Dominik Lejman

s e x o f f i c e s e x

19.10.2001 - 11.11.2001 Kamerlana Gallery

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workhomework 2001


A photographic wallpaper multiplying office rooms - shot from the corridor area, mounted in the same environment - creates a permanent installation called workhomework. The exhibition concept relates to the idea of transition spaces, the present conditions of living, when our space of work and our domestic space overlap and became one. Both areas of activity - home and work function for each other as a specific type of a stage set-up. The second wallpaper has been mounted in the private flat, mirroring the interior and its inhabitants activity. The exhibition takes place in two sites: a public one, where it documents the trials of its employees to domesticate it, and a private one, where its owners stage their intimate areas of living.

Dominik Lejman

Curriculum Vitae
Dominik Lejman

Urodzony \ Born

1969, Gdańsk, Poland

Edukacja \ Education

1989 - 1993 Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Sztuk Plastycznych w Gdańsku, Wydział Malarstwa i Grafiki

1993 - 1995 Royal College of Art, Degree of Master of Arts, London

1996 Dyplom Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku, Malarstwo

Wybrane Wystawy Grupowe \ Selected Group Exhibitions

1991 Wystawa Pracowni Intermedialnej \ Inter-media Studio, Galeria Wyspa, Gdańsk

Pracownia Intermedialna \ Inter-media Studio, Galeria Miejska \ State Gallery, Sopot

Drzewo \ Tree, Fundacja Pro Arte Sacra, Gdańsk

1994 Interim Show, Henry Moore Gallery, Royal College of Art, London

1995 Wystawa Dyplomowa \ Degree Show, Royal College of Art, London

RCA Students, Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris

Five RCA Artists, Paton Gallery, London

1996 Harriet Green Gallery, London

1997 Artyści Galerii Koło \ Gallery Artists, Galeria Koło, Gdańsk

Aspekty Rzeźby - simulacra \ The Aspects of Sculpture - simulacra Galeria Wyspa, Gdańsk

Bielska Jesień 97, XXIII Ogólnopolska Wystawa Malarstwa \ 33rd National Painting Exhibition, Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko - Biała

Promocje 96, Ogólnopolski Przeglad Malarstwa Młodych \ 7th National Review of Young Painting, Państwowa Galeria Sztuki, Legnica

1998 Artgenda 98, II Biennale Sztuki Państw Nadbałtyckich \ The Second Biennial of Young Artists Around Baltic Sea, Kulturhuset, Stockholm

W Tym Szczególnym Momencie \ At the Time of Writing, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej \ Centre for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa

The 7th Triennal of Contemporary Baltic Art, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania

ArtGenda Retro - Junge Kunst aus dem Ostseeraum, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Germany

1999 Public Relations, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia \ Bathouse Centre of Contemporary Art, Gdańsk

Spektrum, Ostdeutsche Galerie Museum, Regensburg, Germany

After the Wall, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

2000 After the Wall, Museum Ludwig, Budapeszt

Model do Składania / A Model Kit, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej, Orońsko

12 Obrazów /12 Paintings, Galeria Koło, Gdańsk

After the Wall, National Galerie Hamburger Banhoff, Berlin

Scena 2000, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski / Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warszawa

2001 Re:location, OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austri

Wystawy Indywidualne (+ dwuosobowe) / Individual (+ two person) Exhibitions

1992 Malarstwo / Painting Galeria Żak, Gdańsk

Genesis, Fundacja Pro Arte Sacra, Gdańsk

Wojna w Europie / War in Europe, Galeria C14, Gdańsk

Rysunek / Galeria Żak, Gdańsk

1996 Recent Works, Harriet Green Gallery, London

Wystawa Dyplomowa / Diploma Work, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych, Gdańsk

Przemiany Obecności / Shifts of Presence, Fundacja Sfinks, Sopot

Jim Mooney - Dominik Lejman, obiekty, fotografie, obrazy / objects, photographs, paintings, Galeria Koło, Gdańsk

1997 Powerpray, Galeria Wyspa, Gdańsk

1998 Open Studio, Gasworks, London

Purgatorium (poczekalnia) \ Purgatory (departure lounge), Państwowa Galeria Sztuki, Legnica

New Paintings, Dominik Lejman - Sally Mowbray, Independent Artists Space, First Floor Gallery Notcutt, London

2000 Luxus Przetrwania / The Luxury of Survival, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej

Zamek Ujazdowski / Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warszawa

Portfolia II, Galeria Prowincjonalna, Słubice

2001 Pod?oga /A floor piece, PGS Sopot/ State Gallery, Sopot

dompracadom/homeworkhome, biuro/office spaces(McCann Erickson Warsaw)- dom/private flat - Sopot

Pobyty Stypendialne / Residencies

1994 Erasmus Summer Exchange, Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin

1994 RCA Travel Award, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris

1994 RCA Travel Award, Asilah Studio, Asilah Palace, Morocco

1997 - 1998 Gasworks Studios, London

Nagrody i Stypendia / Awards & Scholarships

1990 Nagroda za rysunek / Drawing Award, PWSSP Gdańsk

1994 Nagroda stypendialna Fundacji Kultury / Culture Foundation Award, Warszawa

1994 Minton Award, Royal College of Art, London

1994 Nagroda Prezydenta Miasta Gdyni

1994 Stypendium RTZ / RTZ Bursary, Royal College of Art, London

1994 I Nagroda Absolut RCA / 1st Prize Absolut RCA, Absolut Vodka Competition, Royal College of Art, London

1994 Stypendium Fundacji Batorego / Batory Foundation Bursary, Warszawa

1994 Stypendium Agnieszki Osieckiej / Agnieszka Osiecka Bursary

1995 Nagroda Christie's za Malarstwo / Christie's Painting Award, London

1997 Nagroda Wojewody Legnickiego, Nagroda Tygodnika Konkrety, Promocje 96, Państwowa Galeria Sztuki, Legnica

2000 Półroczne Stypendium Minstra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego, Warszawa

2001 Nagroda Paszport Polityki

Prace w Kolekcjach / Public & Corporate Collections

Absolut Vodka

Christie's Contemporary Art

Projekty Scenograficzne / Set Design Projects

1994 'Paris Express' by Jesus Munoz, projekt przy współpracy z International Film College / The International Film College cooperative project, London

1998 'Nie Żałuję', Teatr Atelier, Sopot

Praca Dydaktyczna + Wykłady / Teaching Experience + Lectures

1995 Kent Institute of Art and Design (visiting teaching)

1995 Byam Shaw School of Art, London (visiting teaching)

1996 Middlesex University, London (visiting teaching)

1997 - 1999 Akademia Multimedialna, Gdańsk (pracownia malarstwa)

1998 Byam Shaw School of Art, London (lecture + visiting teaching)

1999 Byam Shaw school of Art, London (visiting teaching)

1999 Royal College of Art (lecture)

2000 Muthesius-Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung, Kiel (lecture)

2001 Instytut Kultury Polskiej, Lipsk (lecture)

. powiększ AIR BAG

painting, acrylic on canvas, 230 x 230 cm, video projection (projected onto the surface of the painting)

The video depicts a figure hung by its arms and legs, with a car air bag between its knees. The figure breathes and moves, as much as the tight and unnatural position allows.
Both layers of this work - video and painting - blend into one. Actually it becomes impossible to tell them apart. It seems that the projected image is inserted just underneath the canvas surface. Movement is the only way to determine what is projected and what is painted. The figure from Air Bag becomes a living form in the picture. Its breathing attempts to dislodge the air bag although, in fact, the figure is imprisoned by two bags. The first one, recorded on videotape, is held by the protagonist's body. The second, painted onto the canvas, is an anthropomorphic shape indiscernible from the figure's body. One air bag is a cocoon providing safety; the other is a cocoon hampering its movements. Shelter and bonds become the same thing here - simultaneously identified with the hero of the work. Safe and trapped. The hero is (its projection confirms it really exists) imprisoned in the aesthetic space of a representation that is seductive in its sleek, modernist charm.


painting, acrylic and blood on canvas, 130 x 130 cm, computer generated video projection, (projected onto the surface of the painting)

The video represents a figure seen in profile. A shadow is constantly forming on the painting's surface, which could metamorphose into a shape, which could be associated with a floppy disc - an information medium. The figure constantly runs around the disc. Its movement, like any cyclical change, is slow, almost static. The differences, in the metamorphosis of a man into a woman, are very subtle, so it's difficult to pinpoint the exact moment of actual change. It happens that the viewer is deluded into seeing either a man or a woman depending on the trajectory of one's associations. In fact, you're watching an androgyne, or certain information (on 'disc') that the viewer will have to process him/herself to give this figure an identity. The viewer should also consider the specificity of the medium: blood, which contains biological (genetic) messages. These are then juxtaposed with the morphological (biological) transition of the person inscribed on the disc.
Why have you painted the disc with blood?
Dominik Lejman - I used blood to paint the closest and most material layer of the painting. However, it was not used in a pure state but mixed with a synthetic acrylic medium. The distance between the biological and synthetic was annihilated in the same way as the differences between the man who transforms into a woman in the projection, or the differences between the material, painted surface of the picture and its video-projected moving layer. We can never be certain as to the extent each layer co-creates the final depiction. Also an exact moment when blood is no longer blood anymore, but its synthetic substitute remains unspecified.


painting, acrylic on canvas, 33 x 41 cm, video projection depicting a man, a woman and an infant seen from above

All three figures sit in a car. They are naked and restrained by safety belts. The infant is in a special child's seat. Each figure is projected on to a light, painted form on the picture's surface - as if inserted into an 'air bag' (comp. Air Bag). Convertible Cathedral is the smallest work from the series of "time-based" paintings. The scale of the projections is very small The figures, as seen from above, are no bigger than 10-13 cm each. The scale of the work makes the figures, which are moving in the painting, seem very delicate and vunerable. Their fragility is somehow contrasted with the situation in which they appear. The heroes of Cathedral, the family (mom + dad + child), are located inside a contemporary, convertible car, protected by safety belts, secured by the cocoons of air bags. However, their miniature scale conveys a sense of imposed voyeurism, as if observing them from above (from a distance) makes the safety system look as fragile as the models' existence.


painting, acrylic on canvas, 230 x 230 cm, two video projections (projected onto the surface of the painting)

The first projection, in the foreground, depicts a naked, seated figure with his back to the viewer. The figure is involved in some kind of rhythmical activity. The second projection is a live transmission of what is happening in the space immediately in front of the painting. If the viewer passes in front of the camera, he/she is instantly projected onto the canvas.
This image consists of many layers. The first layer is composed of the painting's space, the projected figure as well as the gallery space. Each layer belongs to a different order of representation. The represented and the real are not only interconnected, but are also superimposed. This work is a mediation between these two orders of representation. While dealing with Stealth Painting, the viewer finds him/herself in the double, parallel and schizophrenic role of both subject and object of the viewer's own view. The viewer can observe him/herself on three different planes in the painting - something that can never be achieved in the mirror. The control the viewer extends over his/her own image begins to be questioned since the viewer does not know what the naked figure they face within the work is doing. The viewer watches an illusion of his or her own self who knows or sees something the viewer as subject/spectator will never learn.


painting, acrylic on canvas, 230 x 250 cm, video projection (onto the surface of the painting)

The film depicts an hour long shot of a male corpse.
In contrast to other "time-based" images in Air Conditional Interior (Breathe Deeply), the projected figure does not have its own corresponding traced shape. These forms, which imitate the shapes of projected figures, evoke associations with milk or sperm stains, sometimes referred to as "air bags" in Dominik Lejman's work (comp. Air Bag). There is a paradox in the Air Conditional (Breathe Deeply) projection. Film is a visual medium, but it is also a time recording device. In this case the subject of the representation is the corpse - there is a depiction of someone (something) for whom time no longer registers. The figure is still, without breathing and does not alter. Yet, time passes for the viewer, who stands breathing in front of a record of timelessness confronting one's own sense of time. A space created on canvas can be a model or a recollection of the ideal space of a chic, modern store. An architectural visualization, or an interior design which you can find in magazines covering this area, becomes in this context a "package for death." In this ideal, hypothetical space the corpse emerges, real and reported in a real-time record. A speculative, ideal and designed space emerges through a dead body and becomes even more factual. Intrusive, figured through a video projection presence of death gives place before a package - an aesthetic project.


video projection

A ballet dancer is doing a pas. But, there is something wrong. First, the figure's movement does not correspond to the laws of physics. In fact, the ballet dancer is dancing upside down, suspended by a rope bound to her ankle. The image of a ballet dancer hanging upside down is turned 180 degrees; in effect,the rules that govern the image's reality have been changed too. Gravitation does not come in to play. The dancer appears as if she is about to fly away. In classical ballet artists try to negate gravity. In fact, a concept of classical ballet is saturated with the idea of denying gravity. Here the only element keeping the dancer at ground level is the safety rope - a ballast or a leash - preventing her from breaking loose and flying away (falling up).

Listen Lejman's statement (mp3 493KB) [here]

Mural with a daylight video projection

Contemporary crowds - virtual crowds of individuals hypnotised in extreme solitude. Communication tools - stimulate expectation, compress time in which we desire to encounter with the other. We slide down the surface, preferring to keep ourselves busy, in play, where eventually any experience becomes a factor of the leisure industry. Transitional crowd reminds skiers, single dots on a glacier, having nothing in common with each other except a strange activity, still uncanny for an alien's anthropologist.

Trespassing - mural with a daylight double video projection

In the exhibition space we see ourselves projected on a mural, filmed from above few seconds earlier, while following a pathwalk to the main gallery entrance. The delayed surveillance image interacts with another projection of a fictional, 'stripped bare' crowd passing the same route. The two projection layers become a single representation - stage for the spectacle of control, exposure, recognition.

The image of surveillance becomes a monumental decorative element, a part of the architectural aesthetics.

The Conditioned Perspective

Vital part of my work concentrates on a split between human representation and a specific type of a 'stage setup' created by high technology conditioning human survival.
Works like Stealth Painting or Morphing Disc relate to the ongoing shift of perspective in our perception. The perspective- most often effected by political, biological, social or communicational aspects of contemporary reality.
The omnipresent electronic mirror shifts the perception of reality from real space into the ephemeral - declaring real space primarily as a stage setup for the construction of the virtual.
In 'time-based paintings' like Air Bag the video images are as if incorporated into canvas. Thus the painted surface becomes a multi-layered area of mediation between various orders of representation and reality. Their mutual impact becomes clearly visible particularly in Stealth Painting. Here a camera registers the viewer and transmits it in real time onto the surface and there confronts it with a second projection. The viewer and his/her gaze plays an important role as one of the image layers.
This specific, layered construct of my work became significant for most of my works in the solo exhibition The Luxury of Survival: both in the 'incorporated paintings' and in the installations like Consecration, Intel Inside. This particular kind of painting has recently been developed in the video-murals: Towards the Better (Skiers) and The Floor Piece (2001). While loosing control over his/her own image the viewer gets engaged in a reflection on the contemporary un/natural environment.

Dominik Lejman 2001

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