Paulina Stasik paints tongues, ears, breasts and hands; the body in her paintings is subject to fragmentation and situations she creates are nearly de-realised. A dream of a symbolic merging with an object of emotional interest turns out to be nearly surreal. Only the endless desire remains.
Paulina Stasik: Your Heart in My Brain
Curated by: Aleksander Celusta
April 13 – May 12, 2018
Henryk Gallery, Krakow
A contemporary use of language clearly reveals metaphors alluding to the activity of food ingestion. After all, every one of us chanced to get their teeth into a text, swallow one’s pride, be choked up or be in a consuming relationship, on more than one occasion. We are choice morsels and our bodies look tasty. We lick, bite, chew, swallow and digest. At times, we get an appetite for somebody, and then we want to eat them, gorge on them. Food ingestion, therefore, captures various emotional, but also intellectual processes.
“Oh, how I’d love to stuff my face with this guy at last.” “This one won’t feed you, dear,” was the Apothecary’s philosophical reply. “There’s enough of it. You can’t swallow him whole.” (We say: “It’s been known to happen.”). Your tongue touches it, encounters a surface. You slide on it, can’t get through. Like licking a screen. They agree. A general excitement and a hermeneutics of the body. That it’s like a landscape, won’t go away, won’t satisfy. That it’s an illusion. A surface, flat network, Deleuze & Guattari. (Witkowski Michał, Lubiewo, Wyd. 1 [first edition], Kraków, Ha!art, 2005 [trans. P. Mierzwa])
Berlin, March 2001, Armin Meiwes: “I am looking for a well-built man who would want to be eaten by me.” The man he found and murdered ends up on his plate as a steak in a green pepper sauce with garlic and allspice next to mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Accompanied by a glass of South African red wine. The victim was being consumed by the perpetrator for the next few months, where his first meal was experienced as a communion. “I killed and ate the man. Since then, he’s always with me,” he later reported.
Paulina Stasik paints tongues, ears, breasts and hands; the body in her paintings is subject to fragmentation and situations she creates are nearly de-realised. A dream of a symbolic merging with an object of emotional interest turns out to be nearly surreal. Only the endless desire remains. For her, the canvas is like a film frame. An open composition with a clearly marked centre, becoming the culminating point, predominates in her compositions. As she admits: “my paintings are made of trivial detail, such as: pink cheeks, red nipples, nails, tiny veins in the arms.” In her latest paintings, the body is both affirmed and, on the other hand, has the capacity of becoming the object of consumption. One would want to bite it, eat it, digest it, to finally quench the desire. We can do nothing but slide on its surface.
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Henryk Gallery, Krakow (Poland)