Untitled (Gwangju-set)

Wilhelm Sasnal


Materials: paper, ink

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK007345-001).

In the ensemble of drawings originally presented in the Gwangju biennial Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal combines different types of drawings, and different narratives, the main one related to the Soviet past of his family accounted as a future. Some of the drawings are referring to the form of cartoons or comic books’ drawing style but after reading the inserted into the drawings texts the images start to look disturbing, nevertheless. Through this usage of the entertaining format of comic books the artist invites the viewer to read and reflect inside stories that don’t feel as entertaining as their form. In the text windows Sasnal creates a narrative allegedly told by his grandfather who presents facts from Polish history – largely shared by the whole Soviet space – by telling the history of life and of his family as if all still has yet to happen. Intertwined in these main narratives are other disturbing elements – the murder of a president, an underground airport, the production of cocaine, dropping relief supplies …, Nowadays the historical events are so close to us, that no empathy is needed to understand them, but it will take time and looking at them from different angles to come to terms with them, and they will remain unsettling forever.

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