“Dreams” is a project about real and imaginable beings and also about potential transfer of one to another. It is an isolated place of communication between dream and reality.
By placing the viewer inside a cardboard box which isolates him from a current reality, Alek Slon forces our thoughts to transfer into a world of non-obvious imaginations and dreams. This specific “magic box” becomes some kind of a translocation runway. Spectators can accompany him in this extraordinary trip, but they can also go to their own trip which is parallel to the aforementioned one which the author immortalizes in his movies in a form of fragments. By finding channels connecting him with dreams in artist’s work or inside himself, he activates hidden potentials of taking actions, being and turning into reality.
INTERVIEW: with Alek Slon by Alessandra de Somniis.
You usually paint but this time you made an installation. Why?
First ideas for such installations, movies or artistic activities came to me about 3 years ago. Unfortunately these projects were too complicated. Eventually I realized that these things should be more simple because otherwise they’ll end up trapped in my head forever. I made my first movie in September at “Why Not?” exhibition in The Pharmacy of Art. It lasts seven seconds and illustrates the rocket take off. And now I made this box.
Does it mean that painting was only a stage for you and now you will be making only movies and installations?
Not at all. I love the conventionality of an area the painting. But I think that sometimes it is good to express your statement using other measures. It helps to better understand what we are all about.
I see. So did you decide to make this huge box? Not so long ago the gallery was renovated and white cube was developed which is so much admired by artists.
My goal was to take the viewer away from the reality and to give him conditions forcing him to switch to another mode. This is why I modified the space in such way that it became something in a form of a cocoon in which the laws of everyday life are suspended. It is connected with my vision of a human as a being driven by dreams. For me, dreams are the most powerful force in nature and they helped humans to succeed in terms of evolution. Animals who don’t make plans and don’t turn themselves on for the impossible cannot compete with such a crazy invention as Homo Sapiens. For me – human is a human because he dreams and these dreams motivate him to take actions.
You used cardboards – does it mean anything? You could have made your cocoon of something else.
It seems to me that a cardboard is a good modern medium. It doesn’t mean nothing alone but its content is something that really matters. And this is why it is a great medium – literally.
And what does in carry?
Practically everything. But very often also our dreams. Of course it is not just about objects but about all emotions which they imply. For example it may be a feeling of power granted for a human by the machine. But I also wanted to create some kind of a “skin” which could be a reflection of a grim reality. Dreams are important because they make us look beyond our everyday reality. When they show us their power, it can change everything, but they are quite incidental. And this is why I decided to use cardboards because they are ordinary and uninteresting. They become appealing when something emerges on their surface.
That’s right. We have three projections at the same time and in one of them we can recognize scenes from Fellini’s movies...
These are parts of movies in which we can see the Eternal City: Fellini’s “Roma” and “Dolce Vita” but also Nanni Moretti’s “Caro Diario” or scenes from a car chase in the last James Bond movie. The art, and cinema especially, is a correlation of a dream on the level of community. Rome was my dream and showing it through collective imagination is an obvious choice for me. Another thing is that before I started studies in Rome, I knew it mainly from movies.
And what about another pictures?
They are more private. From a level of collectivity we go down step by step to a personal dimension. I didn’t want to escape from that. It is a matter of authenticity which is absolutely necessary in order to make contact with a viewer. This is why I created a video from movies which I’ve been making with my mobile phone in various places for the last two years. Similarly as in dreams, places which are far away in time and space occur next to each other in accordance with some order of associations, not with chronology or unreality. As I watch them, I’m not convinced that these situations occurred for real. Borders between memories and dreams are slight and I wanted to show it.
OK. And what about the third movie?
It is a looped picture I made in the last day when I was in Corsica. There is a beach, quiet sea and this moored pontoon somewhere away. It doesn’t have anything in common with refugees of course (laugh). I don’t make art which is engaged in current social issues. I’m interested in phenomena on the existential level. In my case, sea is the universe of all dreams – the beginning and ending. A point of reference. An absolute. But it is also a beach which I think of when I’m trapped in Warsaw in December. These are these things in the same time.
And this swoosh – a noise in the background of the exhibition – comes from this video?
And the last question: where did you get so many cardboards?
Some of it I got from a cosmetic company which I was employed in. Other I were from my numerous relocations. I was on the road for a long time. Just recently a dream of my own flat became a reality and cardboards are empty so I could use them for another purpose. Besides, after my exhibition is disassembled I will paint on it. I love to create things out of garbage. It is something like creating ex nihilo because you make something of a material which meant to be utilized. But on the other hand, such waste always means something. It has its concreteness which you have to cope with. It is inspiring.
It is very interesting. And I almost forgot to ask the most important question. What do you want to communicate with your art and this particular project?
Ummm…. It is a very important question. Generally it is about… I’m awfully sorry but I has just came to me that I have a meeting. It is a very important case and I have to go. You probably think that I want to escape from answering but it’s not the case. I promise that we will return to this…