Wieslaw Smuzny
Graphic Artist, Professor of Nicolas Copernicus University
ul. Chelminska 4/3, 87-100 Torun, Poland
Telephone: +48 (56) 62 111 26
Mobile: +48 608 020 308

Exhibition / Performance: "21st Century Figuration"
Gallery Arsenal, Stary Rynek 3 (tentative)
Workshop/Demonstration: "Body Printing for 21st Century Figuration" on Thursday September 8, 12:00-15:30.

This exhibition and performance will consist of a body print workshop and exhibition at Arsenal Gallery. The project has been previously at several galleries in Poland. It is a direct reference to the feelings that accompanied the advent of the 21st century and the multitude of various observations, reflections on artistic behavior as well as attempts to find artistic and symbolic concepts that would convey the condition of a human soul, all of them expressed by means of bodily movement.

For this exhibition and performance I will invite the audience to participate in the creation of the printed works. Upon entering a dark chamber, the audience was first welcomed with loud pulsating music suddenly to find themselves being confronted with pieces of plastic film perched in midair and forming a maze of small enclosed spaces. In this darkened "antique maze", the audience will periodically see dancing human shadows emerging from behind the plastic film.  Spotlights positioned in various locations across the hall would then turn on creating a theater of shadows vibrating to the rhythm of music which freezing abruptly motionless in a given pose the instant the lights went out. Almost simultaneously, in still another part of the room, light would awaken another shadow forcing it to "pulsate" and the whole situation would repeat itself. Thus organized installation abundant in dynamism and movement of human figures perched in midair carried traits of a theatre spectacle and assumed a dimension of a performance.

The action lasted several minutes, ceased suddenly and all the lights went on. It is at this point that the audience will see large-scale works of art made in body print technique. The prints will form a series of corridors and tiny enclosures in the gallery space. Pieces of plastic film depicted prints of naked human bodies. This human-scale prints are intended to show, on the one hand harmony, on the other, human sensuality. This project strives to use an open approach to graphics resting somewhere between large-scale print, figure painting and direct, sensitive drawing. It is intended as a creative inter-medium of traditional disciplines.     

Each young person involved in the project, as if being a stamp, was impressed by me on a piece of plastic film. (print of a human body seen from the front, from behind and from aside in its real dimensions,  in two copies made by means of two different body print techniques: overprint and under-print). Applying the body print technique is full of pitfalls, every tiny slide on a plastic film results in smearing of the paint and blurring of the shapes. These marks offer evidence of the process and the individuality of the participants. While this project is clearly reminiscent of the work of Yves Klein, it is also an attempt to explore an approach to figuration I call "anthropometry."

WIESLAW SMUZNY was born in 1944 in Lodz, Poland. He is a graduate of the Fine Arts Department of Torun Nicolas Copernicus University (UMK). In 1971, upon graduating, he was honored with distinction within the scope of graphic art and fine arts pedagogy. From 1996 - 2003 he was a professor at Adam Mickiewicz University lecturing at its Institute and Pedagogy - Fine Arts Faculty in Kalisz. Smuzny is the Head of Design and Intermedia Workshop. Since 2000, he has been engaged in the Intermedia Arts Division as part of Fine Arts Faculty of Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun. Smuzny has delivered lectures in fine arts devoted to “Current developments in the World of Art” addressed to painters, graphic artists and sculptors, "Visual Actions and Structures" for graphic artists as well as "How to Make Fine Arts Culture more Popular" for artistic education. As of 2003, extraordinary professor of UMK. He made his first debut in 1972 during an exhibition  at the Modern Art Gallery in Warsaw. Since 1997 he as presented 19 individual exhibitions and took part in 198 of others as well as participated in numerous social and artistic campaigns particularly those in Lucim. His works present ephemeral and interactive plasticity of rural biosphere - nature, environment, garden, flowers and plants.