Art & Culture

‘Waste of Civilisation’: inside the gallery challenging throw away culture

In a post-Brexit world Rejekt Gallery is making you look harder at us in their debut exhibition with artists Jakub Gliñski and Tomas Auksas.

‘Waste of Civilisation’ is the debut exhibition from REJEKT Gallery an independent union of artists founded on democratic principles by Directors Sarah Sosnierz and Daniel Etherton. Their main goal is to spotlight contemporary artists who have had their right to express and share their artistic practice rejected by institutions.

This fresh ethos and lateral vision have resulted in the pairing of two groundbreaking European artists (Artist Jakub Gliński and Documentary filmmaker Tomas Auksas) and the unveiling of a show that allows viewers to question the relationship society has with imperfection during what we can all agree is very treacherous times.

In the exhibition, Mixed Media Artist Jakub Gliński repurposes discarded materials and unveils looming mixed media canvases as an opportunity for the viewer to reevaluate their attitude towards consumerism by presenting it in new forms full of subtlety that plays between the lines of abstract expressionism, commentary and anarchism.

When Glinski creates his work, he does not search for a political subject in his work, instead, he emphasises the dependence of his intuition and subconscious development to influence the body of his projects. Much of his inspiration is drawn from his dreams, his daily life and his conclusions on his observations in it. The context of his work resonates as a diary, allowing the spectator to consider the subject from many different perspectives, as there is not a fixed context from his position. Although there is a strong level of ambiguity, what remains clear is the rebellious tone that is consistently present in all his pieces, highlighted through his abstract nature. His compositions express grandeur and ruthlessness, inaccurately drawn in his paintings and simultaneously contradicted with the bleeding and subtle merging of colour, suggesting a dream-like state.

As well as exhibiting works, Gliński includes a performance piece that brings his work to life in a visceral manner. Whilst the random collection of material and sounds used in his performances can act as defiance against the contemporary art world, he sabotages the foundations of beauty through presenting his work in a way that leaves the spectator in a juxtaposition. On the one hand, we have waste; we have imperfection. Yet, at the same time, there is admission to think beyond the social constructions of objectification and when this is done, one can see the beauty in a completely different way.

‘Waste of Civilisation’ is paired with ‘What about us’ a documentary film by Tomas Auksas, which explores the lives of young people living in a mental asylum in Lithuania. Behind the closed walls over many years these boys and girls form close relationships together and the outside world seems completely unknown and frightening. For decades, certain disabilities have been hidden away from public view, with many of the population not knowing of their existence. For the first time (more independent and capable) these young adults are placed in homes to live more independently and encouraged to integrate into society. Whilst following the group as they move into an apartment (while still being monitored under 24hrs supervision) Auksas captures the beginning of their independence – and we bare witness to their lives on the brink of change.

These two bodies of work by these artists create unique parallels between each other and directly toy with our levels of comfort, insecurity as well as comment on our privilege and contribution to this planet.

‘Waste of Civilisation’ runs from 8-9 December 2019 at Too Many Hands Gallery, SE16 4DG –

7 December 2018