Back in times, where almost everything that was produced, was degradable, the use of objects left traces on them. Handles got worn out, as well as floors, the characters on keyboard keys, axe handles, vinyl records and metal cutlery. This occurred regardless of whether no objects were shared, like before the war or, on the contrary, too many things were shared, as it has happened after the war.
These days objects don’t have time to wear out or get damaged. Before they begin to break on the outside, they had already suffered invisible damages on the inside. All these broken things we will get rid of, discard. The list of objects that have the chance to age, to change and fade away with honour, contains of books, aesthetic glass vases and, given the chance, our bodies. Surely, that would include pieces from contemporary art too. Marcin’s new works are dedicated to books, but not to their intellectual content. Instead, he emphasises the experience of the material form of the books. The artist’s creations, reminiscent of large book covers, were made with architectural foam, tape, glass, bookbinding canvas, plaster, wooden slats, and pigments. These components will not degrade in our lifetimes.
Marcin attentively studies the process that begins with a book being picked up by someone at a store – they buy it, thumb through the pages, fold the corners, then put it away. On panels, to which a bookbinding canvases are glued, the artist places glass cutouts. He performs precise cuts, but leaves the knife’s final path to chance. The glass forms imitate the movement of falling pages, others remind of the layout of a book cover: author, title, subtitle, publisher.
Marcin, since the beginning of his artistic career, has been interested with what happens to owned objects, and the meaning such possession holds. He breaks down artifacts and architecture into layers, then to glue them back together in a different order and finally synthesize them into his own works. A symbolic privatization. He seems to pose the question: to what extent must you reprocess something, for it to become the work of this particular, and not a different, artist?
Ultimately, all the elements of Marcin’s work were composed according to the logic of a painting, despite the fact that he doesn’t use either brush nor paint. The works have the scale, structure and soul of abstract art, and are rooted deep in the traditions of the movement. All of the objects were created during the last months period, that is since the artist has moved to Warsaw.
Marcin Zarzeka was born in 1985, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, in the workshop of Amelie von Wulffen. For the last few months he has been living and working in Warsaw.