Edna Baud “The Time Is Out Of Joint”

Exhibitions → past
June—September 2023

Edna Baud „The Time Is Out Of Joint”
23.06 – 31.07.2023

On Edna Baud’s painting TORCH we can see a steam locomotive. Next to it, there is a probable female figure, dressed in a work overalls and a welding mask. In the hand she keeps a tool that more than a welder that enables physical junction of the heavy metal sheets, resembles an airbrush. The palette of colors, in a way so characteristic for Baud’s painting, oscillates between the shades of grey (as on black & white photograph) and an intense colors, but still faded (as on an aging film). The figure in the other hand keeps a notebook – is she taking a look at the instruction on what color should she paint the locomotive? Or maybe – how to actually reproduce it on a flat surface? Hito Steyerl in her text In Free Fall: A thought Experiment in Vertical Perspective (2011) evokes the other image presenting a steam locomotive  Rain, Steam, and Speed—The Great Western Railway (1844) Williama Turnera. There is a legend that the painter took a train trip by the first trains was keeping his head out for a 9 minutes to find out the perspective that could give the specific impression of dynamic movement. As Stereyl claims it was due to the material engagement of the painter was responsible, among the other factors, for tendency to question the order of linear perspective in the visual arts. The one that was the base of modern understanding of space as well as time. It also had implied the approach to a space in the context of colonial conquests and a time of work in capitalism. It also had stabilized hierarchical cultural order with a dominant role of a white, male and heteronormative subjects.

A disruption of the space-time linear order is one of the main subjects of contemporary chronopolitics – a research category that is placed in the center of contemporary academic studies on contemporary art (one can find it as a main subject in the newest book by T.J.Demos Radical futurisms: Ecologies of Collapse, Chronopolitics, and Justice-to-Come, 2023), as well as in the artistic movements such as Black Quantum Futurism. Baud’s figurative painting makes a travesty of the film language with characteristic use of film editing and depth of field which disrupt linear time structure as well as some modern 3D productions and internet images with its “god’s view” and the reversal of horizontal relations in favor of the vertical ones. Can one see in these paintings the same radical, chronopolitical motivations? One of the paintings called WATCHTOWER, was inspired, on the one hand, by the quote from Walter Benjamin’s Thesis on the Philosophy of History (1940) addressing the events from Paris Commune (1871), when revolted people started to shoot at tower clocks of churches and palaces. On the other – the so-called University of Texas Tower shooting – the first mass shooting that took place in the United States in 1966.  The presentation of the new Edna Baud’s works at the gallery situated in the city space of Warsaw Muranów with its context of pre-war and war ghetto location as well as its contemporary shape based on a social-realist project allows us to take up the subject of decolonization of time in the realm of Middle-Eastern Europe. Disrupting and queering the linear time and space, and with it – bringing to the end the modern, hierarchical order and beginning of the futures impacting the present and past, we stand a thesis of probable radicalism of young, figurative painting.

Photos: Adam Gut