Epicentrum (Epicentre), W. Bednarski Park, Collection of Gallery of Contemporary Art Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow, 2014
Curator: Krzysztof Siatka
More information: http://bunkier.art.pl/?wystawy=kornel-janczy-epicentre&lang=en
Kornel Janczy’s latest realisation, entitled Epicentre, takes place in the W. Bednarski Park at Krzemionki Podgórskie, not far from the centre of Podgórze – once a separate town, today, a district of Krakow. This very picturesque park was founded towards the end of the 19th century in a lime hollow, the remnant of a quarry. For residents of Podgόrze, the park is a popular place of recreation. Into this scenery, the artist has insinuated an almost invisible work that responds to the human voice by producing from its innards a hollow thud – as of the first rumblings of an earthquake.
On this occasion, Kornel Janczy has engaged in a visualisation of the epicentres of seismic waves. As do his earlier projects, so also this one stems from an inspiration by cartography, imagined visualisations of nature and its processes, transposed into shorthand language. The artist has been inspired by the geographic shape of non-existent countries and the blueprints for their economic and population policies. His concepts tend to result in poignant, witty and subtle interventions. The minimalism of the means of expression used dovetails with a heightened feel for the exhibition space, which, on this occasion, is a public space. Such interventions give voice to the specific context, endow it with added value and reveal its non-apparent potential.
Epicentre, as an invisible interactive installation, is activated by the energy of the people walking in its vicinity. With their help, the work has the capacity to be recreated again and again, existing only there and then, for a specific moment in time.
Epicentre also engages with the debate about the concept of a work of art in public space. For Krakow, projects involving the erection of monuments have long been problematic. Some monuments have met with public approval, usually, however, for sentimental reasons rather than thanks to their outstanding artistic merit. Some have become important landmarks. It is worthwhile reflecting on the quality of contemporary monuments. Artistic installations and murals in public space, often of very high quality, lack impetus. Frequently, and unfortunately, they provide but a superficial reflection on the locations that they are intended to complement. Janczy’s critical engagement with this situation is based on the paradox of employing minimal intervention – this enables both the location and those who visit it to have their say. Visitors to the Park create its history and ambiance; these are not solemn and heroic, but everyday and intimate.