Patrycja Orzechowska [Poland]

The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters. Nocturne

location: St. Jacob’s Church, 63 Łagiewniki Str

The installation The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters consists of a large-format projection on the ceiling of the church and a series of postcards. It is intended both as a real image and its inverted imagination.
From Francisco Goya Orzechowska  has drawn not only the title (from his most famous graphic from the series of Los Caprichos), but also the main motif – bats. The projection has to be a motionless image presenting a graphical black ornament arranged with these shapes. Especially designed motifs in the form of pictograms will be developed basing on the old drawings. A swarm of bats framed into the vault of the church, floating above the sleepy town is open and wildcard work, recalling the numerous cultural associations and references to the past. The vault of the church is also the cranial vault, under which gather dark thoughts which have its roots in ignorance, fear and evil. When Francisco Goya created his cycle he criticized the institution of the church and the Inquisition. I also have in my mind the recent history of this place, where six years ago, as a result of human error, fire exploded and completely destroyed the roof of the church.

From approximately 4,000 existing species of mammals about 900 are bats. Animals found in such large numbers, living in groups and colonies of up to one million specimens, about which we still know so little. They do not build their nests, but look for existing shelters and inhabit caves, hollows, bunkers, churches, attics, basements and splits of houses. It turns out that they are often our close neighbors.
One of the first associations of the bat shape is the figure of Satan, whose image is present next to the saints in Christian iconography, and thus in the interiors of churches. Hurricane lantern symbolizes an escape from the light and the natural order of things, but also fear, delusion and pride. This small and rather innocent pet is a very mysterious creature, to whom man attributes dark features and talks about him tall tales. This is probably related to the nocturnal and secretive lifestyle of these animals which no one really sees exactly. When we do not know something, we can not look at it closely, then we begin to fill the gaps in our knowledge.

The screened black ornament is not the whole installation:  image will also be created in our heads and display in the form of an afterimage, that at least for a short moment we will able to see an image which did not actually exist. Selected motives from the projection on the ceiling will be repeated and designed in negative and published as a series of postcards with appropriate instructions. So as the viewers can take this collection with themselves, look at the postcards carefully and when they move their gaze to another part of the vault, they will have their own private screening.

Patrycja Orzechowska says: “I have one of such pictures from childhood. It represents a saint. Below black and white inverted image there is a text included, in which there is written that if we look at the central part of the picture long enough and then we move our eyes on the blue sky then we will see a beloved holy.” Of course, ins and outs of the game are hidden from the viewer and function as a miracle of revelation. In fact, the afterimage is a well known optical phenomenon resulting from the construction of the retina eye, whose receptors responsible for color vision, lying opposite each other in the color wheel, are connected in pairs. Therefore, after staring at a shape in one of the primary colors and then reversing of vision, to our eyes there appears for a moment the same blurred shape of the complementary color.

Patrycja Orzechowska, born in 1974, visual artist, specializes in photography, collages, installation, graphic design, film and art in public space; graduate of the Department of Painting and Graphics, at the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts, multiple scholar of the Ministry of Culture, the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodship and the President of the City of Gdansk. She lives and works in Gdansk. Her works were presented in: Arsenal in Poznan, Gdansk Gallery of Photography, BWA in Wroclaw, Center of Contemporary Art Laznia in Gdansk, Center of Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Platan Gallery in Budapest, HISK in Ghent, as well as during festivals Transphotographiques in Lille, Month of Photography in Krakow, Supermarket Art in Warsaw and Survival in Wroclaw. She is interested in the choreography of the body and inscribing it into various structures and constructions, as a form which serves both: the attempt of restoring the proper order of things in our social and family life as well as searching for harmony in the urban tissue. That is why in her practice she often refers to a variety of performing arts, cooperating with modern dancers, gymnasts and actors, she creates artworks with the human figure as the main motif. The bodies subjected by her to an innocent training become structured compositions of disturbing shapes. A crucial aspect of her work is a turn towards what is subjective, which she does by undertaking themes of more extensive social context not depriving them of an intimate dimension at the same time.