Jacek Tylicki: Art and Artworks

Jacek Tylicki: Art and Artworks

by Leszek Brogowski

ISBN: 9780985369231

Publisher 21UNIVERSE

Published in Arts & Photography/General, Arts & Photography

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Book Description

Jacek Tylicki quote: "Art happens all the time, everywhere. All we have to do is to keep our minds open"

Tylicki sends into the wind, the rivers or the forests sheets of canvas or paper, and leaves them for a long while in a natural environment, thus forcing upon Nature an attitude previously reserved to the artist: the creation of a form.

Book contains 37 full color illustrations.

Sample Chapter

We asked ourselves: “what is art?” At the beginning we looked for answers in art itself. The idea of art for art’s sake channeled us to a conception of art as a perspective defined by the experience of a complete, un-mutilated being, and, in consequence, to a certain type of humanism characteristic of Jacek Tylicki’s art. Relying upon this experience we found it possible to look at art as an agreement, a form of common understanding, which creates a foundation for a human community. The road we took to discover the social aspect of art was indirect — it passed through the existential experience. There was a tendency in the seventies, and perhaps even more so in the eighties, to immediately situate art in its social dimension, while at the same time emphasizing that all aesthetic categories are only a matter of convention. With the neophyte eagerness the prevalent philosophy of this period proselytized the social aspects of art and nearly effaced the fact that all creative activity originates in some form of existential experience, which pours meaning into our being by opening us to new, or perhaps only forgotten dimensions, and by bringing back together the divided facets of life and the world. Only one step separates such a superficial — sociological in the most sterile sense — vision of art from the ideology of success or the sociology of domination. We can recall several instances where similar blurring of the values and “hijacking” of critical thinking produced rather questionable results, such as for example the ideology of winners proclaimed by “Transavanguardia” (“trans-avant-garde”) of Achille Bonito Oliva, a blind pursuit of great commercial success so characteristic of many artists, or the fad for “socially” engaged art, so often practiced by artists otherwise incapable of surviving even the most banal social situation, such as an interaction with friendly neighbors.

Tylicki’s art does not “resort” to social experiences. The projects Make War in Art, not in Reality or Free Art are directly involved in social interactions. But they are based on his existential experience, which certifies the meaning and authenticity of all his actions and projects. Tylicki reaches the social dimension of art by virtue of being able to convey his own experience of humanity. Wilhelm Dilthey went even further than Kant or Schiller in emphasizing the point that at the source of every creative activity lies a complete, multidimensional existence, in which concepts, goals and system of values are built into an inherently unified, meaningful structure: “a poet creates with the entirety of his capability”, he wrote. According to Dilthey the humanities had the unyielding obligation to look at man “un-mutilated”, unbroken (unverstümmelt) by conceptual reductionisms of all kinds, empowered by the completeness of his experience and actions.

Inasmuch as war represents one of the hardest and most traumatizing ordeals for humankind, the revolt — even if hopeless but still a voiced one — against the bestialities of the wars that plague our planet, a reaction which we may believe should be natural yet is in fact all but too rare (who keeps a count of one hundred and some thousands of victims of the war in the Persian Gulf?), such a reaction is in fact a work of art in the humanist cause. It is a project for the restoration of a human way to live, and to survive inhuman events. In his own commentary to Make War in Art..., Tylicki noted: “I believe it must have been a reaction to the truculence of New York and the world in general that I found very unsettling at the time”.

It is only in this context that we can fully appreciate the deep meaning — as well as the unceasing relevance — of the Kantian thesis, according to which aesthetic experience oriented toward engaging other people has to pass through the authentication of our own humanity. In Tylicki’s case this takes place in an act of revolt conceived as a series of artistic activities. Perhaps referring to the memorable slogan of the counterculture “make love, not war” Tylicki looks for inspiration in the counterculture’s poetics and logic: we must love instead of killing, but, if war is what you want, you must make it in art. Jacek opened up the doors to his studio “U” on New York’s Second Street, where in a huge space his constructions built for the purpose of “aggression”, attractive by their total ludicrousness and absurdity, provided a backdrop for hours-long spectacles. The constructions resembled inventive sculptures-mobiles which brought to mind the metamechanics of Tinguely or the Shooting Paintings of Niki de Saint Phalle, and which — to use an expression of Janusz Baldyga — provided the occasion “to use force”.

The interest in the gravitation of paint, speed - made into a rule for creating aesthetically complex and varied forms, as well as energy - transformed into form, found their extension a few years later with some early manifestations directly preceding Making War in Art... At this time painterly activities are being reinforced with a social aspect, influenced by feelings of rebellion against a world filled with aggression. Not insignificantly, this coincides with Tylicki’s leaving essentially pacifist and ecologically minded Sweden and his coming to New York City. From his very first days in New York Tylicki initiates a series of nocturnal “attacks”, during which half a gallon glass bottles filled with black paint are being used as Molotov cocktail. The artist begins a long process of taming aggression, or a peculiar project of annihilating aggression by acts of aggression. Tylicki likes to compare this reverse action to the operation Andy Warhol performed with his Brillo Boxes. As in classic guerrilla warfare the attacks are undertaken by groups which must preserve their anonymous character. The original enthrallment with a form of gravity gives way to a reflection upon the ratio between the amount of energy used for an “attack” and the typical shape of a mark left on a derelict wall. A black blot of splattered paint is in itself a signature, and as such — still strictly anonymous — it eventually makes its way to several anthologies of graffiti. (Perhaps the graffiti connection gives Tylicki an idea for Attack in the Fashion Moda Gallery ( Attack #3, 1986) ; a place created by Stephen Eins in the South Bronx, which became legendary in the history of graffiti.) The creation of form becomes inseparably related to an “attack”, an “attempt” on the integrity of the surface which is about to receive paint. In a certain manner, Jacek’s “attacks” shed light on the essence of the relationship between the gesture of an artist and the form created by this gesture, which has been long established in the Western tradition. In contrast to delicate strokes of brush, barely touching the paper in Chinese painting and calligraphy, “in the West”, according to Hubert Damisch, “the idea of a line (...) is traditionally, in the first place, linked (...) with a knife that cuts into the surface in order to mark the surface of a plate or a parchment.” A certain kind of aggression is therefore embedded in the relation between the artist and the form — Tylicki’s attacks try to shift the accent from the form to the nature of this relation.


Excerpted from "Jacek Tylicki: Art and Artworks" by Leszek Brogowski. Copyright © 2014 by Leszek Brogowski. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Leszek Brogowski

Leszek Brogowski

Prof. Leszek Brogowski (France), is the Chair of aesthetics and art studies at the Faculty of Arts, Lettres, Communication (Arts, Literature, Communication) University of Haute Bretagne in Rennes 2 in France. He also taught history of philosophy and aesthetics at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and the universities of Paris I, Paris X and Valenciennes. In 2000 he founded the University of Rennes 2 publishing house Éditions Incertain Sens, publishing a book of artists. He published dozens of articles in the press of artistic and philosophical in the country and abroad, including "Format", "Magazine of Art", "Les Cahiers du mnam", "Critique d'art", "Galerie l'Ollave" " poïétique Recherches "," Revue d'esthétique "," Critique. " In the years 1975-1986 had many solo exhibitions of photography, drawing and painting, including in Gdansk, Lublin, Bialystok, Paris, Lyon and Copenhagen. He is the author of books: The Art and the man (WSIP 1989), Art in transition (WSIP 1989), Dilthey. Conscience et histoire (Presses Universitaires de France, 1997), Afterimages and the ... Unism and "Theory of Vision" Strzeminski, word / picture of the territories in 2001.

View full Profile of Leszek Brogowski

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