Michał Budny: Silence
10 March – 14 April 2007
Michał Budny was born in Leszno, Poland in 1976 and lives and works in Warsaw. Budny bases his artistic strategy on reconstructions. He begins by reconstructing objects from his everyday life, thus repeating forms that are familiar to the observer. Budny usually utilizes cardboard and glue. His material is unpretentious, easy to work with and facilitates a precise design. Above all, it offers a comparatively neutral surface that makes the three-dimensional form, and especially its outermost layer, stand out.
Budny draws on classic model-building techniques. His transparent production process incorporates and renders visible the traces of construction. On closer inspection however, Budny inverts model building. The goal of coming as close as possible to the form to be imitated does not determine the medium. Budny chooses the form of expression based how it affects the statement, as part of the content. A traditional model typically formulates a proposition, a provisional arrangement intended to lead to its realization. In contrast, Budny deconstructs already existing phenomena into a type of test status. In this sense, he does not actually execute his works with model-building techniques, but rather imitates the art form, or abstracts it into an entirely independent language. Budny’s most recent series of “origamis” exemplifies this procedure. He does not create these works by making elaborate folds in sheets of paper, but by putting individually cut pieces together.
Budny’s sculptural language incorporates abstraction in multiple respects. By skillfully moving between citation, allusion and modification, Budny’s objects accrue elements that point beyond themselves in an almost playful fashion. It seems as if his reconstructions had also copied the instability of the originals, as if the artist had ultimately imitated phenomena with no definite form. Budny explores the potential of sculptural language for expressing emotions and conditions through material forms. Silence, his new installation conceptualized for the Johnen Galerie’s exhibition space, comprises an impressive vehicle for this exploration. An enormous, closed cardboard cube measuring 6 x 12 x 2 meters fills the entire gallery space. The cube “hovers” only a small distance from the walls, supported 1.5 meters above the floor, invisibly and silently, like the manifestation of a thought.