Konrad Smoleński, ‘Guard’, 2009, West Den Haag
Konrad Smoleński, ‘Guard’, 2009, West Den Haag

Guard is a small-screen video recording showing the process of burning a percussion instrument which is then extinguished by a fire fighter. The player and speaker connected to the monitor form a kind of stack resembling that of a bonfire. The composition of the film is based on falling and rising dynamics at the level of both narration and sound. Additionally, there are dramatic sound effects from 1950s and ’60s Russian movies which accompany the extinguishing of the fire, and at the same time enhance the sensation of suppressed energy, while also emphasising the dual nature of fire.

About Konrad Smoleński

Konrad Smoleński describes his work as a mix of “spectacular pyrotechnic effects” and “minimal punk aesthetic.” Smoleński’s works frequently have an audio component, which might take the form of noise, music, or noise music. Speakers and microphones are also frequent motifs in his installations, appearing in overwhelming configurations and quantities, often alongside combustible materials and flames. The artist has an openly anarchic disposition, which manifests in the works as a sense of anxiety, disorientation, and awe. Smoleński works in multiple mediums including photography, videos, installation, sculpture, and performance. He is also an active experimental musician, and performs in guerrilla concerts with his group BNNT.

Polish, b. 1977, based in Warsaw and Bern, Switzerland