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Dreams in Black I, 1992
Dreams in Black II, 1994
Gustowska’s versatile practice involves painting, print, photography, video, installation as well as performance. The two objects displayed in Muzeum Susch form a diptych, each combining photography and painting, and refer to the artist’s broader Dreams series (1990-1994). The idea of a dream serves as a vehicle for many of Gustowska’s work that frequently address the issues of memory and body. ‘Dreams’ – says Gustowska – ‘are my second life that unfolds beyond me. Dreams are like our own abandoned bodies, left in the bed linen or in garden, amidst a summer heat or a winter chill.’ The artist’s works can be seen as a diary, or a record of those dreams translated into different mediums.
The two larger-than-life representations are unreal, their shapes emerging from a black background. Conceived as fleeting images evoking an oneiric aura, they eventually became haunting spectres, chronicling the artist’s loss: ‘I remember how I began to make Dreams in Black I, still before the death of my mother, and how they later became more and more dense, how they would come back to me for a long time, year after year, while, in fact they were within me.’ Displayed facing each other, on opposite walls with the small window overlooking the mountainous landscape in between, the representations of the two women carry the memory of the artist’s loss that echoes continuously in the room.