Daniel Malone, The Meal of a Diver with Eyes Wide Open (GOOGLE), 2013, mixed-media installation with sound, dimensions variable.

Daniel Malone, The Meal of a Diver with Eyes Wide Open (GOOGLE), 2013, mixed-media installation with sound, dimensions variable.

Daniel Malone

Galeria Foksal

Daniel Malone, The Meal of a Diver with Eyes Wide Open (GOOGLE), 2013, mixed-media installation with sound, dimensions variable.

Daniel Malone’s show “The Proof Reader/Śledź zmiany” was an insightful study of the mechanisms of translation. Malone has over five years’ experience in editing and proofreading texts for numerous Polish art institutions. The Polish phrase in his title literally means “Track Changes,” a reference to the ubiquitous digital editing tool he uses for this work, as visualized in Untitled (Pages/Strona), 2013. It is a wordprocessing document mounted on foamcore, tracing Malone’s changes to the English version of a famous text, dokumentacja (documentation), written in September 1971 by Wiesław Borowski and Andrzej Turowski.

Over the years, Malone’s editing has given him access to many of the key Polish texts on contemporary art, and for this show, he republished in book form selected documents relating to the complex history of the exhibition’s venue, Galeria Foksal, which was established under state sponsorship in Warsaw in 1966. The installation The Meal of a Diver with Eyes Wide Open (GOOGLE), 2013, features two nets, a wooden staircase, CDs suspended from the ceiling, and a digital print. The last showed a photograph by Eustachy Kossakowski, who was Foksal’s photographer and an established photojournalist in his own right, exactly as it appears in the database of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The captions on the website, subsequently visible on Malone’s print, credit the parties responsible for the visibility and circulation of Kossakowski’s image, namely the MoMA in Warsaw and Kossakowski’s wife, Anka Ptaszkowska, an art critic as well as a cofounder of Association EKO, which oversees preservation and promotion of his work. Malone’s decision to reproduce the record sheds light on the collaboration behind the publication of the photograph. Taken during the five-day-long intervention 5x: An Audiovisual Session, 1966, by Grzegorz Kowalski, Zygmunt Krauze, Cezary Szubartowski, and Henryk Morel, it shows a wooden staircase and nets similar to those installed here in the gallery. Malone’s piece marks the way this image traveled from the archive to the page, exploring the tension between the photograph and reconstruction. It also calls attention to the unexpected parallel between the activities at 5x and the album The Velvet Underground & Nico, recorded the same year. Cornelius Cardew, David Bedford, and John Tilbury performed their improvised drone piece La Monte Young Poem on the first night of 5x, while, according to Malone, John Cale paid tribute to Young in the track “European Son” on the debut album by the Velvet Underground by scraping a chair across the studio floor, crashing it into a pile of plates. To mark a correspondence between these two events, Malone left a yellow banana peel—a digital print on paper—next to the staircase. He also created an airy musical composition—a five-second fragment of Cale’s homage stretched out to five minutes—and titled it European Son (La Monte Young Poem, After 5x), 2013, releasing it on SoundCloud and copying it onto the CDs suspended from the gallery ceiling.

In sampling the history of Galeria Foksal, Malone also offered a glimpse of its contemporary situation. In (Blind) Can’t See the Wood for the Trees, 2013, Malone mounted a purpose-built roller blind on the window on the right side of the gallery, which in the 1960s had faced the Visual Arts Studios (PSP), a state enterprise in charge of public commissions that played the double role of patron and censor of the gallery’s programs. For the opening night of his show, in the performance It Begins Again in the Garden (Windows with a New View), 2013, the artist covered the windows on the opposite wall (which now face a private-party rental company) with posters and uncovered them in front of the attendees. He thus looked back even as he proposed a rethinking of the present status of the still-state-supported gallery in the neocapitalist reality of Warsaw.

Sylwia Serafinowicz