A RETOUR AUTOPORTRAIT

Urszula Szulakowska

Gliszczynski’s work is concerned with retrieving memory. He explores the origins of his identity in the psychic and social processes by means of which subjectivity is acquired. He does this through a ritualistic means of pictorial construction in which he attempts to reverse the natural progression of time. His signifying system is derived from alchemical hermeneutics, which is a most unusual venture for a Polish artist. Alchemy is a historical discourse which has been explored more frequently by German or French artists, such as Beuys or Klein. In his laboratory the medieval alchemist practiced an art that was intended to illuminate the psyche of both himself and of his society, transmuting their base natures into a divine consciousness.

More specifically, Gliszczynski employs the concept of synergy, derived from the psychologist Carl Jung’s interpretation of medieval alchemy as being a proto-psychology. According to Jung, unrelated events occur simultaneously in trajectories parallel to each other, but to the human mind they appear to inter-act, often with very strange results. This process seems to be a magical one, since natural laws of cause and effect are contradicted. The ancient magical practices, such as alchemy derived their knowledge from the intuitive processes of the human psyche. Glyszczynski’s practice could be described as liminal, exploring the border between material and immaterial states of being.

More in PDF: Gliszczynski essay