AND SUMMER WAS BEAUTIFUL THAT YEAR...SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
The paintings of Wiktor Dyndo apparently show us the Orient that we know: bomb attacks, a permanent war on terror, an ever-present theme of an Arafat shawl pattern or Islamic ornamentation. His works bring associations with Orientalism, a trend in European culture which developed in modern times and reached its peak towards the end of the nineteenth century. Although this association is correct, it would be wrong to think of Dyndo as a continuator of Orientalism.
When we compare the works of the 19th-century Orientalists with the paintings by Dyndo, we can see immediately their contrasting significance. While the Orient in the old-time painting usually appears to be the ancient Arabia Felix, Dyndo's paintings today show us, in the first place, an atmosphere of menace and strangeness. We could say that since the events of September 11 the world has undergone a major transformation and that what we can observe today is this famous clash of civilizations, which is depicted by Dyndo as a painter of the Orient. However, this would be an erroneous opinion.
The most important difference between the old-time Orientalist painters and the art of Wiktor Dyndo lies in the very nature of the painting. Orientalist artists travelled to the Orient, depicted the fragments of the world by which they were fascinated, subjected them to aesthetization and used them to produce a coherent idealized narrative of a far-flung land of happiness. Their works featured the image of the reception of the Orient in Europe that corresponded with the dreams and longing of the European townspeople. Wiktor Dyndo, however, uses as his point of departure the images of the Orient that we know from the electronic mass media, the images that are present in mass imagination. While Orientalist artists created a fragmentary image of the Orient, Dyndo unveils a fragmentary and false character of this image, which is enhanced by a minimal use of formal measures. For that reason, his paintings represent, to a higher extent than the East, our attitude towards the Orient, which is still based on superficial judgments and emotions.
The art of Wiktor Dyndo reveals a certain important feature of Western culture. We may say that the portrayal of the Orient enables us to express our mass emotions rather than to get acquainted with Oriental culture; in the earlier times, those were the dreams, while today these are the feelings of fear and anxiety.
no title, 2011, oil on canvas, 51 x 44 cm
ISLAM VS TERRORISM, 2009, oil on canvas, 160 x 120 cm
HURGHADA, 2011, oil on canvas, 140 x 170 cm
PHOBIA, 2010, olej na płótnie, 140 x 140 cm
Pictures from the exhibition, "AND SUMMER WAS BEAUTIFUL THAT YEAR...SEPTEMBER 11, 2001", Bochenska Gallery, September, 2011