The Promise of Sublime Words by Ewa Doroszenko
"My work employs both digital operations as well as analog photographic processes. The final images are digital, but I think both processes are very similar. For example, preparing collages is very similar to shooting and selecting what to keep within the frame."
We spoke to Polish visual artist Ewa Doroszenko about her work The Promise of Sublime Words. A mixed media series creating a discursive between different artistic practices. Her work explores the role of digital media in traditional art practice and how it applies to our current era. It's a series deconstructing the modern image and it's role in art.
Tell us more about you and your artwork.
I am a visual artist based in Warsaw, Poland. My main interests focus on painting, installation and photography – in particular, the intersection area between these practices. My artistic research addresses questions of future technology in tune with digital aesthetics and the traditional fine arts. My website: www.ewa-doroszenko.com
How did you plan for this project? What was your creative process?
“The Promise of Sublime Worlds” started during the course of my doctoral studies, when I was preparing for the final exam in art history. During my research about the ancient statues I discovered many old books with popular sculptures from Antique to Classicism. To spice the process of spaced repetition, I began preparing photographs connected with discussed topics.
My work employs both digital operations as well as analog photographic processes. The final images are digital, but I think both processes are very similar. For example, preparing collages is very similar to shooting and selecting what to keep within the frame. The act of photography is so much about what to include and what to crop out when looking, to determine precisely what we want to show to others. I try to examine ways of deconstructing the digital pieces, I like aesthetic of glitches, textures, damaged photographs and defects in the virtual world.
What work inspires or has inspired you?
Currently, my influences vary widely and a lot of it falls outside of visual arts. I tend to research a lot psychology and that has become important in my making. Also, I have a lot of influences in the world of literature. My top list of authors might include Stanisław Lem, Michel Houellebecq, Margaret Atwood and even Henry David Thoreau.
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
My biggest and sort of constant influence has to be Kurt Schwitters, who invented the concept of Merz – 'the combination, for artistic purposes of all conceivable materials'. Schwitters was obsessed by the idea of creating a type of an art that embraced all forms of expression, and this idea is very close to me. There are many other artists that have influenced me in some way, including Katarzyna Kobro, Wojciech Fangor, Edward Krasiński.
Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
As many artists, nowadays I am inspired by the liquid culture of the Web. My practice is concerned with the process of making a way to connect with the world in a digital age. I am struck by the idea of representation in the Internet world. I think about the reconstruction of memory in virtual worlds and the rebuilding of ideas from the virtual world into physical painting. I would like my work to move smoothly between the screen and real space.
Tell us more about the theory behind The Promise of Sublime Words. You’ve mentioned this body of work aims to distort classical Greek sculpture - a period in art where the human body and pose was explored as perfect form. Can you elaborate on the ideas behind this work?
I tried to confront myself with photographic reproductions of varying quality and scale. My aim was to show my favorite statues as objects, which arouse ambiguous associations. I tried to distort the usual view of sculptures and finally destabilize a natural sense of order. I have employed many methods of image making: taking photographs of textbook illustrations, printing the photographs, physically manipulating the prints, placing them in a tableau, taking photographs of the scene, and then digitally manipulating those photos.
Any words for aspiring photographers?
I strongly recommend artist residencies. Many art centers and organizations offer time and space in a contemplative environment to think, create, and, what is the most important, to connect. I believe that projects based on collaboration are more inspiring than an individual action. For me the residence periods in Spain, Austria, Italy, Norway and Greece were very inspiring and influential and they generated enough energy for months.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
My work with “The Promise of Sublime Words” is not finished. As I go forward I intend to continue work on the series.
Very often I work together with my husband, who is also an artist, a fantastic artist, I have to admit. Jacek Doroszenko is active in the area of sound and visual arts. This year we had a really great duo show - “Residents” as part of Warsaw Gallery Weekend 2017 at Propaganda Gallery in Warsaw. The show consisted of videos, graphic prints and sound installations in which audible and visible spheres interacted with each other.
Moreover, I am happy to inform, that now we are preparing next exhibition - “Polyphonic Body” at Kolonia Artystow in Gdansk, Poland.