Centre Clark Montréal, QC
May 10 - June 16, 2018
Patryk Stasieczek’s work is concerned with how an image comes to be, both in terms of formal composition and its affective response. The results of these concerns is Inverse Light, an exhibition that blurs the line between processes and outcomes, and brings viewers inside the production of an image through its distortion. An extension of Stasieczek’s 2016 exhibition Inverse Light and Chamber in Seattle, Washington, this show continues to dismantle the physical and temporal boarders between viewer and image, between image-making and its material results, and between space as it’s documented and space as it’s experienced.
Stasieczek started with the blank white walls of his studio, which mimicked the mise-en-scène of a typical gallery. From there, he introduced a number of interventions: the windows were covered with blue lighting gels used as transparent sheets to change the hue of incoming sunlight; spray-painted polyethylene sheets were draped and ready-made objects scattered throughout the space; and  florescent lights wrapped in lighting gels flooded the studio with unconstrained, multicoloured light. Stasieczek documented these various interventions, and then disrupted those documentations: some photographs have been digitally warped and then exposed in the darkroom process with photograms, others distorted with polyethylene wrapping. These disruptions, lit within the walls of the gallery with fluorescent light fixtures coloured by various photograms, create another layer of disruption. Images talk to each other from various stages of manipulation and process. The colours from each image, constrained within their separate boarders, spill out into the space and mix with one another through the photogram light. White wooden wall frames carve the space into new forms. The gallery is transformed into the documented studio, a collapse in space and time that allows viewers to enter into the image. By presenting a non-static relationship between viewer and process, Stasieczek invites you into an immersive and sensual experience of images and their creation.
As light is thrown across the walls, new compositional possibilities emerge. This transforms the gallery into the documented studio as well as the camera that documented it, a reflection of the relationship between image and image-maker. Another disruption to the image occurs as viewers document the exhibition and disseminate their documentation online. In this way, Stasieczek relinquishes his role as artist to the process of collective image-making.
The studio and the gallery are both sites of institutional legitimization; their spatial organization informs our experience of the image, often in ways that cohere to dominate modes of power. Inverse Light evades these singular readings. Stasieczek doesn’t present images as arguments or final products, nor archived materials separate from our sensory experience of the now. Instead, the work opens itself up to have various views imposed upon it, ones that may contradict each other as much as they overlap. Inverse Light functions as an installation, a performance, and a queer reclamation of space, one that recognizes that the image is always in flux.
Exhibition text by Cason Sharpe.