Das weiße Ballett
29-04-2023 - 01-07-2023
"Should we save absence or the void? Should we save this nothingness at the heart of the image?" Jean Baudrillard (from Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?)
In his first solo exhibition at kajetan in 2019, Jan Wawrzyniak presented a set of new, almost oppressively evacuated works in his exhibition titled Forms of Aporia: predominantly large-format drawings that – by dint of their very opacity for the viewer – could scarcely be called pictures and remained largely beyond adequate description. For Wawrzyniak, the picture is just enough a picture, though not quite picture enough to allow one to actually experience it as such.
Four years later, we are delighted to be able to host Jan Wawrzyniak’s second solo show at kajetan, with which he emphatically confirms and accentuates this position. Titled Das weiße Ballett (The White Ballet), we present a series of untreated canvasses from 2022.
In his work, the pictorial shape now assumes the role of the picture, which is no longer a picture but instead solely horror vacui and yet still referencing the artist's previous endeavours: the works with slightly off-kilter, irregular formats, from which the picture and the world have been expelled over time and which – choreographed – give rise to a fragile ensemble of undrawn pictures.
Jan Wawrzyniak has spent many years visually engaging with the critical experience of existence. The current state of this confrontation can be seen in our exhibition.
The images themselves have disappeared, but the canvases dance in celebration of their existence. The grin still hovers in space long after the cat has departed. (Lewis Carroll)
What remains of it are unmarked blank panels and a wooden frame indicated in graphite, positioned in opposition to and in conjunction with one another, subtly delineating the exhibition space.
Via the interplay of the different formats, their subtle shifts and the way they are staggered, Jan Wawrzyniak succeeds in creating a dynamic, achromatic, almost poetic ensemble, the corresponding pictorial shapes of which casting lines of light and shadow gaps on the walls of the space, conjuring up impressions of animated spatial configurations and of spatial depth, of half-spaces and spatial displacement.
The crisis is omnipresent and, as such, it is no longer perceptible. The crisis has outlived itself. In this sense it is only logical that Jan Wawrzyniak turns the radical negativity of his undrawn pictures into a choreographed space: into a white (picture) ballet without pictures.
(Translated from German by Tim Connell)