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Everything about the contemporary is panda

The panda has become a significant symbolic element in Martychowiec’s narrative since 2016. This project utilises various symbols with emphasis on the panda which functions on several levels and throughout many different areas of human activity: politics, culture, conservation, ecology and then again as a sort of idol.

The panda also symbolises the contemporary man, following Ortega y Gasset:
‘a satisfied little man’.

The panda is the most reappearing element, as it follows modes of existence of the spectator and most importantly pivotal moments of art history, whereas the other elements become interwoven comments on contemporary human conditions. This project is in a very direct discourse to two other bodies of work: The incredulity of St Thomas (where Thomas becomes a somewhat symbol of the spectator) and Josephine (where the rabbit Josephine becomes an existential symbol in opposition to the panda).

The mentioned actors of the projects represent these different modes of existence and they are meant to be understood as symbols. The two symbols operated with in this project are:

1. The panda. A degenerated creature (we want to keep the good times even though they are gone) – following Robert Lifton and Ortega y Gasset.
2. Marcel Duchamp. A 20th-century artist and professional chess player.

This project is about the interconnection between belief (faith) and freedom. The readymade, the choice of the frame made by the artist, and since recently also the spectator, are ideas (in a platonic structural sense) one can reflect upon.

– 2016

Panda contemplating the black square

(2016) ceramic, chromogenic print, dimensions variable

Everything about the contemporary is panda

(2016) HD Video 10:29 min

Object left unattended - a road mine

(2015) a metal can, photographic print on recycled paper

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec

Everything about the contemporary is panda: Peace Pipe

(2016) Wooden display with various objects: cigarettes, matches, metal plaque, 50x40x6 cm

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec

Everything about the contemporary is panda: Piero Manzoni 1961

(2016) stone plate, recycled panda excrements 47x34x3 cm

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec

Everything about the contemporary is panda

(2016) plastic bin, speaker, archival sound recording 45x28x28 cm

Everything about the contemporary is panda

(2017) chromogenic prints, dimensions variable

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec

Everything about the contemporary is panda

(2017) chromogenic print 40x60 cm

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec

the historic level

(2017) neon, ceramic, marking pen

Shred of Turin

(2018)  wooden Go board, printed cotton cloth, cracked glass panel 29x44x47 cm

Sur la plage

(2019) ceramic, polyester shorts, nipple stickers, glass crystals

After 'Wanderer above the Sea of Fog'

(2020) chromaluxe print on aluminium, glass, various objects 47,5x43,5 cm

Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions

(2020) plastic bin, incense 32x23x23 cm