Marek Cecuła: SEEDS / Glass and Ceramics Gallery, Wrocław, Poland
September 13 - October 10, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, September 13, 18.00 pm.
The modern reality evokes more and more catastrophic visions, not as much of the end of the world perhaps, but rather of the decline of the world as we know it. Last century’s escalating occurrence of natural disasters and the worryingly fast degradation of the environment are food for thought, resulting in the eco trends on the one hand, and growing speculation crowned with the prophecies of the demise of civilization on the other.
In this situation, we are more thorough in creating architecture which is resistant to the most severe disasters, buying insurance policies which will hypothetically safeguard our future. We assume optimistically that we will somehow survive and manage to preserve our civilization.
In his latest project entitled “Seeds – the art of survival”, Marek Cecuła goes a step further, envisaging the annihilation of humankind in his vision of the future. However, he assumes that it is possible to preserve the material which enables Rebirth, as well as substances and tools needed for further functioning. All which is needed to that end is finding a form, a capsule made of an ultra-resistant material guaranteeing the preservation of the survival substance. The nature suggests a solution – the “seeds” are based on actual plant seeds, while their outer texture brings to mind the exceptionally durable diamond. The material used by the artist to generate his “seeds” is ceramics, whose durability is proved by archaeological excavations, which allow us to track down the development of civilization from the prehistoric times, through antiquity, to the modern era.
The exhibition in Wrocław’s BWA Glass and Ceramics Gallery blends art and science. Building terror and suspense, Cecuła shows the viewers real materials from the sites of natural disasters, statistics and scientific data presenting the real picture of what we are threatened with, a detailed description of the material used in building the seeds, and finally the main hero, together with the contents guaranteeing – according to the artist – the survival of substances ensuring Rebirth. There is no space left for any valuable objects representing our culture or development of civilization, there are no technological gizmos. Cecuła refers to the sources of life, only intending to preserve the existence of live matter which would allow an evolutionary revival of the civilization. The exhibition presents twenty large and twenty small “seeds”. Each is composed of two airtight elements. In its final version, the project is planned to contain a hundred such forms to be distributed all over the planet in order to secure the ultimate survival. The design of the “seeds”, their aesthetic form, is supposed to evoke a sense of security and hope for Rebirth.
The exhibition “Seeds – the art of survival” consolidates elements of archaeology and futurology, entering the current of works labelled by the artist himself archaeology of the future. Cecuła originated this current in 1979 in Brazil, preparing the site-specific installation “Art Project 79”. In Brazil’s Parana region, the artist used a slope created by the construction of a new road. He cut out a geometric form in it and then used the material to produce 1140 bricks, each marked with the logo of the project, and then filled the missing fragment of the slope with his artistic bricks. The motif is also present in the temporary, interactive installation entitled “Threshing floor”, created in the Katonah Museum of Art in 2008. Using twenty tons of raw bricks, Cecuła turned one of the museum’s floors into a clay threshing place, with its cracks as locations for clay objects, ornaments bringing to mind archaeological excavations. Entering the “Threshing floor”, the audience transformed the installation, gradually creating new cracks due to the erosion of clay, as well as taking fragments of the work with themselves.
Limiting the contents of the “seeds” to the substances needed for life and tools facilitating survival is Cecuła’s reaction to the surrounding world, full of unnecessary objects and excess of information, mostly useless and invading us on a daily basis. We collect gadgets and cyber-fads whose life is finished the moment a new model enters the market, we function in the virtual world, often forgetting the fundamental values. “Seeds – the art of survival” is an exhibition which – through the catastrophic visions – causes fear and unease, but most of all makes us ponder over our invasive activities and destruction of the natural environment. The last hundred years of civilization, so abundant in scientific and technological inventions, has almost wiped away the environment we live in, a fact which becomes clearer with every natural disaster we have to face.
Cecuła, a person we have long known as an exceptionally sensitive artist and designer creating his world of everyday objects, tackles in his work the issue of excess – redundant products which are thoughtlessly collected and disposed of, and introduces the idea of their recycling. This time he shows his next face – that of a visionary returning to the roots, a minimalist who uses scientific data to demonstrate the perspective of the end programmed into the project of modernity. The artist’s latest exhibition and the “seeds” he has created may not perhaps guarantee our survival, but will certainly make us reflect deeper on our actions and the consequences they may bring.
Agnieszka Kurgan, Curator
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 11.00 - 18.00. Saturday, 11.00 - 15.00.
Agnieszka Kurgan, Chief Curator
Tel. +48 71 784 39 00
BWA Glass and Ceramics Gallery
Kościuszki Square 9/10
Above: Marek Cecuła, SEEDS, 2012.
More exhibitions »