Art Basel | Feature
Bureau, New York and Stereo, Warsaw are pleased to collaborate this year for Art Basel on a solo presentation of the work of Wojciech Bąkowski, featuring a sculptural installation framed by a suite of drawings and an audio work. Bąkowski’s poetic practice plays with slippages in perception. Layers of atmospheric noise and music mingle with barren representations of urban space. Tram windows, smoky bars, and darkened bedrooms of Soviet housing blocks figure as settings for his symbolic and subjective universes. The artist’s vistas are built from a chaos of sound and line, blurring the senses in a pulsing infusion of aural and visual stimuli.
At first, Bąkowski’s site-specific installation here appears understated. A diagonal wall divides the space like an off-set hallway. A suite of framed black-and-white drawings hang on the wall, and a soundtrack plays in the background, complementing the mood. At the center, one of the frames is in fact revealed to be a tinted window through which a dark, constructed scene is visible. Passing by, the window looks like another drawing. But as the space and images beyond the glass challenge the viewer’s perception, the work uncovers itself as a time-based experience, creating a cognitive episode similar to one of Bąkowski’s sound pieces or animations.