End of Time by Mateusz Kula
Mateusz Kula leads us along his own way of thinking about the transition, or in fact along a number of ways. Rejecting the official narrative about the bygone area, he reaches for found objects, for discarded, unfinished tales
End of Time is a perverse installation – a story about the post-communist transition, about the constant happening of things, about the rhythm of the breakthrough which was (and is) accompanied by a sense of estrangement and alienation, but also a fascination with change.
In the story we touch many various shards. Mateusz Kula leads us along his own way of thinking about the transition, or in fact along a number of ways. Rejecting the official narrative about the bygone area, he reaches for found objects, for discarded, unfinished tales: starting from a seemingly banal story of advertising based on ready files (the so-called clipart), visual “transplants” from another world, through private records/microeconomic histories to black metal subcultures, hovering between rebellion and a refusal to participate in the form of protest which is expected within the “social order”.
This ambivalent state between change and adaptation to new conditions on the one hand and negation and refusal to participate in these new conditions on the other, generates violence instead. It leads to aggression targeted at your peers rather than to social protest. “I found my beloved wolf and now I was to be eaten,” says the protagonist of Łukasz Orbitowski’s short story Popiół nad krakowskim niebem [Ash above Krakow’s sky], which is part of the installation/story.
The suspension in a state between life and death (Wir sind nicht gestorben… wir haben nie gelebt*), the Luciferian melancholy is directed at a deeper wound, nursed in solitude. Winter and darkness do not necessarily translate into social ties, but they allow you to spin alternative visions, a fantasy, a story about a lost civilisation. William Morris, Fletcher Pratt, H.P. Lovecraft are references cited in the End of Time on equal footing with fragments of interviews and covers of zines. The fears and fascinations of these authors anticipate the fears of the generation of the post-communist transition.
The installation of Mateusz Kula pictures this interpenetration of time, this storytelling about the future in the past tense as well as about the past in the future tense: things happening, repetition, as in ornament.
During his performative guided tour the artist will introduce us not only to fragments of confessions, but also to a staged situation of visual shards of that/this world which he brings in. Moving between the private and the public, like an archivist he tries not so much to capture the moment of transition, but to protect it from ossification.
*Burzum, Was einst war
Part of the installation is the short story Popiół nad krakowskim niebem by Łukasz Orbitowski.