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Kacper Kowalski: “It feels like a dialogue with the unconscious”

Various artists know how to tell powerful stories with their unique approaches and techniques. For example, Kacper Kowalski explores the world from the air, while Laura Jatkowski questions human memory with her installations of hollowed out gravestones.

Flying photographer

Kacper Kowalski was destined to become an architect, but was captivated by flying a paraglider or gyrocopter. At first he decided to take aerial photographs for other architects. Ultimately, he decided to focus on his own environment in northern Poland and use photos of his neighborhood to tell a universal story about nature and the role of humanity. He is not concerned with beautiful tourist places, but with what awaits us, what we cannot yet see. The hardships at a height of one hundred and fifty meters, the tension, the emotions, the sounds around him put Kacper in a kind of trance, causing the doors of perception, the channels of the sensory filters, to open. “It feels like a dialogue with the unconscious. Nature not only shows me abstract shapes, but also seems to communicate with me through the language of symbols that appear in my photographs. They could be signs from the gods, the compositions look so abstract, but they are actually very realistic: this is what the landscape looks like from the air.”

Kacper Kowalski, Arche #67 | Kacper Kowalski, Composition #420 Event Horizon, 2021

Drilled memories

Laura Jatkowski (b. 1990, DE) showed the installation during the Art Rotterdam art fair Unforgotten. The work was inspired by a pile of discarded gravestones that she had found in various Berlin cemeteries. She drilled the letters of the deceased people out of the stones with a round drill and then stacked the drilled letters on top of each other. She placed the hollowed out gravestones with round holes next to them as silent witnesses to loss and death. This procedure caused the personal memories of the deceased to disappear; Previously the object functioned as a carrier for those memories, but that was now over. The viewer was thus forced to face his own mortality. About the function of human memory, Jatkowski previously said: “Remembering is a remarkable process. People have always created objects to hold their memories; we collect things around us to keep us remembering and to prevent forgetting. I myself do not see forgetting as only negative; it can also allow someone to reinvent themselves and move on, and sometimes it is necessary to forget.”

Laura Jatkowski, Letters close-up, Unvergessen, Courtesy of the artist

Life ticks on

Shortlife by the Belgian artist Dries De Poorter is a 'clock' made of recycled plastic and wood that shows what percentage of your life has been completed based on your personal life expectancy. The artwork has a limited edition of 1 million copies. Number of editions still available: 999458.

Urban artivism

A gigantic, seven-meter-high flamingo installation by the Spanish street artist and artivist Dulk has been added to the permanent collection of STRAAT Museum in Amsterdam. The installation draws attention to climate change. Street art and graffiti are powerful tools for activism that allow artists to express their opinions and advocate for social and political change. Dulk is known for his portraits of endangered species. Through sculpture, installation and painting, we see his own version of a menagerie of creatures evolve remarkably to avoid conquest or loss of habitat. In Dulk's surreal world, this transformation is enhanced by, for example, the addition of tusks and spiky teeth. This allows endangered species to avert the negative impact of human actions.

Forest fire

During Unseen 2023, an international photo fair in the Westergasfabriek, the Parisian gallery Bigaignon showed This Too Shall Pass (2020-2023) by Tehran-born Morvarid K (b 1982, IR). The installation, which consists of three parts, shows the devastation caused by forest fires in the nature of Australia and France. The highlight was a one and a half meter long photo of a completely burnt-out forest, which the artist had dramatically colored with blue ballpoint ink. Below it, the charred remains of the forest in question lay in a pile. And against the wall hung a two-meter-long photo collage with different natural types of tree bark in the shape of a snake. With the latter, Morvarid K showed not only the destruction, but also the original state of nature, before the forest fires. She made this installation to demonstrate the complexity of human perception and to point out the mechanism that allows us to accept self-destruction and the destruction of nature. After observing that destruction, we tell ourselves that this is part of life: new life has always come, hasn't it? And then we continue, looking for beauty in dark periods. |

Morvaridk, This too shall pass, tps3 22, courtesy Bigaignon

LXRY List 2024

LXRY List 2024, the annual wow magazine with innovative items and surprising addresses, a list that inspires and points to the future. A future in which the physical world threatens to get stuck and the virtual world is increasingly finding its feet. Digital initiatives are popping up everywhere, from works of art painted with data to Louis Vuitton's first sellable NFTs. Fortunately, there are also plenty of initiatives to protect the physical world from worse. Such as the production of plant-based cheese by a stainless steel cow and the exhibition Space farming in the Evoluon, which heralds the start of a food revolution. The barricades are also being climbed in the field of climate. For example, artist TINKEBELL uses Tata fabric to make negative prints of the flora that is doing its best to survive in the heavily polluted area around this factory. A horrible story, beautifully depicted. There is also plenty of attention for this in this edition of LXRY List beautiful stories. Such as that of Reinier Kempenaar, who, convinced that the way of farming his parents and grandparents did is not future-proof, transformed the family farm into a restaurant. This is how De Dyck was born, where 95 percent of what is served comes from its own vegetable garden and orchard. Celebrating life is also possible without leaving too deep a footprint in the clay. Be inspired by the carefully selected 186 addresses and items in this LXRY List 2024.

LXRY List 2024LXRY List 2024