Slawomir Elsner, "Panomara", 2006 (Bilderserie, Öl auf Leinwand)
The painter Slawomir Elsner, born in Wodzislaw, Poland, in 1976, today lives and works in Berlin. Elsner's works, comprising photographs, drawings and paintings, are mostly conceived and installed as series. He starts out from photographs, which he either finds in the media or takes himself. He processes them in such way that the factual and the documentary become painterly and poetical: a forest fire looks at first glance like a glowing sunset, scenes from everyday political life take on an eerie aspect, and "humdrum routine" seems to congeal in scenes of everyday and urban life. Elsner based his series "Panomara" on the Polish weekly magazine of the same name, which had been published in Poland for 60 years until the collapse of communism. Originating in Silesia, "Panomara" was a liberal magazine that reported on world events. The motifs date from 1976, the year of the artist's birth, which was a period political openness towards the West, even in Poland. The motifs relate to their respective genres, advertisement, documentary etc., in terms of both colour and style, while the artist himself stays well in the background. In Slawomir Elsner's paintings, the aesthetic of the 1970s, drawn from deodorant and perfume advertisements, political reportage photos, people in everyday life or the "Girl of the Week", is confronted by the aesthetic of our present day. These paintings are an exciting commentary on history and media aesthetics from the viewpoint of a thirty-year-old of today. The "Panomara" series, which harks back to 1976, will be shown in 2006 only.