Kunstnerintervju #47 – Tomasz Boncza-Ozdowski

Tomasz Boncza-Ozdowski deltar med en digitalt print In between – 0000-0011-0110 på Østlandsutstillingen 2019 (VI) i galleri Norske Grafikere. Verket er fra 2016 og måler 118×59 cm.

1. Hvordan oppdaget du at du ville bli kunstner?
Da jeg studerte ved økonomihøyskolen i Poznan (Polen) i 1969 satt jeg i et auditorium og hørte på en forelesning om «Kapitalen» av Marx. Da ombestemte jeg meg og satset på kunst i stedet. Jeg har aldri angret!

2. Hvor henter du inspirasjon fra i dag? Overalt! Fra meg selv og alt rundt meg.

3. Har du deltatt på Østlandsutstillingen tidligere og hva betyr det for deg å stille ut på jubileumsutstillingen i år?
Ja, flere ganger. Å få lov til å delta denne gangen, på 40 års jubileet, var en spesielt stor og hyggelig overraskelse.

4. Kan du fortelle litt om arbeidet du stiller ut? 
“IN BETWEEN” – sequence of digital works. My prints are an expression of my own experiences. In my pictures I didn’t explore the depth of the migration process itself. 
My goal was rather to create a picture of possible consequences that may arise at the end of the journey.
In order to bring some transparency into my work, I would like to describe some crucial elements of migration.  
I suppose, we are all familiar with the outcome of different migrant group’s collective attitude all around the world. For example: LATIN QUARTER in Paris, JEWISH DISTRICT in London or CHINA TOWN in Los Angeles. It seems that migrants are isolating themselves. Why?
In my opinion, the reason often lies in migrants’ background and strong attachment to their own culture. When adding to it an inability to fully understand the host culture, the complexity of the new language on top of many other unfamiliar details – assimilation seems to be an impossible task and almost unconsciously leads to isolation.
That is the main reason why I used this disturbingly strong red colour – to stir awareness in future migrants. 

In my works you can see a text, to some extent, like a transparent curtain, covering the space. The meaning of the text follows the one of the colour. Partly, it comes from Gaston Bachelards’ book “The Poetics of Space” and a few words of my own at the end.
I found Gaston Bachelards words very suitable to the context of my work. I quote: “And all the spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed, desired, and compromised solitude, remain indelible within us and precisely because the human being wants them to remain so”. 
At the end, I added some words of my own: “When people migrate, thoughts, ideas and dreams travel with them, all of which are important links to the past. Migrants become strangers to those they leave behind, and are strangers on arrival at their destinations.” 
When writing the text I wanted to avoid any linguistic preferences. In stead I used binary tools. The reason for this is that it’s a global computer language, and can easily be translated into any language. 
I am well convinced that as a result of migration, single individuals as well as groups of individuals are pending in a vast, empty space between their homeland and the alien “Promised Land”.
In the end it looks like life “IN BETWEEN” seems to be a migrant’s destiny.

5. Hva er ditt neste store kunstneriske prosjekt?
Her er det mye å velge mellom. To større prosjekter innenfor digital grafikk er allerede påbegynt, og noen prosjekter innenfor skulptur som baserer seg på glass og aluminium er også igangsatt.

6. Hvordan ser du for deg at Østlandsutstillingen kan/bør utvikle seg de neste 40 årene?
Kanskje en enda større, vandrende utstilling?

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