On a technical note, everything unfolds with labour. This labour or, to swap registers, this technê, begins in a Warsaw studio, where scraps and linen off-cuts are recuperated from the floor, before being hand-dyed and sewn to create canvases. There is nothing new under the sun, only the growing pain of metamorphosis. Before the paint reaches the canvas, the measure of hours cannot be counted, and is buried in the folds of fabric.
Making paintings is imbricated with the artist’s parallel engagement as a maker of clothes; these threads constitute the warp and weft of the wider work. In the making, there are cut hands, and sometimes there is a cut face. There are many nosebleeds and mainly there is a refusal to concede to dictates: to speed, to systems, to silkiness.
As though childhood is the place where everything is polarised, and all that happens next will be dictated by the images that are laid down at this time. Something of this subjunctive stance, familiar to the artist, will work its way into the work, which will be forced to return to the image bank of childhood and adolescence, despite the potential terrors that may lurk there (teenage parties in tones recalling a Monster energy drink).
Resistance is the most astonishing quality of the dyed linen canvas, whose threads keep the paintings together despite the omnipresent threat of centrifugal forces. And despite centripetal forces, for the work holds a tension: sometimes it seems the sewing dictates the scenes in the paintings, the threads threading stories; and sometimes that the very sketchiness of the scenes defies premeditation, becoming something only on the canvas.
Through the folds in the canvas, something is given and withheld. Connections are not quite met by bodies in space; planes of colour only isolate, and the fourth wall breaks. Figures are falling in an origami universe. Pleats of matter enclose the folds in the soul.
Art likes to talk in terms of analogy, persuading you that A’s work is akin to that of the more famous or fashionable B, and that C’s radically chic modus operandi recalls the practice of the late, great Z. All this is splashy, but what interests ML Poznanski is more discreet; the interactions that go unnoticed, the lacuna in the system. Things that are left purposefully oblique, perceived or perhaps experienced tangentially, and revisited by a ghost at the window. There is resistance in the refusal to speak. Note that one perhaps apocryphal origin of the word omertà is not man, but humility. A man folding softly, in and on, to infinity. And the children still left in the frame, guarding the secret.
— Clodagh Kinsella
ML Poznanski (b. 1984, Hull, UK) is an artist and clothesmaker based in Warsaw. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. Poznanski is part of the collective Everyone Agrees who have published The Night & After The Night released by BookWorks. Her recent solo exhibitions include A Missive for the Daffodils, Simo Bacar Gallery, Lisbon, (2022); Stories Not Systems, Montague, London, (2019). Group exhibitions include: Lo Brutto Stahl, Paris (2023); Cemetery of Splendor, Piktogram, Warsaw (2023); Palomar, Simo Bacar Gallery, Lisbon (2023); ZEIT, house of spouse, Vienna (2022); it could have been easy but it was still nice, Mother Culture, Berlin (2020); Fool's Prophecy, Icon Museum, Warsaw (2018); The Meeting of Failures, SPACE, London (2014); Performance with Resonance FM, Raven Row Gallery, London (2011).