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MAY 01, 2022, oil/canvas, 200 x 150 cm

FEBRUARY 24, 2022, oil/canvas, 200 x 150 cm

NOVEMBER 24, 2022, oil/canvas, 200 x 150 cm

DECEMBER 31, 2023, oil/canvas, 200 x 150 cm

DATA, Szydłowski Gallery, November 2022 - April 2023

DATA - DECEMBER 16, Zachęta

Stefan Szydłowski



The works depicting fragments of landscape, contrary to the genre, present themselves not in a horizontal format, but in a vertical one, which is characteristic for portraits, and are divided in the middle by a date written with digits (day) and letters (month). By today's standards, the paintings are realised with extraordinary attention, with the artist carefully rendering details such as the play of light, or the perspective. To paraphrase Kandinsky, anything could be reduced to a digit, a letter and a surface. First of all, we see the date written in English. Some dates are self- explanatory and refer to well-known events, others were associated with the first news programmes not so long ago, but hardly anyone remembers them today. There are also dates that tell us nothing, but should they? Twelve large paintings, measuring 200 x 150 cm, are like sentinels of memory, striking the eye with dates painted in white paint.

The series of paintings by Wiktor Dyndo, entitled Date, is a new version of his painterly statement on the beauty of the tragedy of contemporary times. The beauty of the inevitability of the course of events bringing suffering and death, the spectacle of the events to which the artist devotes his attention, lies in the fact that all this evil is happening before our eyes: we see it on the screens of our smartphones, computers and TV sets. We know about it. These are portraits of tragic events marking the rhythm of our times; the dates like horizontal cuts hurt our eyes, obscuring the painted landscape. The word ‘date’ means in English something that is, that has happened. Dates are a kind of testimony, an empowerment, an anchor. If we know a date, we are convinced that something really happened at that particular time. We only assign dates to significant events, those that transcend the everyday. Behind the date of the outbreak of war and its end are the tragic fates of millions of specific people. Although dates and places are often conventional, they are nevertheless real in their own way, not only setting a rhythm but also caesuras. Dates conceal the aggression of rupture. There are dates that rob us, give us the illusion of importance. They are empty, abstract, they truncate memory, they conceal the fact that war never ends, it only changes and transforms. We can be sure that sooner or later it will flare up somewhere. Sometimes it is manipulative. It is about having one's own day of victory, about claiming precedence in memories, images, books, films, or games.

Data, facts, events are the subject of information in the form of techno-images, their images prepared for online transmission. And it is as such that they appear on the screens of electronic devices. How do we make sense of dates, how do we make sense of data, how do we interpret facts?

We have a hunch that, among many of them, there are those that because they are ground-breaking, have a special significance. Which of these dates can be meaningfully linked, and on what basis can we say which of the selected ones is the golden link, allowing us to order the others according to the logic that constitutes them? There are dates belonging to the past and making up the present, but there are also dates relating to the future. Once an important date was 1984, this Orwellian date is now out of time, firmly entrenched in symbolic space. Today, dates of climatic doom are emerging.

Wiktor Dyndo paints the seductive beauty of power, war, death. He reveals the ways in which they are presented, coloured, turned into a spectacle. Using a wealth of painterly means, the artist reveals the scenography of the contemporary message - the political stage and theatre of war.

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