The Workbench International, Milan hosts an exhibition by the Polish artist Piotr Skiba curated and organized by the gallery Wschód.
Piotr Skiba creates films, objects and installations. His projects often revolve around the themes of exclusion, racial intolerance, and social alienation. He is interested in using different identities and periphery aesthetics. Often in his realizations he uses found objects. Areas of interests found in Skiba’s practices include orthopedic orthosis, insoles, sports accessories, fragments of found street waste, which the artist attempts to define anew, destroying our accustomization to their function, weight, or transience. Since 2014 he has been working at the Szczecin Academy of Art in the Faculty of Painting and New Media. He lives and works in Wrocław.
From the curatorial text of Mateusz Marczewski
“I was just running along the river’s edge, an hour after a storm that had broken down rather large trees exposing light yellow, almost shining structure of the trunks. In the park two women looking at the damages caused by the wind said something. It was a comment or, better, a metaphor. An intriguing and simple selection of a few words that contained that event in its entirety. Later I was trying to recall that sentence, to recreate it, but in vain. The deeper I dug in my memory, the more the recollection of those hours after the storm became incomplete. Finally, it lost its light core, an almost shining one. Instead I felt a harrowing sense of fragmentariness. I repeat to console myself that the incompleteness is a trap; there’s nothing worse than a compulsive seeking of completeness. The formless promise in the distance is a lie. You want it but you know from the start that the path leads nowhere. So it would be much better if that word never existed; if “completeness” were crossed off and some other word put in its place, one that would accept dismemberment and incompleteness. The fallen trees were beautiful. I run there every day. I saw them in broad daylight at 1 pm, embedded in blue halo of a dawn. Even after dusk, lit by orange sky, the trees never looked so full of life as on the day of the storm that made them fall as if they had been sick or made with some breakable material. In breakages you could see expressive forms: sharp, shining bayonets pointing in all directions, spikes bristling with other spikes, spikes wet with juices, suddenly exposed to daylight. Some sections of the trunk bended under the weight of the falling tree crown and made soft, gentle semi-arches, something like bands polished to a shine. I couldn’t resist the impression that these trees, destroyed and doomed to be cut down as soon enough somebody with a chainsaw is going to turn up and tidy them up, were the most beautiful. Branches were strewn all around: the hit against the ground must have been hard; the ground must have made a rumbling sound. And leaves: wet, lifeless, as if already drying. I was running and clearing the way in the trees with my hand until I couldn’t run anymore: I was too weak to squeeze my way through the holes in the tree crown and gave up. Inhaling the smell of ozone, typical for a violent storm, I didn’t yet know that I would never be able to remember the words I had heard a moment ago; words that contained exactly what had happened. So only fragments will stay with me. Probably for a long time; if not for ever”.
The exhibition is curated by Wschód