Franciszek Orłowski - There is not one
20.10 - 24.11.2017
The exhibition ‘There is not one’ comprises 3 new projects by Franciszek Orłowski. The artist, known for his socially engaged work, also this time focuses on the individual, his role and interpersonal relationships.
Through his works Orłowski analyses people´s issues in different existential situations, connected with solitude or being unnoticed.
TIGHTENING THE SCREW, digital slide show, 2017
The work was created thanks to the collaboration with Nikita, an illegal immigrant from Ukraine.
The work tells the story of a Ukrainian immigrant, an engineer, who due to his country’s poor economical situation, started working as a building worker in Poland. Like many others immigrants, despite of his good education and Polish language skills, he made use of an illegal employment agency. The result of the signed contract with the agency was a job that led to his financial, physical and psychical ruin, and consequently his family’s.
The main job duty consisted in screwing metal constructions. The contracted working conditions were unbearable. The day before his departure from Poland Nikita wrote a letter describing his experience. He put it in a specially prepared slot in one of the screws and screwed it to the construction he was working on. The letter is directed to an anonymous subject (to you, to anyone), talks about helplessness, the need of relationship with one another, about disappointment, loneliness, uncertainty, exhaustion from the work and difficult existential conditions. In the letter one can find a situation of conflict between singular and plural subjects* and the influence that economy have on human relations.
The screw tightened by Nikita, together with its emotional content, become a vital part and a base of the newly made structure.
IN-BETWEEN, photographs, 2017
These photographs of security guards at art exhibitions are simple artistic gestures, where the focus is brought to their role as people who spend the most time in the gallery space. Seemingly invisible to the viewer, they observe every step we make, they follow us. Their presence becomes in some way an integral part of the exhibition. Their different personalities are captured and portrayed in Orłowski’s photographs. This important human element is inevitably added to the narration of an exhibition that the artist or curator had envisioned paying no attention to them.
Each photograph shows the reality that lays in-between the exhibition itself and the individual world of the security guard.