- David Pollock
- 30 October 2008
While Polish artist Monika Sosnowska's architecturally-concerned works can often be playful in tone, the pieces on display here are masked by a kind of bleak austerity. In this regard, Sosnowska has taken inspiration from her home city of Krakow, and in particular the grey concrete and steel of the ugly, prefabricated buildings which rose upon the sites of World War II destruction.
Of course, this 20th century cycle of razing and regeneration will be familiar to most other European cities, and Glasgow has seen the worst of it. It seems fitting, then, that Sosnowska's main piece, an untitled assemblage of two steel bars rising upwards and parallel with each other from the centre of a volcanic mound of fresh-dried concrete, should sit in the patch of waste ground next to the gallery. Caged in by a rusty fence and set amidst a weeded and partly-walled patch of cleared ground (none of these surrounding items are part of the installation), the work is both camouflaged and contextualised by its position. The steel and concrete thrusts from the land itself, a natural result of the inevitability of human progression.
Indoors, Sosnowska's work is perhaps more subtle. A single right-angled corner of painted metal bleeds off into seemingly melted lumps, the surety of the structure undermined, while two plastic crates (Barr's drinks crates, which may or may not be a conscious cultural comment) lay filled with set concrete, which serves to somehow commodify the material rather than what it might create. Elsewhere, a web of steel poles grows outward, filling a room and burrowing into the walls and ceiling, further coinciding these inanimate materials with something organic in our minds.
The Modern Institute, Glasgow, until Sat 8 Nov