Garden I, pigment print mounted on dibond, 130 x 99,5 cm

Garden II, pigment print mounted on dibond, 45 x 34,8 cm

Garden III, pigment print mounted on dibond, 70 x 53,8 cm

Garden I, pigment print mounted on dibond, 130 x 99,5 cm, detail

Garden III, pigment print mounted on dibond, 70 x 53,8 cm, detail


Marta Zgierska & Mateusz Sarello
(work in progress)

Marta Zgierska and Mateusz Sarello make their debut as a duo. The series they created together is soaked in emotions, as it marks an encounter of two extreme neurotics in one work in one life.

The basis of their work are the photographs of Mateusz Sarello, created over a three-year period, illustrating a disintegration and emotional destruction. The process of working with the photographs consists in going back in time, taking a stance towards a morbid relationship with a woman. The decaying, drying out flowers are bouquets never offered to her, as well as everything that is impossible to name and express. It is a message for her about “how he is doing”, which can be only conveyed through image.

Dried out, shrivelled bouquets reflect the artist’s condition and how he feels with himself. Space in the photographs is very limited, tight. We are forced into an unpleasant, airless corner.

Black and white still lifes are traces of a past relationship which, despite fading, drying out, will never cease to exist and sting with its presence. Marta Zgierska (privately Mateusz Sarello’s partner) is trying to place herself in relation to such potent works.

Her actions are an attempt at inscribing herself into his internal landscape, finding her own subjectivity in it. The author is interfering in the images. She replaces flowers with her own body; lips, eyes and ears begin to blossom on the dried out stems. She gives new life to the dead plants though a living, present body. Replacing flowers with her own body, multiplied at numerous instances, is a compulsive attempt of marking her presence, coupled with an undercurrent of fear of experiencing yet another loss.

It all begins with one inflorescence, with time the installations develop, new body-flowers become more integrated with the plant and intertwined with the stems. A meticulous installation stands for the need of becoming finally rooted and remaining in the very landscape, much as it is airless and marked with the past. The final image is remarkably coherent. The body blends with the plants, it fits them. In a close up it is a slightly fantastic, but quite a probable reality. From a distance the interference is mostly subtle enough to pass unnoticed.

A link between the covering up of the fragments of original images and the artist’s earlier works is apparent. Once again the motif of the presence of the unseen, of covering up and the persistent reappearing of the covered is manifested. It increases our restlessness and the internal tension, the tremor of the moment.