MICHAL BUDNY - Mirror
January 21 – February 26, 2011
How nice it would be if we could only get though into Looking-glass House! I’m sure it’s got, oh! such beautiful things in it! …Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it’s turning into a sort of mist now, I declare!
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
“Ohne Titel (Augen im Spiegel)” [Untitled (Eyes in Mirror)] is a work by Micha³ Budny which was shown in “Winter,” his first exhibition in the Galerie nächst St. Stephan in 2008. It is a two-dimensional wall object with two circular blotches of black acrylic on raw cardboard. Unlike the title suggests, the work is not about reflexive recognition, but about two blind spots. It is not a spatial duplication, but a kind of visual disturbance. It is a mistake that is not a defect, but which rather opens up a new fluid space on an even plane. Fluid in its materiality and its two- and three-dimensionality, it is a world where temporal and spatial order has shifted.
Since that time, Budny’s works have tested the possibilities of this shifted world that resembles an emotional landscape, a clouded mirror, or a faded portrait — a world in which time and space unfurls backwards in the mirror’s reflection and which hints at traces of something that has passed in the future. The cardboard, transparent foil, and tape he uses are deliberately chosen poor materials which, from the beginning, give way to transience and external forces.
Budny’s mirrors are not shiny, smooth surfaces reflecting precise images; they enable new possibilities of perception, fleeting moments of lucency, and precarious processes of sensation. They pose as flat pictures or spatial installations and can incorporate changes in light and shadow. His masterly handling of cardboard, scissors, and acrylic, which produced objects of seemingly minimalist perfection in the past, is replaced by an experimentation with and questioning of sculpture and its consistency. These new objects resemble constructions that are precisely and methodically left unfinished and halfway. They no longer claim to be factitious sculptural bodies, but rather employ all their poetry and fragility to highlight these bodies’ development – their potential and contingency in space and time.
Micha³ Budny was invited to participate in “Bodycheck,” the 10th Small Sculpture Triennial in Fellbach, Germany, in 2007, and the Manifesta 7 in Trentino, Italy, in 2008. His solo exhibition in South London Gallery in 2010 has also attracted much media attention, and his works will be shown in a solo exhibition in the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf and the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in 2011.
Born 1976 in Leszno, Poland, lives in Warsaw. Exhibitions (selection): 2010 … um so mehr, Kunsthalle Göppingen, New Positions, Art Cologne; 2009 Woks, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; 2008 Der großeWurf, Museen Haus Lange - Haus Esters, Krefeld; 2007 Triennale Kleinplastik, Fellbach; Manipulations, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw and Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk (2006); 2006 Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Bielefelder Kunstverein/Kunstverein Nürnberg; Spiralen der Erinnerung, Kunstverein Hamburg; Postmodelism, Bergen Kunsthall; annex14, Bern; 2005 (+ 2007) Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne; Prague Biennial; 2004 Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Die leichte Arbeit, Kulturbrauerei Berlin; Rheinschau Cologne; 2003 (+ 2005 + 2009) Raster, Warsaw