DCP (David Cunningham Projects) is pleased to announce ‘Talking to yourself is very important’ – a solo exhibition of new work by Bay Area based artist Pawel Kruk.
For his first exhibition with DCP Kruk has conceived an installation occupying both rooms of the gallery, incorporating video, projected images, letterpress prints, and paintings. Found source material including photographs, newspaper clippings and a Japanese novel (out of print in English) provide the basis for a series of works that range from a surreal performance video to slide projections of apparently unrelated historic events and handset letterpress recreations of pages from the first chapter of the book.
Kruk’s work frequently involves performed reenactments and media fabrications in which he adopts the personae of cultural icons or personal heroes in order to explore ideas of celebrity, fame and the construction of identity both in the art world and in popular culture. His recent works have focused on legendary athletes including Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan and Dara Torres. Using role-play and appropriation Kruk creates temporary displacements that simultaneously question the DNA of fame and the public and private faces he himself wears as an artist and as an individual.
Here, the surprising choice and variety of seemingly unrelated subject matter (electrocuted sheep, racial lynching in the deep South, World War II) and the apparently disparate nature of the individual works presented in the installation poses a puzzling enigma which ultimately emerges as a deeply felt and highly personal meditation on the power of fate and the role of the artist in contemporary life. Calling into question issues of identity, language, authenticity, cultural iconography and collective obsession Kruk constructs bizarre fictions, which reveal stranger truths.
Pawel Kruk is a Polish artist currently living and working in San Francisco. In addition to several solo exhibitions in Poland his work has been featured in group exhibitions in Canada, France, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Ukraine and the USA, His work was included in ‘The American Effect’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2003. Recent exhibitions include ‘Residency Projects, 2009’ at Kala Art Institute, Berkeley and ‘A Trip Down (False) Memory Lane’ curated by Jessica Silverman at The Lexington Club, San Francisco. He has been awarded residencies at Kala Art Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts and BAVC in the Bay Area and at CCA, Kitakyushu, Japan. This is his first exhibition with DCP.