SLASH & BURN
Hardcover linen with dustcover, 260 x 210 x 20 mm, 224 pages, English
Edited by Harlan Levey and Olivia Perce
Marcin Dudek was just 12 years old and living in a housing block outside Krakow when the Berlin Wall finally toppled. Poland's freefall into capitalism followed as the country reeled from severe shortages, skyrocketing inflation and suddenly-defunct industry. For many, food was scarce. Money, more than hard to come by. A frayed social fabric, lacking civic associations left children vulnerable to new allegiances. Dudek grew up in a concrete housing estate in Krakow's Podgorze district. Like many youths born into bleak economic circumstances, conflict with authority and institution seemed inevitable and his childhood friends rejected the rules, regulations and failed promises of the broader civic system. Their futures felt lost in the national transition. Before becoming a teenager, he followed his older brother into the arms of a wild group of football supporters who created havoc in and outside the local stadium. Admiration was expressed for those who took pleasure in risk, revolt and rising adrenaline levels. Over time, many from this group moved from the council estate into the prison block as petty crimes escalated into enterprising criminal endeavors. Thanks in part to his sister, Dudek found an alternative path, moving to Salzburg, Austria to attend University of Art Mozarteum. He found work in art galleries, learned German and later moved to London, earning an MFA at Central Saint Martin's while working as a technician to cover costs.
Art as methodology for living, coupled with the DIY survivalist strategies of his youth, became tools for transformation as well as dealing with childhood trauma. Shortly after settling in Brussels in 2012, he began to publicly question and explore his past in the seminal exhibition "Too Close for Comfort."
This book has some of his key creations in that period, focusing on what he refers to as Memory Boxes and touching on other elements of practice including collage, performance, sculpture and research.
Edited by Harlan Levey and Olivia Perce.
Text contributions by Harlan Levey, Olivia Perce, Eddy Frankel, Amanda Sarroff,
Ive Stevenheydens, Sebastian Gawłowski, Jeremy Epstein, Przemysław Strożek,
Petra Lafond and Krzysztof Dudek (aka Dydzio). Text by Krzysztof Dudek translated to English by Agnes Monod-Gayraud. Art Direction: Tom Besters in conversation with Marcin Dudek Design: Tom Besters
Marcin Dudek's solo show 'The Group' can be seen at Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp 13.05-08.10.2023