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Madness is Like Gravity

Hubert Czerepok2012

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney

For the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), Polish artist Hubert Czerepok presented the neon work Madness is Like Gravity (2012) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. A quote from the Joker in the Batman film The Dark Knight, the spiral of letters, differing in size and hue, speaks to the Jekyll and Hyde in all of us, as well as of the precarious balance between sanity and madness, life and death. In both its medium and composition, Madness Is Like Gravity reminds us of Bruce Nauman’s The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, 1967. Nauman famously said that his statement was both true and not true at the same time; perhaps the same can be said of Czerepok’s message.

Also for the 19th Biennale, Czerepok presented an artist project on Cockatoo Island, entitled 'Let's Change It All' (2011, 2014).

The correlation between fact and fiction in historical accounts and records is a source of fascination for Czerepok. Working across a wide range of media including photography, drawing, painting, installation, video and performance, he examines the role of images in visual culture and seeks to explore the way the truth can be distorted by time and how myth and legend come to be accepted as fact.

Investigation of paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories are recurring themes in Czerepok’s work. In Haunebu (2008), he reconstructs a Second World War conspiracy theory in which German engineers were supposedly designing and building the Wunderwaffe (wonder-weapon), a vehicle shaped like a flying saucer that would be used as a weapon against the Allies. Using available documents, found footage and re-enactments, Czerepok creates a plausible simulation of history that encourages the viewer to question what is commonly believed to be fact. The artist does not intend to prove his hypothesis or refute historical records; rather, it is his aim to breed doubt and encourage his audience to consider the idea that what they know to be fact and what they believe to be fiction might sometimes be interchangeable.

Czerepok graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Drawing from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan in 1999, following earlier studies at Antoni Kenar’s College of Fine Arts in Zakopane. His work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including ‘History and Utopia’, Arsenał Gallery, Białystok (2013); ‘Lux Aeterna’, ŻAK I BRANIKA, Berlin (2012); ‘Devil’s Island’, La Criee Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes (2009); and ‘Fuckin’ Hell’, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2006).

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  • Title: Madness is Like Gravity
  • Creator: Hubert Czerepok
  • Date: 2012
  • Physical Dimensions: w190 x h230 x d6 cm (Complete)
  • Provenance: Courtesy the artist and ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin
  • Type: Light/Installation
  • Rights: http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/legal-privacy/
  • External Link: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: neon
  • Edition: 2014: 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire

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