Tomasz Domański: Monuments of Time

Tomasz Domański: Monuments of Time
Library Shelf Location 18.DOMA
Publication Date 2018

A monograph on the work of Tomasz Domański, an artist active in the field of action art, ephemeral art, and processes deconstructing it.

The book is a retrospective of Domański’s artistic actions, initiated in Wrocław in the early 1990s and continued to this day. It contains unique iconographic material documenting the artist’s works. Apart from texts written by the artist, casting light on his personal involvement and motivation, the book also features commentaries, reviews, and critical essays explaining the reading of the Monuments of Time as a relative monument within the category of contemporary sculpture. A substantial part of the monograph is taken up by “Illustrated Autobiography”, revealing numerous facts from Tomasz Domański’s artistic life, as well as some details related to the production of particular pieces. The artist described the Monuments of Time as “creation of objects with the intention to observe how time operates on matter.” A finite work of art is not the point here, but the process of its coming to be, its life cycle, which also includes destruction and dematerialisation. The sense of impermanence and transience is immanent in his creative output. In his works, Domański refers to extreme categories, uniting them in inseparable pairs: life – death, nature – culture, physicality – metaphysics, life – art, though in this case it would be more appropriate to use the term ‘artlife’.

The Monuments of Time are capable of making people pause, and encouraging them to participate in conceptual art, demanding though it is, first of all in its ephemeral manifestations. It seems to me that this phenomenon feeds on our apprehension; Witkacy-esque Weltschmerz and the mystery of being, the nostalgia of passing, Leopold Staff’s «sadness of happiness», and finally the atavist fear of death. The Monuments of Time have metaphorically transported these fears and turned them into an ice block of temporary being. In this narrative of transience I found the vocabulary to depict time in art, and because this problem of the world’s mechanics applies to us all, it becomes universal. The impact of this cycle relies on the shared sense of passing time. I resort to abstract forms to represent my thoughts and premonitions, to take the viewers to the crux and the essence of my intention. When the audience discovers it, its members become a little bit stronger in their private battles against time.” (T. Domański, Illustrated Autobiography, in: Tomasz Domański. Monuments of Time, Wrocław 2018)

Born in 1962 in Giżycko. A multimedia artist creating ephemeral art. He predominantly employs natural materials in his work: water, ice, fire, wood, straw, ash, metal, making use of processes that are characteristic of them. He is active in new media – video and digital techniques – introducing films and animations as integral elements into his works. In 1993, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, and in 2003 he obtained his PhD. In 1995, he spent a year on scholarship in India, at the university in Varanasi (Banaras Hindu University). He received grants from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – five times, as well as from numerous foundations, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York, the Laurenz Foundation in Basel, the Elizabeth Montag Foundation in Bonn, the UNESCO-Aschberg Foundation in Paris, and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation in New York. In 1997 he represented Poland at the Ninth Triennial of Contemporary Art in New Delhi. In 2000–2004 he was a member of the Programme Board at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. He was nominated for the Paszport “Polityki” award. His works have been presented at fifty solo exhibitions and more than one hundred group shows. Since 2002, he has been carrying out his project of a symbiotic sculpture garden – WIEŻOGRÓD / TowerTopia, in the village of Komorowice in Lower Silesia.

ISBN 978-83-65892-22-5
Quantity 1
Pages 376 Pages, 210mm x 275mm
Editors Sylwia Świsłocka-Karwo, Tomasz Domański
Format Hardcover
Publisher Culture and Art Centre, Wroclaw
Related Artist Tomasz Domański
Category Artist (relating to a single artist/collaborative team)
Keywords Installation, Assemblages (sculpture)
Artist's Nationality Polish
Languages Polish, English

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