Christian Jankowski - Heavy weight history (2013).
[...] Jankowski had noticed humour in Polish art on his first trip to Poland, and in issue n#32
’s online making of, he explains that Warsaw had been invaded by the Germans in 1915, and that nearly 100 years after what has happened, the performance was letting the city renew with its monuments. The artist might have wished to offer the city a new start, by re-engaging with its monumental statuary.
Exhibited in 2014 in the Lisson Gallery in London, it seems to them as though “Jankowski’s film conversely posits a light-hearted and socially-inclusive aspect to his controversial undertaking – that of reinvigorates locals’ relationships to oft-neglected bits of Varsovian public statuary.” Jankowski has indeed question the relevance of monuments of the past in other works, such as Living Statues in 2007, a representation of Julius Caesar and Che Guevara done by performers in Barcelona.
Art Review’s Helen Sumpter describes Christian Jankowski’s humour as a way to engage with his public. His “collaborative element with real people” using humour lets them truly engage into his more serious subject. Sumpter speaks of an always tricky but positive transformation.
Indeed, as though Jankowski always engages with serious, political and cultural aspects, they always seem to take a humoristic and positive turn. Though it may seem that his work is light, it also might appear that its lightness is only to bring ourselves into the more darker depths of his controversial subjects, only dragging us into it, for us to more question it in the end. He seems to light the dark path of his engaged works with humour, but still, one might think that it is only to raise more awareness of it. As a diplomat, he introduces his ideas peacefully into our heads, letting us be the ones to decide to be aware, or not, of the full weight of his message.
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