Isle of Eternal Waste, 2020

Artists Mateusz Kowalczyk
Genre Video
Edition Survival 18

Following the theme of death and areas associated with the mythological resting place of the soul, Isle of Eternal Waste refers to Arnold Böcklin’s symbolist painting The Isle of the Dead. This extremely popular painting from 1880 – Nabokov wrote in 1936 that its copy could be found in every home in Berlin – was interpreted by Kowalczyk in the context of the modern man’s sense of loss, which he had brought on himself. The virtual reality of the Isle of Eternal Waster is woven of objects scanned by smartphone, such as household goods, a self-portrait, items wrapped in plastic, random, found objects and works of art from the 2019 Venice Biennale. The audio sphere of the work consists of Kowalczyk’s pieces and remixes of various sounds, from which a greeting emerges, reminiscent of the convention used in Twin Peaks in which the artist’s voice is played backwards. These digital bits and pieces reflect contemporary reality, telling a story about ourselves and the condition of contemporary society.

3D and Virtual Occurrences Studio II, dr hab. Jakub Wróblewski, assistant Andrei Isakov, Faculty of Media Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.


photo: Małgorzata Kujda