Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow
Faculty of Intermedia
Department of Intermedia Art Methods
Studio of Transmedia
Supervisor: Mariusz Sołtysik, PhD
The tabletop is the boundary line between the subconscious and the ego, which with its weight presses the whole thing to the floor and forces us to cooperate, not allowing even a single prudish detail to see the light of day. Subconscious needs perceived as shameful, ignored for too long, begin to bubble with neurotic perversions. Forcing the exquisite tableware and the rules of etiquette into entropy heralding the collapse of conventions or the so-called tradition assuming the maintenance of hierarchical relations at the table. The table, so far usually a stable point of support, and thus one of the symbols of a family hearth takes on an opposite, destructive, threatening role precisely as a result of the viewer’s conscious (or not) actions, which have very ultimate repercussions.
An object so strongly rooted in European culture is an attack on fundamentalist, bourgeois sanctities that for centuries have devalued human relations, degraded to the form of conventions. Thus perpetuated for centuries, “salon norms” gradually supplanted potentially more sincere feelings, implying deviation, in favor of meaningless notions. They have distorted the true image of relationships, especially those with loved ones, in favor of artificiality – a cultural overlay that would probably be worth getting rid of.
The Man of My Life
In this work, I contemplate the place of the male in the current landscape of socio-cultural change. Under the erosion of old taboos that force unnatural behaviors upon us, equally toxic flashpoints of social pressure are being created. Standing on the border between the old and the new cultural code, we must choose: do we continue the tradition, thus perpetuating destructive habits, or do we go for the new.
The title refers to the name we usually give to a male life partner. I use it with some distance because of its loftiness. However, I found it apt in the context of such a suggestive image. The point here is to note a paradox that dominates many father-son relationships: “It’s impossible to be closer to anyone else because you contain (quite literally) a part of me inside you, but we have to keep our distance anyway.”
Mateusz Stanuszek – I am a young artist for whom art is first and foremost a form of language. In second place is offering experiences – both those digested by the mind of the recipient inside and outside. In my works, I try to shock the viewer. I construct my works so that they resonate differently with everyone; not necessarily depending on their level of academic knowledge but their experience and sensitivity.