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PRZEMEK PYSZCZEK

PH Trevor Good


ARTIST STATEMENT 

I am a Polish-Canadian immigrant multidisciplinary artist, primarily making sculpture, painting, installation, functional objects, and digital media works that explore the intersection of architecture, personal memory, migration, and broader social histories. After growing up in Canada, I eventually returned to rural Poland and have used artmaking to gain a better understanding of myself and the various contexts that have defined my life. Using visual language, I explore issues and experiences including cultural displacement, the East/West construct, class, modernism, queerness, vernacular arts, and the evolution of built environments through hypercapitalism. 

 

Over the last ten years, I have been building a memoryscape - an ever-expanding universe of physical, social, and emotional fragments that embody the dualities that have defined my life. I was born in the Polish People’s Republic in 1985 and soon after my birth, my father fled the country, lived in a refugee camp in Italy, and was then resettled in Winnipeg, Canada. My brother, mother, and I joined him the following year to start a new life - one of truncated familial and social threads, marked by a feeling of displacement. After completing my architectural studies, I began to document physical spaces throughout Poland, ones that I was always told about but had no recollection of ever inhabiting. I view this construction of the memoryscape as a lifelong process that will continuously lead me to learn and grow as an artist, by researching, synthesizing, and constructing the memories of a place and time that I did not fully experience. 

After moving to Berlin in 2010, I traveled around Poland and documented housing estates and their idiosyncrasies, which I then synthesized into crucial elements of my memoryscape. An exploration of mural graphics, color palettes, and decorative grates informed my ongoing Facade series, which has become a set of recurring windows into and out of a time and place that is both specific and anonymously universal.

 

These portals are then animated by my ongoing Playground Structure series, consisting of compositions created by assembling painted steel tubes, which refer to children’s communist-era playgrounds throughout Poland. I first experienced one of these play objects in front of my grandmother’s home, where the structure felt displaced in a sea of apartment blocks, seeming more like a modernist Katarzyna Kobro sculpture than something a child would play on. I documented these objects and would work between duplicating existing forms and creating new compositions from their components. This very physical and expressive intervention allowed me to work in a gestural and embodied manner, and to not merely appropriate the source material. The emotional and physical labor put into creating these works gives them an anthropomorphic quality, and they become spirits within my memoryscape.


BIO

Przemek Pyszczek is a Polish-born, Canadian-raised artist. After living in Berlin for eight years, he relocated to the Polish-German border zone, living in a small Polish village to continue his artistic research. Through architecturally inspired sculptures, installations, and paintings, Pyszczek’s work traces Poland’s transition since the fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as serving as an ongoing journey to rediscover and contextualise his own past and present. 

 

He received a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba and has presented solo exhibitions at Campeche, Mexico City, Belenius, Stockholm, Galerie Derouillon, Paris, Galeria Leto, Warsaw, and Plug In ICA, Winnipeg. He has also presented large-scale installations at the Narracje festival in Gdansk, PL, and Anozero ‘19 - Bienal de Coimbra in Portugal. He was recently included in 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow, published by Thames & Hudson. He currently lives and works in Sandomierz, Poland.

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