. Actually, some equipment occurs in there, as do some buildings, or rooms which all appear not contrary to our experience. And only a more careful glance would enable us to spot some strange, fantastic perspective and a secret light whose source is unknown.

Adam PatrzykAdam Patrzyk

Let’s say that the painter would furnish these uninhabited beaches, enormous libraries filled with books only, deserted rooms, town squares never attended by anyone, with people. But then again, this light would have to enclose them in its mysterious secret. It is in this light’s landscapes and interiors, resembling a theatrical stage, no more dynamic action is imaginable. And despite the appearing clocks, one cannot spot or define the actual moment. One would like to enter into there, but – would it be possible to find a way out?

Adam PatrzykAdam PatrzykAdam Patrzyk

It seems that having crossed the painting’s surface, we will find a way to a maze and will finally get there in a moment. At the end, we deduce that what we are dealing with is a sort of theatre traps. A fact of life, one should like to point out. We cannot see things behind the walls around us, can we. The difference is that despite all the well-known objects, nothing in there is like in real life. All is a little too big, as if, and too intensively illuminated with artificial light of unknown origin.

As a rule, Patrzyk assigns to us, potential spectators, a place in a deep shadow from where he would allow us to spy on some unnamed ritual of the world, some mystery. What mystery? This may be a mystery of being, lasting, a mystery of eternity. The painter sets a trap. Everyone would like to see behind the elements walling us off from some unknown spaces which hide from our sight, and everyone would like to recognise the astonishing source of light. These desires appear more natural, instinctive. But this painter has constructed it so that we may feel it is not possible. Thus we have been trapped into space and time.

This painting seems to be a philosophical one, just as there is a philosophical poetry. Patrzyk dreams of representing eternal lasting with the use of painting means.

His paintings, so static and seemingly deprived of any elements normally deemed disturbing, trigger anxiety anyway. Almost in each of them, we can see a space created by humans. This space is presented as a beautiful, though alien, landscape. No presence of humans and a perspective making one reflect on whether what we see is really seen with our naked eye(s), or maybe everything is already changed by some invisible wide-angle lens: this aspect is already intriguing enough. Add to it those ‘lasting lights’. It’s impossible to say whether anyone has lit them. But we don’t want to turn them off, nor can we do so. And this is what lasting of art is all about. But the painter’s intent is something even greater than that – to achieve a picture of eternity, or endlessness. He is willing to paint the impossible and thus refers to a cognitive anxiety being innate to any human being.

The arcades and libraries appear empty. In addition, perhaps there is permanent darkness reigning in this world. The mysterious light shapes out the beauty of intense colours, but it seems that the morning will never come. Or even when we may sometimes somewhere spot something like daylight, through the arcade forest, this light does not serve anyone’s purpose. Perhaps this is the world after a catastrophe which has left such a strangely well-ordered space?

If those unknown ones who had, after all, to collect those enormous library collections, build houses, mount in those shutters, have perished, does it mean, then, that it is only objects to last? Is the quality of ‘being’, ‘lasting’ due to them only? Are we to be left alone in here? Left, with a sense of being strangers to this ‘being’?

Patrzyk understands the rule behind the real fantastic. To construct anything which seems a product of one’s pure imagination, one needs to masterly operate the elements of reality being well known to everyone. To get immersed in timelessness, one should know a lot about light which sets forth human time.

Selected works

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