„Fate Away”

Michał Budny

Rafał Bujnowski

Oskar Dawicki

Zbigniew Rogalski

Janek Simon


When seen from afar, things and phenomena often seem to be the result of coincidence. What would happen, however, if we were to apply a rational cognitive apparatus, or – to go even further – if we were to voluntarily resign from a rational distance in an attempt to project, at any cost, a causal sequence of events? On the other hand, is it at all possible to control distance? Any process which involves a physical remoteness is naturally prone to imprecision. This is the result of the imperfectness of the optical apparatus or an insufficiently speedy exchange of information (not to mention the interferences caused by bad weather).


“Fate Away” is an exhibition which is the result of two variables: a measurable temporal-spatial distance, and the unpredictable coincidence, the so called blind fate. This exhibition is in itself a result of this relationship, as it is a collation of works of different artist, which have surprisingly and paradoxically created a relatively uniform composition.


The point of departure for the project is a bust of Louis-Auguste Cyparis, known as Samson, who was one of the two people to have survived the eruption of Mt. Pelée volcano on 8 May 1902 (three days before local elections), which wiped out the entire town of St. Pierre and killed 20 thousand of its inhabitants. It can be said that Cyparis became an accidental hero. He survived because a few days before the disaster he had been incarcerated in a small cell of the local prison. Soon he became a popular member of Barnum & Bailey Circus, where he was presented as the "Lone Survivor of St. Pierre." When in residence in Martinica in 2009, Rafał Bujnowski decided to revive the contemporary memory of Cyparis. The project will be completed with the unveiling of a monument – created on the basis of portrait photographs which have remained – in the premises of the St. Pierre museum, not far from the prison cell which saved Samson’s life.


The massive bust, cast in volcanic ash collected on the beaches of St. Pierre, will have a counterpoint in the form of a signet ring by Oskar Dawicki, containing the artist’s father’s kidney stone. It is a peculiar anti-relic (just as Cyparis is an iconic anti-hero) – a document of the illness and pain of an ordinary human being.


It is difficult to foresee an illness, just as it is difficult to predict the eruption of a volcano. Although it is possible sometimes. Janek Simon’s project touches on the moment when desire and hope, verging on desperation, win over patience and the humbleness of a scientist. The materials and practical experiments collected by the artist provide insight into the specific and uncanonical discipline of systems of games of chance and methods of predicting winning bets. Perhaps it is not fate which is blind, but it is us who fail to see the principles governing these games. The series of “see-through” images by Rafał Bujnowski is a precise visualization of perception and distance. The almost monochromatic marine landscapes are separated from the viewer by a layer of glass. Melting in the reflexes dancing on the glass’s surface, they show impossibility, or rather the infiniteness inscribed in the process of representation and its interpretation. The analytical and structural character of Bujnowski’s images assumes the active participation of the viewer in the process of perception and, in the most literal sense, the presence of movement – coming closer, moving away, mowing to/from/to the side of the image.  Michał Budny’s and Zbigniew Rogalski’s installation, “Shoot”, is more poetic. It is an attempt at temporal preservation and material fixation of a cinematic image. The artists have constructed a film projector model – a sort of a “Platonian” version of one. The utopian beauty of the work is based on a witty mix of truth and illusion. Similarly the final shape of the entire exhibition is the result of the possible and the impossible, the foreseeable and the coincidental, all that is now, and what is yet to happen, from a point where this sentence ends, to the point from where the exhibition begins.


RASTER is an independent art space in Warsaw run by Łukasz Gorczyca and Michał Kaczyński, established in 2001, exhibiting and representing emerging artists from Poland and abroad. The program of Raster is not merely focused on visual art but also includes screenings, discussions, literature events, concerts as well as informal meetings focused on the local community. Our strategy is to work both internationally and locally, so as to combine the most progressive art achievements with a spirit of private, everyday social existence.



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