We invite you to the opening of the Exhibition of the winners and finalists of the International Contest for Experiment in Visual Arts – Attempt 4

Online opening: December 18, 2020 19.00


For the fourth time, City Art Gallery of Kalisz  invited artists to participate in the International Contest for Experiment in Visual Arts – Attempt 4. The aim of the competition is to select and present unique works related to the need to experiment and take risks, as well as to search for new formal solutions in response to the universal message of Jan Tarasin contained in the words ” Art constantly repeats attempts ” and ” Good artwork always stimulates “.

This year’s edition of the competition attracted 315 works by 173 artists from Poland, Chile, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, USA and Great Britain. On July 3, 2020, the jury finally qualified 13 projects for the exhibition, awarded two artists and distinguished three artists.


1. prof. Katarzyna Józefowicz – artist, Dean of the Faculty of Sculpture and Intermedia of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk –  Jury President,

2. prof. Szymon Wróbel – professor of philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the The Institute of Interdisciplinary Research “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw. A psychologist and philosopher interested in contemporary social theory and the philosophy of language and mind.

3. Jakub Tarasin – visual artist, lecturer at the Vistula University in Warsaw

4. Ewa Łączyńska-Widz – director of BWA in Tarnów

5. dr Joanna Dudek – artist, director of the Jan Tarasin Art Gallery in Kalisz


Grand Prix – Prize of Mayor of Kalisz

Lukas Keysell 


The Jury of the Contest decided to appreciate raising the universal problem of language. This universal language, as perceived by the artist, would no longer be a tool of division, but of connecting communities, nations, cultures, and lifestyles. In the jury’s interpretation, the author of the project aims at surprising spatialization of signs, symbols, linguistic notations and writing. Moreover, the author consistently searches for universal components of human communication. The imposition of linguistic symbols in his work creates a specific archetype of universal language and of what is common to all cultures. The jury decided that there was no more current message to the world than that expressed by the author of the work.

Jan Tarasin Art Gallery  Award

BWA Gallery in Tarnów Award



The jury of the contest decided to appreciate the project “Figure study” by Dominik Ritszel, recognizing in it a kind of anthropological manifesto By referring to archival films from the Cold War period, the author returns to the times of the division of the polarized world into two opposing and hostile poles. From the point of view of the project’s author, the techniques of disciplining humans presented in the film produce the synonym of the mass human “deprived of traits” and all individual features. The jury read the project as a voice in defense of the individual. The timeliness of this voice is particularly significant today, i.e. during the reign of a surveillance society and multiple security devices that tend to treat


Due to the even and high level of the contest, the jury decided to distinguish three projects:

Monika Drożyńska’s project entitled “Tablecloth” referring to the celebration of life and the symbol of the table as a place of meetings. In this work, the table covered with a tablecloth becomes a kind of symbol of the time of friendship and celebrating free days together.

Paulina Łuczak’s project “Untitled” perfectly reveals the relationship between the processes of creation and destruction, hidden in every artistic intention. Calling a work into existence and the act of canceling it go hand in hand here. The artist also reminds us that each work has its obverse and reverse.

The project of Karolina Zielazek-Szeska entitled “Dreamers” in the eyes of the jury turned out to be a remarkable demonstration of art turned towards nature. The artist’s original project is supplemented by cooperation of the natural world which is not designed, non-intentional, and is difficult to control.


Monika Drożyńska, Lidia Głazik, Artur Janasik, Lukas Keysell, Michalina W. Klasik, Piotr C. Kowalski, Paulina Łuczak, Tadeusz Moskała, Horacy Muszyński, Dominik Ritszel, Wiktoria Walendzik, Małgorzata Wrzosek, Karolina Zielazek-Szeska

The “International Contest for Experiment in Visual Art – Attempt 4” is organized by the City Art Gallery of Kalisz in cooperation with the City of Kalisz.

The exhibition is under the Honorary Patronage of the Mayer of Kalisz Krystian Kinastowski.

Exhibition Partner: Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation

Descriptions of the works presented at the exhibition:




Universal Expression is a speculation of what language could become due to the expanding use of virtual & augmented reality. A handwriting system which is drawn in a three dimensional environment – presenting language off the page and allowing it to float in space.

The project questions the possibility to view all languages across the world as ethnic variations of human language. It also attempts to deconstruct our conventional perception of language communication itself by guiding viewers to uncharted territories and providing possible alternative solutions, opposing to the thus-far fixed solutions for the future of communication.

If we “step back” –is it possible to view all languages across the world as solely national variations of the human language? What if there was a written communication system that allowed the entire world to communicate no matter what language you spoke?

Such a system is a logographic script – similar to Chinese in the way that one character = one word. For example, the idea of an object or concept is given a logo which represents it. Unlike the phonetic system we use in which individual characters are strung together to form words which have a concrete meaning. The logographic script I propose plays on the idea that words bear arbitrary relationships between what a word looks like (its graphical notation) and itsmeaning.

By dissecting the same word written in the top four most used languages across the world (Chinese, Spanish, English and Hindi) – I extract graphic elements from each of them to create a new character, drawn as a three dimensional structure in virtual reality.

Universal Expression is an exploration of composition created in a three dimensional environment. The end result of my work is a form of artistic expression born from a methodical yet random system of combining the same word written in four languages. This three dimensional form is merely a few lines floating in cyberspace until I assign it a meaning or an understood value. Does this then become the first character of a new born language?

For now, it is me attempting to communicate the ideas behind my piece of art. It is only until you and everyone around you accepts that this form/character means what I say it means, that it can become a language.

Being exhibited in a gallery space, I would take advantage of 3D printing as a medium for presenting the 3D structures as a set of sculptures. I have ideas of experimenting with the scale of the characters, aiming to create an entire environment, as opposed to a single sculpture on a podium. This would parallel the embodiment of my former excitement with virtual reality and its 360 degree encompassing effect.

I envision a virtual reality headset hanging from the ceiling alongside a screen projecting the headset display, allowing members of the public to enter an entire new virtual space with a whole new way of communicating and expression. Inside the headset, the viewer now becomes more than just a passive onlooker, and becomes an active participant in the artwork. Simple instructions would be shown for drawing existing characters and participants would also be given the opportunity to draw their own forms. By showing people the endless possibilities of what happens when drawing becomes more like instant sculpting, we could awaken their creative imagination and inspire them to “venture” into unseen territories. These experiences, in turn, could lead to engaging conversations and contemplations of the way we communicate and what the future holds for human communication.

LUKAS KEYSELL is graphic artist with both Danish and British nationalities. He was born in London, grew up in Ascot (a small horse racing town, 25 miles west of London), and studied for his Bachelors at Winchester School of Art (UK). After completing his Bachelor he moved to Copenhagen in the fall of 2018 to start as a Concept Design Intern at Kontrapunkt. The company is responsible for creating visual identities for national corporate giants such as TDC and DSB. After his internship period, he has been hired as astudent-designer and still holds that position today. In September 2019 he started his Master studies in Graphic Communication Design at KADK, Copenhagen. However, he is currently on an international exchange programme, studying Graphic Design and New Media at UMPRUM, Prague.

The Bachelor course at Winchester was called ‘Graphic Arts,’ and was split up into four pathways: Graphic Design, Illustration, Motion Graphics and Photography. It was these four pathways that were a key influence to forming his creative practice of today. Having chosen Graphic Design, he was taught all the essentials of typography, editorial design, book binding and much more (e.g. silk screen and Risograph). Here, he developed a love for the craftsmanship and artistic possibilities which the printing methods he was offered. The acquired skills allowed him for playful experimentation with composition and colour by dividing designs into separate layers. Having the time and space to explore these mediums guided the artist’s design practice into illustration, later to become acrylic paintings. In his free time, he paints for hours as a form of meditation and expression of form. Most of the expression is through quick sketches in his sketchbook and the meditation comes from holding the paint brush and focusing on the tiny details on canvas. Painting has become a large part of his artistic practice and he intends to carry on exploring the medium far into the future. Inspiration for hispaintings largely comes from travelling around the world and experiencing new cultures. Always having a sketchbook at the ready allows him to translate his experiences into abstract illustrations.

Research plays a significant role within the majority of his artistic and design endeavors. He feelsit is important to form a backbone of understanding in the subject areas at play, which can then be guided into ideas and experiments. His current artistic interests are focused around working in three dimensions. According to the artist, working spatially opens up to themes of social interaction and physical experiences, which makeshis work feel human in away, even when it does not look very human at first glance. The main goal of the present activities of the artist is opening the mind to new possibilities and reimagining what the future could look like.




Character Study is a film collage consisting of found footage and the artist’s original recordings.The starting point were archival materials and training films commissioned by the US government during the Cold War, used in the video installation.In his work, Dominik Ritszel manipulates the content of the films used by comparing them with his own productions, focusing on individual elements of narration and formal means. The issues related to safety, body hygiene and a healthy lifestyle discussed in the work outline the political meanings assigned to the body, especially the male body.Figurative representations of the uniformed military force and society as a mass are intended to bring out the hidden content contained in archival recordings and to outline a vision of a patriarchal society.




In the title Tablecloth and in the form of the tablecloth, which clothes have, there is containeda common denominator I consider the tablecloth to be an object that serves to celebrate life in community and relationships. I cover the table with a tablecloth when I celebrate the day. I cover the table with a tablecloth when I host someone. We sit down at the table. The tablecloth connects us. We keep our hands, arms, food and drinks on it. We form a community.

I use the technique of hand embroidery on fabric as a way of writing, noting down, rewriting, and documentation. “When we rewrite and quote, we build an edifice of knowledge and reproduce it like my vegetables or apples. Prescribing is like grafting a tree; citation – like sowing the seeds.” The languages I create in my works are intersectional and non-normative.They combine grammars, alphabets, written speech, and broken English. I create my own transitional lettering, which I call non-normative lettering, the writing form of which is hand embroidery on the fabric. My practice is in the middle of Saussure’s theory between langue and parole.

Tablecloths have been embroidered. I used sign language iconography, prison tattoo symbolism, Morse code, Braille, road signs, evacuation and warning signs, information boards, iconography of political systems, corporate logos, graphics illustrating social movements, V sign, Georgian, Arabic, and Africans alphabets, as well as graphic drawings of the constellations. In each of my works I deal with a different subject. Each tablecloth is a multi-component essay in which it builds a community of communication and experience.

The series of works Tablecloth

The tablecloth is the plane of the meeting. It combines the mug, plate, hands, body, and thoughts of the visitor and the host. They all live under the constellation, distanced from each other, there is a threat in the closeness. The tongue is tangled and blue and has a knot in it. The letters are ornaments. Gestures are words. Logic, reason and proportion have not worked. The compote is tart, the soup is sweet, the dough is bitter. The hands on the tablecloth are connected and safe.




Candle – an ordinary object, less and less necessary to function, but still desirable in many circumstances.The object on which man, shaped by the symbolic order, projects meanings and his own history, makes it a symbol that connects border and opposing areas, such as life and death.

The presented work grew out of contemplation, that is, a tender observation of a burning wax column, its constantly transforming form, melting and solidifying again, transparent and shiny, or matt once again.The second source was amazement at the wealth of meanings that we as humans tend to ascribe to this object. The painting is the central part of the triptych, the face and reverse of which are on an equal footing.Each part of the triptych shows, on one side of the stretcher, a drawing of scaled slices of solidified wax – brittle forms created by pouring melted wax into cold water, and used in Polish tradition to fortune telling.The other side, hiding a collection of various but used candles, presented on the shelves, contrasts with the dynamic shapes of charcoal-drawn potential forms.Each of them – curved, irregular, flooded with streams of wax, far from clean and with a perfect shape of a mechanically made candle – is a kind of record of the events that accompanied the act of burning. They all present past stories: birthday candles, Christmas candles, consecrated candles burned during storms, decorative candles and others, in their peculiar forms, resulting from air streams flowing at the moment of burning and the effect of activities performed by specific people close to me (although sometimes known from stories, because they died before my birth). In many cases, they commemorate the most important moments which, due to the customs and symbolic dimension, we decide to bathe in the warm light of a candle.



Cycle of 5 objects – three human figures made of beeswax – about 20 cm x 10 cm each, and two figures in honeycomb 30 cm x 25, 2020.

A series of 5 objects – human figures made of beeswax.The simplified, deliberately sketchy forms of dreaming characters are made of beeswax.Subsequently,

they were put in the hive so that the bees would build their cells on them.The work is therefore created as a kind of experiment done in cooperation with bees.It directly refers to the beliefs related to bees and the ancient beliefs in their power to endow people with immortality (in ancient times, the bodies of the dead were often smeared with honey to symbolically ensure their immortality (Egypt, Minoan Crete).The “dreamers” thus drift into sleep – encased by bee cells, waiting for transformation, for symbolic rebirth and awakening.

It is a controlled experiment – the way the figures are arranged in the hive depends on how bees build them.I treat these works as the beginning of a larger project-experiment and a challenge for me, which is an attempt at symbiotic cooperation with such unusual creatures as bees.


ME – ARIADNE, 2019






I often visit the town of Rydułtowy. It is a place I love.Like many cities in Silesia, spoil tips are inscribed in its landscape.It is fascinating that, growing up in a similar environment, I admire these spoil tips as if it were the most beautiful mountain range.However, I am aware that a great danger lies dormant in them.Spoil tips are a by-product of coal mining that change the environment forever. It was in Rydułtowy that I was greatly impressed by the majestic spoil tip known asCharlotte.As it turned out later, it is the tallest in Europe, 134 m high.It was she who inspired me to take another action.I decided to visitCharlotte, get to know her closely.When I burst into this space, I was surprised by the endless horizon beyond my sight.The desert landscape surrounding me, it was almost lunar, intensified by the silence. I started to wonder how to use the advantages of this place, how to act, what items to use.At this point, I realized that for several weeks I had been carrying the old TV set found in the garbage and it was the perfect subject for my objectives.Pulling it with me, without any previously planned route, I intuitively headed towards the horizon.There was a toxic, unfavorable climate.As time went on, I felt more and more of an intense stench of sulfur, and breathing became more and more difficult.The weight of the object influenced my every move, so I explored the space more consciously and with greater sensitivity.The television set remained the medium on which the mark ofCharlotte was left.


EVERY DAY ANEW, 2018-2019



The work consists of 4 notebooks and4 small objects accompanying them, with plants planted inside.The first notebook is something like a diary.For several months, I wrote down in it every day information about the destructive activity of humans towards nature, which reached me through various media on a given day (mainly in Polish, but also in English).They concerned my “backyard,” Poland, but also various parts of the world – the devastation of the Białowieża Forest, industrial farms, air pollution, overfishing of the Baltic Sea, global warming, killing seals on the Polish coast, burning garbage dumps, dying bees, etc.It seemed to me that it would be a way to “work through” this knowledge, deal with it.However, this did not happen, I devoted even more time to these messages, which made them more intense.The diary turned out to be something like a chronicle showing the scale of destruction, thoughtlessness and cruelty.While conducting it, I automatically reached for two more notebooks to write one sentence over and over in each of them.In the second notebook it was: “Every day I try to forgive myself for being human” and in the next one:”Every day I try again to forgive you for being human.”After writing down my daily dose of information, I wrote down these sentences, repeated them like a mantra, which helped me regain my balance.The fourth notebook was originally intended to be a continuation of the first, but it was too debilitating to focus on this news daily.That is why I immersed it entirely in ink, as a sign of the sadness that this knowledge evokes in me and as a symbolic end to the project.

This project is accompanied by a collection of 4 small objects – in the glass inkwells which remainedafter the ink was used for the work “Every day anew,” I planted seedlings of a plant – “tree of happiness.”Inkwells are placed under cloches.They complete the installation and bring an element of hope to it.


HATE 2019-2020

Come what may, but I still have to paint a picture

VIDEO:10’17”, CANVAS 205×360 CM

The picture was painted automatically from September 4, 2019.The whole of my presentation is a movie entitled Come what may, but I still have to paint a picture, and a picture registering traces and water levels.




Permutation polyptych. Four square elements of the same size are placed in a frame with a tilting top bar, which allows them to be moved. Each of the elements can be moved not only in relation to the others, but also rotated around its axis, which increases the number of new compositions rapidly.With 4 elements, the number of combinations is 4! = 1x2x3x4 = 24. Taking into account the possibility of rotation of each of the presented elements, the number of permutations is 20! that is: 1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8x9x10x11x12x13x14x15x16x17x18x19x20.Counting the result is more effective than counting rams before bedtime.

Using permutations, the author also creates graphic polyptics.

Using permutations, the author also creates graphic polyptics.

 (4! = 4 factorial, 20! = 20 factorial).


ASS.DEATH.DICKS, 2019-2020


Six actors are locked up in an art gallery for a week.They play in a series about young artists working on an exhibition that is to open the door to their careers.However, it is envy and the desire to stand out instead of cooperation that become the main motivation for their actions.The white cube quickly turns into a bloody slaughterhouse. The ASS.DEATH.DICKS (pronounced aesthetics) project is a metaphor for the rivalry and self-centeredness that drive society, and the art world has started to duplicate these dangerous patterns.As part of the project, the Project Room space at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art has become an experimental film set.A group of actors-artists spent seven days here, during which a bloody series was created, which was a combination of a horror film with a para-documentary.The opening of the exhibition was also the first shooting day. Horacy Muszyński and the actors did not leave the gallery for the entire duration of the series.Artists worked and lived here. Thanks to the industrial cameras, the audience could observe what was going on inside on the external screen.


FILMS, 2018

5 DRAWINGS ON PAPER, 210×297 mm

I draw movies while watching.I start with the movie starts and end with the credits.I transfer elements from the current frame to paper on a regular basis.

The Films project is an experiment involving the translation of the film medium into a drawing.I turn into a(n) (imperfect) machine that draws in real time what it sees on the screen.The drawing time is equal to the duration of the movie.The intensity of the drawing is influenced, among others, by the dynamics of the film, the type of events (sudden / calm, drastic, etc.), and the duration of the film.The place where the drawing process takes place is also a very important factor.For me (before viral restrictions) these were mainly two spaces:home or cinema.It can be said that the cinema is a specially designed place, optimal for watching movies – large, high-quality image, blackout, great sound.However, this is not an optimal place for drawing (for example, due to the dimming of lights), therefore cinematic drawings are usually less legible (when it comes to figurative shapes), they consist of intense dark patches and more sweeping lines.

 Currently, the Films project consists of 318 drawings.




[ON SOME PRINT], 6x20x20cm

My mycologist mother taught me to see beauty in decay, in weakness, in “unwantedness.”Each of these traits has a place in the world.In the thin, harmful, rustling plastic, I see potential and shimmering openwork beauty.I use an iron to fuse plastic bags together.Out of formlessness, they freezein a colorful composition.