Artist Index


Fakt Abstrakcja by Malgorzata Sidor and Wienczyslaw Sporecki - opens Friday 16 November

Fakt Abstrakcja by Malgorzata Sidor and Wienczyslaw Sporecki

Opening Reception: Friday 16 November, 6-8pm

Artists’ Talk: Presentation on fabs by Piotr Szymor - Saturday 17 November, 1 - 3pm 

(NB: artists' Talk changed from time announced earlier.)

Open Hours: 11am - 5pm, Friday - Sunday, 17 November - 2 December 2018

Curated by William Seeto

Fakt Abstrakcja is an exhibition by Malgorzata Sidor, Wienczyslaw Sporecki and Piotr Szymor. They are founding members of the Polish Artists’ Association, fabs. The curator first met Malgorzata Sidor whilst attending an art event at Lodz in 1993.  He connected with Wienczyslaw Sporecki and Piotr Szymor on subsequent visits to Poland when Malgorzata Sidor initiated and organised fabs art projects in Poland, U.K., Wales, India and Ukraine.
            Associations of artists in Poland are prevalent, even after the fall of Communism, with each city having one or more groups. They provide support for artists and are loosely based on workers’ unions. They can be likened to artist-run-spaces in the U.S., which are membership-based that provide studios and venues for performances, events and exhibitions.

            The artworks in the exhibition are informed by Western contemporary art, however they are moderated by connections to the past, as a recurring concept is freedom and self-expression. The exhibition provides a unique viewpoint for the Australian audience on contemporary art in Poland.

            The title of the exhibition is formulated from the acronym of the association’s name, fabs:
fabs (fact-abstraction) - the idea of the site of activity.
A group of artists (an association) who employ various forms, from performance and installation to ephemeral action, going beyond the classifications of art, which constitute fabs - a site of action, work and exhibition.
Fact is something that is known to exist - a thing in itself, abstraction in not identical with the thing in itself. That which happens between fact and abstraction, or between the physical and the abstract, is a field in which we work. We acknowledge that in the most precisely defined axiomatic systems there may appear some true statements that are impossible to prove.

Malgorzata Sidor

Born in 1960. Lives and works in Lodz and Zbludza, Poland. Initiator, co-founder and President of the Artists’ Association fabs.

Artist – Installation and photography. As an artist, she uses installation, photography, sculpture forms and performance. She studied at the University of Lodz, Poland, and Goldsmiths' College, University of London; and received a scholarship from Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany in 1998. From 2005 to 2010 she ran the fabs gallery, Brzeska 7, in Warsaw, Poland; in 2010, she set-up and directed the Association fabs’ Centre and Gallery in Zbludza, Poland. She also initiated a project to build the Piotr Kwit Museum at Zalesie, as well as a number of other projects that supported the local community of the Commune of Kamienica, Poland.
She initiated and organised international arts meetings: Siteations, Cardiff, UK, 1994; Nothing New Under the Sun, Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Southdown, U.K., 1996; Golden Seed, Mt Abu, India, 1997; Honey Forest, Bialowieza Primeval Forest, Poland, 1998; Antesound, CSW Inner Spaces, Poznan, Poland, 2000; Atopos, former Poznanski Factory, Lodz, Poland, 2001; Terrestrials, The Old Norblin FactoryWarsaw Poland, 2002; No Volume, Palac Sztuki, Lviv, Ukraine 2003; Phantoms 1, Borne Sulinowo, Poland, 2005; Phantoms 2, Koneser Factory, Warsaw, Poland.

AKQUARIUM 1 and 2. 2008
“I associate freedom with the road, with movement, so with a journey. A real journey with no return. So I thought: when we are very close to/with someone, we can move away a little, but we still remain attached. And, on the whole, we don’t question our intimacy, but, on the contrary, enrich and intensify that attachment. Thus there is some leeway within certainty. This is what I tried to show in the photographic series AQUARIUM 1. I would call it freedom; freedom towards truth. Because it is freedom that leads us to truth. And truths are most often something very simple; only one must know how to notice them. We need to remember that truths almost always are revelations, and that’s what makes them beautiful. This is what I tried to show in AQUARIUM 2. Why Aquarium? I probably thought of two things. For the first time I personally felt the passage of time; I felt that I lived in a time aquarium, and I wanted to realise it more deeply, and on the other hand I thought of Suvorov’s Aquarium, and of an antidote to that evil aquarium of his.
Aquarium is a partly autobiographical description by Viktor Suvorov of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence directorate). The ‘Aquarium’ of the title is the nickname given to GRU headquarters in Moscow by those who worked there.” Malgorzata Sidor.

AKQUARIUM 1 and 2. 2008
Wienczyslaw Sporecki

Born in 1964. Lives and works in the United Kingdom.
Artist – Photography and installation. Co-founder of the Artists’ Association fabs.
“After the period of primary and secondary education, 1970–1983, as a result of his upbringing at home, he engaged in activities against the political system effective at that time in Poland. This situation also contributed to the blockage by the authorities of further normal education and his forced enlistment in the army. 1981 saw a breakthrough in the decision to become an artist. Initially, thanks to his alternative education and independent contacts with lecturers of the Visual Arts High School in his hometown, he was educating himself and working in the field of graphic design and painting. His works at that time displayed serious political commitment; were inspired by German expressionism and DADA, and in particular by Kurt Schwitters, who fascinated him. These elements led to the creation of ‘Mobile Gallery MERZ1’ – an author’s gallery in a suitcase, whose space were some places that the artist reached during his artistic journeys, during which he found alternative spaces of contact with audiences (railway stations, private apartments, parks, underground passages, pedestrian streets, etc.), transformed into Mobile Gallery MERZ1’s space for the duration of art activity. After 1984, he gradually moved away from political involvement – as a result, among others, of forced service in the army – which he abandoned after taking up studies at the Faculty of Textile Design of the State Academic School of Visual Arts in Lodz in 1986; which he subsequently abandoned at the turn of 1988/89, disappointed by the lack of authority figures and the rigid framework of the educational programme inhibiting individual development. He defines this period by the sentence: ‘I never studied there, and only walked around this school’s corridors, looking for something intriguing...’. Contacts with independent culture circles, regular artistic travels around the country, outside official institutions of visual arts, and intense creative work resulted in a large number of presentations and his working out his own ways of communicating with the audience, which can be termed ‘physical Internet’ – a very direct, as for those times, relationship with the audience, which consisted not only of the presentation of his own work, but also of placing them in the context of the audience’s familiarity with art, including talks about the circumstances of the making of the work, theory and the artist’s ideas. After the political transformations in Poland and in Eastern European countries in 1989, he joined the mainstream activities. Unfortunately, he soon discovered the superficial nature of those transformations, which also led to the elaboration of the method of ‘anonymous artist’ and ‘fractional existence’. In 1996 he started to function as ‘Rudolf Schwarz – signum fractional existence’. At the same time he resigned from functioning in the official artistic circuit. Having met Malgorzata Sidor in September 1997, he began his involvement in the idea of creating the Artists’ Association fabs, which has become his only official form of functioning in the public space. The shows are extremely intimate. They are documented exceptionally sparingly, and their essence is a direct conversation with the audience, aimed at a thorough description and conveying the intent of the piece. An important stage of the artist's path was the work as documentary photographer in press agencies in 1998–2003, deliberately subordinated to the idea of ‘fractional existence’. Since 10 April 2010 (the day of the tragic plane crash of the Polish presidential delegation in Russia) he has lived in exile in the U.K.” Wienczyslaw Sporecki

“(Wienczyslaw Sporecki) is interested in the structures of power and the specific methods of influencing this power on people. He is trying to show the impact of public institutions on the functioning of various communities… Several photographs depict soldiers in a military unit. The signatures below are ‘Tal’, ‘Dioxin’, ‘Cortisol’, ‘Ergot’, ‘Bromine salt’. These are the names of toxic chemicals that can be used in foodstuffs, which can not be seen. Tal easily dissolves in water. In this way was poisoned former Russian intelligence agent, Alexander Litvinenko. Dioxins can be smuggled in vegetables. They were used against the current Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko. Cortisol can be given in meat. Ergot, the hallucinogen-inducing hallucinogenic parasite can be used in flour, and the brominated salt in salt. With these substances you can eliminate uncomfortable people. These are all new activities that have not been treated so far as military. And yet they use military special forces. It turns out that today a soldier does not have to wear a uniform and his weapon does not have to be a rifle.” Joanna Kiwilszo, 2008

Piotr Szymor

Lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.
Translator and Editor. Co-founder of the Artists’ Association fabs.
1978-1984. University of Lodz
M.A. in English Philology – specialisation: English literature.
1989-1995 University of Oxford (St Hugh’s College)
Postgraduate studies - passed a D. Phil. Qualifying Exam
Doctoral thesis: Shakespeare’s Novella-shaped World
Residencies as Translator
Spring 2007 Europäisches Übersetzer-Kollegium, Straelen, Germany
20/07-20/08. 2007 Das Übersetzerhaus Looren in Zürich, Switzerland
21/09-4/10.2009 The House of Literature at Lefkes, Paros, Greece