Unsent Letters from Beijing ‘ 2013 / Urszula Wilk

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非常感谢Urszula Wilk将以下内容授权gooood发行。
Appreciation towards Urszula Wilk for providing the following description:

波兰艺术家Urszula Wilk最近在波兰举行了一场名叫“ ” Unsent Letters from Beijing ‘ 2013”来自北京未发信件的个展,个展主要由三部分组成:‘Archipelago’, ‘Letters Unsent’ and ‘Absence’)。

Archipelago的创作方式是将纸张用于吸取多余的油墨而形成的类似版画的艺术品。艺术家先在地上滴落油墨,这其中油墨的量和位置艺术家是可以控制的,接着艺术家拿着纸张去“清洁”这些油墨,把纸压在油墨上进行收集。这个时候绘画变成了一种工作室油墨地图的拓印。1:1的比例,不用摄像机,独立而精准,短暂而不可逆。

Letters Unsent的系列上的神秘印记让人联想到“Archipelago”系列,那些如同来自Archipelago系列的“字体”存在却没有沟通意义,那是油墨的滴答,是笔尖的舞蹈,是秘密的语言,是书法的痕迹,是不可破译,是不可读取。它让我们意识到我们总在一定的语言框架内交流,我们也对这种框架屈服,被这种框架所约束。我们应该对这种现象进行挑战。信件是给别人,无论是至亲还是陌生人。书信的触感和书写的内容以及阅读就是自我的独白被解读,而艺术家创作的这种不被解读的信件能让她安全的,淋漓精致的表达自己而不伤害到任何人。

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Marek Śnieciński

Windows on Utopia – paintings of Urszula Wilk fragment

The artist’s recent three series of paintings on paper (entitled ‘Archipelago’, ‘Letters Unsent’ and ‘Absence’) have a joint title ‘Letters Unsent’.

The ‘Archipelago’ series was created using a unique procedure: painterly and non-painterly at the same time. This procedure is close to printmaking in a way. The sheets of paper were used as once blotting paper was used to remove excess ink. Initially, what constitutes the support is  the floor of the studio covered with various constellations of ink drops dripping from the brush. Their arrangements emerge as a result of an activity which could be defined as controlled chance, as the artist can control the amount of dripping ink and the arrangement of ink drops only to a certain extent. The next stage is a specific ‘cleaning’ process: the artist presses sheets of paper against the archipelagos of drops , collecting them from the floor. This is the stage when the painting ‘does itself’, as if independently. In a way, such a painting becomes a kind of a map of a part of the studio’s territory. The most exact kind of a map, as the reproduction scale in this case is 1:1. Such a painting is an
imprint, a trace. But not a trace of the world as delivered by documentary photography; it is a trace of something much more ephemeral. A trace of a hand with a brush circling in the air, a trace of it wandering around, of hesitations, of the thick ink slowly dripping along the horsehair of the brush. It is a trace of a certain Now, of a moment stretched to several minutes, of time that transforms itself into space. These rules of the game result in a painting which is non-accidentally accidental. The irreversibility of the recording in the picture is postponed. Wilk is capable of celebrating the painting’s right to non-existence. She may simply wipe away the drops of ink off the floor and the painting will not happen – even if just a moment ago, each drop of ink falling to the floor seemed to build up the structure of the painting’s composition. However, when a sheet of paper is pressed against the floor and the ink drops, the painting is recorded instantaneously. It is a fleeting image and a veraikon at the same time.

The next series is entitled ‘Letters Unsent’. These mysterious letters are reminiscent of ‘Archipelagos’. My impression is, these are letters from the archipelago’s territory; letters that had to be written, have the addressee (addressees) but couldn’t or shouldn’t be sent. The meaning of these letters is their existence per se, not the fact that they could communicate something to somebody. Urszula Wilk writes letters which are never sent without even touching the surface of the paper. The brush circles above the sheet of paper; ink drips down the dancing tip of a long brush. These paintings seem to collect traces of calligraphy exercises in a secret language. The words that cannot be deciphered or pronounced drip down the brush. Words, or rather their articulation, can be stopped. But one cannot refrain from the childish desire to leave signs; the desire which forces one’s hand to perform a weird dance above paper. While dancing, a hand becomes a seismograph of emotions.

A seismograph of a crowd of words not uttered, words we do not want to or cannot utter. These letters are not supposed to be read. These letters speak by their very existence. They tell me, for example, that our communication is always (or almost always) contained within the framework of a certain linguistic convention; that using a particular language we succumb to the illusion of communicating something to somebody. We pick up a language (ethnic, painting, drawing or mathematical) in the hope we can utter in it a certain truth about ourselves or the world. However, this hope blends with the anxiety that all these languages above all express themselves, not us. We are endlessly challenged by the question of how to force ‘our’ language to say something more, to reveal more than just the language structure.

Letters are always addressed to somebody. Even if the addressee is a stranger. Letters not sent have their addressee or addressees too. The paintings-letters of Urszula Wilk are a kind of self-portrait whose idea is not the representation of the current appearance, but the expression of the inexpressible. These letters are entrusted to the air; the distance between the hand holding the brush and the surface of the paper filters and encodes the ‘uttered’ words. These words are monologues written by the artist to herself, although, perhaps, she writes them because of somebody or something. She encapsulates her thoughts and emotions in a kind of writing that cannot be decoded. Only to such a notation may one safely confide what must come into being and, at the same time, be kept at the perimeter of expression. Even if just to avoid hurting somebody too deeply. (…)

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