Foco Gallery is pleased to present Mia Dudek’s solo booth presentation “Inside Out”, for its first participation in Artissima. Following her last solo exhibition at the gallery, adapted to the scale of an art fair, the stand showcases the artist’s explorations into photography, sculpture, painting and installation.
Dudek’s work addresses the question of whether a dwelling can be considered a body with skin and entrails and whether the body can be seen as a form of erotic architecture. The artist investigates the concept of broken physicality between individuals and represents the abstracted, fragmented body, detaching and reformalizing it into new structures. Restrictive environments are inescapable but also contain otherwise formless and fluid bodies that threaten to spill over the borders of inanimate structures.
At the Turin exhibition centre, metal structures used in construction rise from the floor of the stand to welcome the “Fruiting Bodies” series, where the artist has immortalised the organic body of a mushroom in a colourful palette of fluidity. In the same way, a large concrete block which preserves the trace of the organ’s body like fossils, appears as a museum-like dispositif of a bench for viewers to pause and meditate while contemplating the works. The trompe l’oeil of the large painting “The Painter Was Here”, mimicking the plaster wall used in construction, questions viewers about the relationship between the painting’s artistic approach and the actual house painter. While the work “Abstraction III”, folded latex brings sensuality, the human body in the form of skin as a barrier between the outer and inner world, resistant and fragile at the same time. The photograph “Inside Outside” carries the project’s title and also the central idea – the legacy of architecture and its relationship to the body, investigating notions of displacement and ‘organ habitation’.
Dudek’s work explores the idea of making home in different places and how it relates to her multi-fold situatedness between Lisbon, Warsaw, and London. The tenderness in her colour palette and the vulnerability that arises from the interplay of media suggest a deep emotional investment in her subject matter. Her approach to connecting with her different environments speaks to the need for a kind of networking in order to truly inhabit and make home in a place.
The use of the mushroom and mycelial networks in Dudek’s work suggests an interest in the interconnectedness of all things, as well as the cyclical nature of life and death. The idea of testing elasticity in her materials, and the metaphor of softening our own edges, suggests a willingness to experiment and push boundaries in her art-making. The use of diffused light adds to the mythical quality of her work and creates a sense of evanescence that is further emphasised by her use of iridescence.
The exhibition is designed to create a new architecture that is reminiscent of a home and studio under construction, inviting viewers to make themselves comfortable and enter into a more intimate space. It suggests a sense of process and the idea of making oneself and one’s environment simultaneously. “Inside Out” invites reflection on the complexities of identity, place, and belonging in our increasingly interconnected world.