The Tendency to Collapse exhibition, presented at the Zachęta Project Room, was preceded by the artist’s time in Indonesia, which let her more closely explore local historical, natural and cultural contexts. These inspirations led to the creation of a film, an installation, drawings, batik paintings, sculptures and photographs. They tell stories about the inevitability of the downfall/decline, the variability of the world and life in time, the loss of balance, error/deformation/mismatching of elements, and the unreliability of vision.
The exhibition takes the shape of an aesthetically uniform installation using the architectural specificity of the gallery. Thanks to the artist, the hall on the ground floor was taken over by the ruins of a temple of some old civilization: fragments of columns, architectural defects. In some places, the viewer will see apparent remnants of polychromes (yellow, red and blue spots) of the relics that skilfully imitate white marble. Several flat elements serve as a table and seats. There, Węglińska laid out her artistic books, in which poetic texts are accompanied by picturesque recordings of impressions from various journeys. Among them, the author placed artefacts referring to the themes of the exhibition and Indonesian culture.
The film Tendency to Collapse was made during the artist’s last visit to Indonesia, in cooperation with local artists: two traditional dancers (Anter Asmorotedjo and Anita Listyaningrum) and a master of local martial arts (Ruben Pangingkayon), who agreed to play characters chosen by the artist: Panje and Candra Kirana – a pair of mythical lovers persecuted by insidious fate and Gravity, who personifies the tendency to collapse. The actors, dressed in costumes designed by Marta Węglińska, creatively reinterpret the costumes of traditional dancers. The film takes place in Yogyakarta: in the ruined Temple of Ratu Boko, a 19th-century palace, the water garden of Warung Boto, as well as in the woods and among the rice fields. The range of colours — yellow/ochre, red, white, blue/black — used in the costumes and set design elements is complemented by the greenery of the plants in the background of the scenes acted out by the drama personae.
The Tendency to Collapse project combines subjective, existential insights with universal threads present in different cultures (cosmogony and history/human fate). The artist creates a poetic story, creatively juxtaposing motifs from Java and European culture, from high art and folk tradition.
curator: Magda Kardasz
cooperation: Julia Harasimowicz