Tomasz Partyka says of his most recent series of works that these are painterly objects that he originally wanted to hang on the wall. All these spatial compositions, with labyrinthine forms, cutouts from a dictionary or encyclopedia, and crowds of small figurines, grow out of wooden surfaces.
Their painted, pasted, or raw backgrounds become miniature stages where different episodes of the “little slaughters” play themselves out. Each is an expressive, visual rather than narrative staging of a theme suggested by the gloomy absurdities of present-day public life.
Echoes of a hard-to-fathom reality reverberate in the titles of the different mises-en-scène: "Escape from Europe; Them; East or West, Tight Is Best; Red, Black, White, Perhaps Brown or Pink, But Probably Not Yellow."
While in the past Partyka often added various comments, handwritten notes, to his collage paintings, now most of his works feature entries cut out from the Dictionary of Foreign Words, accompanied by encyclopedia definitions. The entries and definitions don’t match each other, their combinations being as grotesque as the gobbledygook of public discourses.
In Forgive Me, Homeland, a series exhibited three years ago, the artist cut out miniature figures from reproductions of 19th-century painting. The objects he shows now are populated by small plastic figures of soldiers, which he demilitarizes, cutting off their swords, guns, and bayonets. The figures are burnt, deformed, pierced with wire, beheaded and mutilated, massacred in all kinds of ways, mired in hardened paint, huddled together in tight spaces, frozen in the gestures of incomprehensible rituals.
The cunning toy-art aesthetic in the sceneries of the “little slaughters” is a means of getting an upper hand over an untenable reality, where the daily practices of public life turn into paint-dripping massacres.