“Omnivores” by Krzysztof Franaszek is the artist’s vision of present-day inhabitants of big cities – the eponymous Omnivores – and their surroundings. The installation, which comprises steel and brass sculptures, objects made in 3D printing technology, and photographs, presents contemporary attitudes and values, fast pace of life, pursuit of success, omnipresent consumerism.
The existence of the eponymous Omnivores is based on primary instincts and struggle for survival. Their natural habitat is the urban jungle, which is governed by its own laws and follows its own rhythm. The pursuit of high quality of life and social status has long outstripped their satisfaction of basic living needs. As their ambitions grow, this pursuit becomes thoughtless and selfishness prevails over empathy towards others and the environment.
Metal sculptures – sharp compositions, symbols of human struggle in the cycle of life and death – resemble teeth and blades, like tools of predators. The visually attractive, elaborate, abstract forms arouse anxiety and sense of danger. Another predator is also present here printed in 3D technology: a sundew which, contrary to the logic of the law of nature, is separated from its prey by a sealed plexiglass cover.
The photographs exposed in backlit display cases draw attention to the problem of overproduction of food and goods. Regular, pulsating light in darkened interiors of individual gallery modules sets in hypnotic motion the images of overloaded interiors of hypermarkets, shop windows and waste accumulated in garbage dumps. The photographs are balancing on the border of abstraction and document. In the middle of such a portrayal of the urban landscape there is a sculpture of a modern Omnivore hurriedly devouring a hamburger.
Franaszek brings up the issue of the consequences of the contemporary culture of consumerism, where the growing individualism and an unhealthy chase for something better disrupt the functioning of the community and, combined with the general atomisation of society, are a threat to the already heavily exploited environment. Thanks to Franaszek’s strong visual language, coloured with irony and humour, the picture of reality outlined in the “Omnivores” is not only thought-provoking but also spurs you into taking conscious action.
Krzysztof Franaszek, born in 1981 in Lublin, lives and works in Warsaw. The artist makes sculptures, objects, installations and drawings. He graduated from the Sculpture Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (diploma in 2006), PhD in fine arts (2013). He won a scholarship at Christian Jankowski’s workshop at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart (2005) as well as grants of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2009, 2018). He presented his works at individual exhibitions at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Le Guern Gallery, and Studio Gallery among other venues. He participated in over ten collective shows and projects in Poland, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Bangladesh and India. Since 2006 he has been employed at his alma mater.
Artist: Krzysztof Franaszek
Curator: Olga Guzik-Podlewska
Partner: Le Guern Gallery
Organizer: Fundacja Sztuka w Mieście, Ghelamco Poland