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Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art
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Gilewicz Wojciech

A painter, photographer, author of installations and videos. Born in 1974 in Bilgoraj, Poland. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (1994-1996) and then in Warsaw, where in 1999 he earned a degree in painting (with an additional degree in photography). Lives and works in Warsaw and New York.

 

In his works, which usually combine all these disciplines, Gilewicz explores the blurring of distinctions between reality and its artistic representation. A frequent motif of his practice is the replacing of elements of the real world with their painterly replicas. Gilewicz’s paintings pretend to be fragments of walls, windowsills, pavements, and for an unaware viewer are utterly indistinguishable from the originals. Sometimes the artist ‘corrects reality’ by placing ‘patch’ paintings over dents or holes in a wall. The spectator is able to find the pieces, hidden in the urban tissue by the artist, with the help of specially prepared maps or films documenting the painting process. Gilewicz usually leaves the paintings for a long time in their public-space locations, deliberately exposing them to the effect of sunlight, rain, wind or the human factor. In his practice Gilewicz demonstrates the immense power of the painting medium that is able to perfectly imitate reality, while at the same time, in a way, denying the meaningfulness of painting, because his pictures remain invisible. Gilewicz’s paintings are hyperrealistic and non-representational at the same time – they perfectly imitate fragments of reality but when taken out of the reality context and transferred to the gallery, they become purely abstract.

 

Wojciech Gilewicz is also the author of the photographic series Them started in 2002. This series is based on illusion – using graduation filter and double exposure, Gilewicz creates his own look-alike, twin brother, his alter ego and looks at himself through their eyes arranging situations that, seemingly ordinary and everyday, in reality never took place. The traditional photographic techniques used here do not allow for the two characters to get close or touch each other. They work, travel, rest together, they are always together but separate at the same time, divided by an insurmountable distance. The resulting situations are full of psychological tension, alluding to a search for identity and a sense of loneliness, alienation and unfulfillment.The Them series photographs can be read on many different levels of interpretation – as a present-day version of the Narcissus story, as a narrative about melancholy, or as homoerotic love.

 

The leitmotif of Wojciech Gilewicz’s practice is a desire to show how relative and changeable our perception of the surrounding world is and how fluid the boundaries between reality and its artistic representation can be. Gilewicz’s practice invites a reflection on the mechanisms governing our perception and on the cultural determinants of the way we see things.

 
 
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