Dry and Moist

Having two artist residencies in Tehran (December 2013 Raf Projects and September 2014 KAAF) enabled Olaf Brzeski to view the city through his intuitive perspective. He draws a kind of Geography of Desire in city of Tehran, and he focused again on his main current concern, passion/desire, in the context of Tehran. His study led him to make a big metaphorical installation made out of natural elements like clay (adobe) which is reminiscent of materials used in traditional houses in central dry Iran and Tehran, trees' moist branches and leafs. It seems he found a forgotten treasure, desire, in a box, hung out of mud, out of which is associated with sin in a dry and neat context of conservative culture.  And finally he uses a hen to connect this pulled out box – that is hidden for years like a treasure – to reality, a hen that doesn’t do anything but eat and excrete, and all of these mean instinct, nature, desire… 

From a general view, this work could present catching “the moment” of a decision for creation of an artwork itself; the trick was letting the process of making the work be the work itself. This box has been pulled from someplace, pulled hard, forcefully, dirty and drenched of the idea. The fact that the work itself is like a 3D drawing somehow informs us of the proximity between the drawing and the thought. “If you want to rub a bank, you take a lot of time trying to make a plan. You think to yourself where the guards might be standing, where the vault is, from where should you enter, and from where should you flee. There is no way you won’t draw these thoughts on a paper. Especially if you want to do it with a few more people, you have to explain the plan with these drawings”, Said Olaf. In lots of Olaf’s works, we witness the process of catching the idea and because of the proximity between the drawing and the thought, he has to convert the drawing to sculpture with no alterations. Now you are facing the incarnation of an idea. An incarnation that has tried its best to resemble its origin: the thought, or in the materialistic sense: the brain.

'Dry and Moist' exhibition will be hold in Sculptures Court of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art for two months begins from 22 September 2014.


Alireza Labeshka/ Curator

It is with a remar­kable sense of imagination that Olaf Brzeski rein­ter­prets the tradition and scope of sculp­ture. Many of the artist’s works refer direc­tly to the human form, enac­ting not so much the physical as the emotional depths of the sub­ject. Brzeski’s sculp­tural bodies are replete with the unexpec­ted, the uncanny, the unnatural and the over­sized. The source of these fan­tastic, astonishing forms is always the idea, then the sketch – as the sim­plest metaphor for the act of creation

Olaf Brzeski (born 1975 in Wrocław) is a sculptor and author of installations and films. He is one of the most original sculptors of the young generation – he experiments with various materials, creates optical illusions, builds untypical relationships between a tangible object, a moment of creation, durability and experience resulting from the exposure of a work of art in the museum space. Brzeski studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology and the Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław. A large-format sculpture “For the Love og a Woman” was created in 2012 and was presented on the artist’s retrospective exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. The sculpture is made of painted steel and aluminium, although it looks as if it were assembled from delicate and flexible cereal ears. It depicts two silhouettes interlocked in a fight: three metres tall “straw” giants, seemingly on the verge of disintegration, wrestle with each other defying laws of physics with their size and fragility. Brzeski produces a perfect illusion and at the same time, with unique precision – it took several months of work – sketches a three-dimensional picture that refers to the ancient art. Similarly as in other sculptures of recent years, the artist addresses the construct of masculinity; it is a story about aggression, desire, violence, shame, power and fear of vulnerability.

1994-1995 - studied at the Faculty of Architecture of Technical University in Wroclaw
1995-2000 - studied at the Faculty of Sculpture at the Wroclaw Academy of Art and Design
Lives and works in Wroclaw