Leszek Knaflewski. Crossroads Versus Roundabouts


organizer: Galeria Piekary

‘Crossroads against Roundabouts’ is a completely new project by this Artist. It comprises three installations and four video shows displayed on various multimedia devices. The mischievous title of the exhibition confronts and juxtaposes the shapes which, when superimposed one over another, yield a rifle sight aiming straight into the spectator’s eye. They comprise a circular roundabout and a crossroads where movement is possible only in the direction indicated by the crossing lines. Leszek Knaflewski identifies this sign also as a symbol of racist White Power that signifies the unavoidable racial and religious conflict approaching. One more time, the Artist reveals the symbolic transition of meanings as he clashes together two different forms. He obtains their new meaning while simultaneously demonstrating the blurred contours in the sharpening of the assembled sight. A mischievous play with the (only apparently) dangerous objects involved in the mechanisms of power and control transforms these objects into something new with a new, utterly material use. Paradoxically, their primary evil purpose is also revealed. Leszek Knaflewski is consistent in his development of the motifs known from his former works, but he also adds new ones. He is constantly attracted to the issue of power and supervision, the matter of terror of the mechanisms and socio-political standards, embroilment in the relations of dependence and submission that lead to enslavement and loss of identity. The new works evoke the question of the status of artistic language. More than his former works, they inscribe in the non-artistic considerations of the symbolic role and place of the artist in his works and his art. As in his former collection, Killing me softly, here the Artist also wears various costumes and gets inside the forms which reveal his presence in a more or less veiled form. When squeezing through the narrow opening of a tube with sticky gunk, paint, slime, and eventually semen, the act of birth and fertilization is symbolically repeated. Fertile semen flowing out from the Artist’s mouth symbolically brings him to life and ensures infinite rebirth and continuity.