London

Andrew Mania

Chisenhale Gallery

Outside is polyglot East London, but once inside Andrew Mania’s show “Gogolin” we are in Poland—albeit a Poland of the mind that compounds past and present, authentic and imaginary. The artist’s name, stenciled next to the entrance, reads as “Andrzej Mania”; the wall beside the reception desk bears a pointedly untranslated lyric from a Polish polka that, I later discover, concerns a woman’s departure from her partner. She’s going to Gogolin, in the country’s Krapkowice region, but she can’t tell him why. Sometimes, as when life feels stale, predictable, lacking romance, you just have to go.

British-born but of Polish extraction, Mania just went—and ended up in the Great Bialowieza Forest on the Poland-Belarus border, draping what looks like a saggy duvet cover over a rope spanning a pond: When the viewer’s feet pass over a trigger in Chisenhale’s darkened main gallery, a ten-minute film

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