Michal Brzezinski: Fake Art
10 November – 11 December 2011
Opening: November 10, 2011 , 18h (2nd floor)
BWA SOKÓL Gallery of Contemporary Art in Nowy Sacz
33-300 Nowy Sacz, ul. Kosciuszki 34, Poland
Michal Brzezinski is an artist faithful to the medium of video, who has been striving for a decade to restore the art of video to the position of experimental art and who has negated attempts at adapting and appropriating it to the role imposed by the context of the traditional visual arts. He attempts to discover new elements both in the montage and in visual aesthetics of this medium. The present exhibition constitutes another breakthrough in his creative output which has generated many a controversy so far. Since these controversies are not political but aesthetic in nature, his works are a far cry from scandal-seeking and populism. However, in the artistic context, this show is truly ‘volcanic’ and, following subsequent eruptions of Brzezinski’s ideas, the intellectual landscape is swept off the surface and the defining of a new aesthetic space commences.
It may seem that works so saturated with intellectual ideas must remain dry and distant. Brzezinski, however, by making his ideological revolution, reinstates art as cool, expressive, intriguing, striking or maybe even slick. In this sense, his idea may permeate the viewers’ mind organically without causing an avant-garde aversion to the artistic artifact which plays a subordinate role to the idea. Slickness is thus a kind of a communicative interface which stirs imagination or emotions, a form of invocation.
What does the idea of the FAKE ART exhibition consist in? The nature of art, according to Brzezinski, lies in the sign. The sign is the material means (the medium) and the object to which it refers (meaning). Digital video, though, does not have the characteristics typical for other media (a pixel is not a feature of vector graphics, image flatness is not a feature of a 3D image, and each image may be printed or projected in various ways.) Thus, it is features of the final form of presentation, not features of the digital image, that constitute artifacts and visible features. In this respect, the digital image is a perfect potentiality: its characteristic feature is a lack of features. Brzezinski has coined the term of ‘d-effect’ in order to render the double relationship between an effect and a defect, to undermine ‘failure’ aesthetics by introducing the term of ‘fake’.
What consequences does it bring to the digital image aesthetics? Media art has traditionally equated the meaning with the medium, exploring aesthetic properties of the medium. Tautological forms have been created which, supposedly, refer the meaning to the medium itself. Fake art aims to transcend this construction and refer digital image to other media since digital video lacks intrinsic features and cannot naively refer to itself. In this respect, the idea of art according to Brzezinski thus approaches the classic situation known from figurative art which depicts external meanings in the medium, for instance, a deer painted on canvas using oil paint or a light projection on the wall. Classic art also equates the form with the content. Brzezinski reinstates the sign in the digital era. Instead of simulating the deer or depicting the medium itself, FAKE ART strives to falsify other media. With the use of one medium, it visualizes impossible constructions of another medium, uses irony and generates absurd research results.
For example, Brzezinski simulates an explosion of gold nano-particles or a process of bacterial incubation which is calculated in 3D space on the basis of a DNA code of a flu virus. From the scientific point of view, these constitute absurd actions, non-existent in nature, neither discovering nor depicting the truth about the world. Nevertheless, in the context of art, they acquire an aesthetic, often metaphorical or symbolical dimension. Structures of this type, which infect science and transform it into art, are actualisations of conceptual art. Processing of objects, images and artifacts of the cognitive process aims to blur the obviousness of conclusions drawn and sometimes to fabricate theories that would have a social, political, religious or even mystical dimension. This dimension, however, will only come into being as a result of interpreting a fraudulent fact.