Nesting is a term that defines these first awkward moments when one is trying to find his or her place in a new situation. It is a clumsy, primary choreography that has to be performed by each new stranger. It takes place at the crossroads of two already existing identities, where a new one has to find space for itself. Notably, it is not about identity with the capital “I”, rather identities of the sort that for long remain unnamed and undefined, constituting the common everyday.

As a result of the undertaken searches and encounter with them, nesting can be seen as a series of fittings, comparisons, and reconnaissance. It is a phenomenon which, due to its ephemeral scale, is often broken into seemingly unrelated events, misunderstandings, and slight traces, which seem to aptly describe the condition of proximity. It also reflects the nature of art residencies and constant change of addresses done by contemporary artists, who often do not get much besides nesting.

Nesting involves also a sense of threat related to the unpredictability of the process. The only sense of comfort can come from finding resemblances, memories of former places and states. It is in the flashes of memory, in the already tested behaviours, training taken at home, that one can find some stability and energy for the first steps towards the new.

On the crossroads of these steps there must emerge yet another one navigation – related to a map –that allows one to recognise the closest surroundings. This can be found even in a newspaper with everyday information. However, the information written in a language unknown to the nesting person and referring to the things and people which one had not had a chance to know, consist only a signal for identification of the limits of one’s comfort, they define the luggage with which one needs to move.

This sense of distorting weight leads to one more development of the concept of nesting. This time, it refers to the idea of ergonomics, which usually means the science of adapting work to human psychophysical abilities. However, in this particular case, what is interesting is the question about the reversibility of this process. In what way the work and new conditions correct and shape an individual? Even through macro-corrections, through detaching and adding particles that can appear in the course of nesting.

On the basis of these associations, Ronit Porat and Mateusz Choróbwski built a joint project. Ronit Porat’s works were created mostly using the archives from Nowiny Gliwickie, a newspaper saved by Jerzy Lewczyński. Without referring to the facts illustrated initially by these photographs, the artist constructs a story full of uncertainties, aided by her own memories activated by the material she selected. This incomplete navigation offered by pictures taken out of the newspaper documentation, reveals the look of someone from the outside, who negotiates anew the image of the collected set.

Mateusz Choróbski, on the other hand, integrates his work with the building of Dom Funkcjonalny. On the terrace on top of the villa there is an electric insect trap made of shining copper. Its structure contains this two-faced potential of the promise of the new. On the one hand, it attracts as an attractive, shining form, on the other hand, it seems to bring forth a threat of falling into a trap. The act of struggle in the trap leaves visible traces on the copper.

The exhibition is made complete by a shared element, the first moment of nesting consisting in stepping across a threshold of somebody else’s space. Hence, Choróbski’s act of placing in the gallery space a wooden step coming originally from the building at 16 Jakubowska Street. Only after stepping over it one might take a closer look at Ronit Porat’s work.

Nesting is a culmination of almost two-year-long efforts made by the duo of artist to cooperate.

 

The Israeli artist Ronit Porat first met the Polish artist Mateusz Choróbski in 2013 during her residency at Dom Kereta. At the time, during Warsaw Gallery Weekend, her work Hippocampus was exhibited at Asymetria Gallery. It addressed the issue of memory and identity recognized through the testimony of younger generations. Simultaneously, on the upper floor of Dom Funkcjonalny, the second Exhibition at Asymetria Gallery was presented, Mateusz Choróbski’s Long Delayed Reunion. In the form of investigation, the artist looked for explanation of the silenced story of his grandfather and his grandmother’s sudden emigration to America.

 

From that moment on, both artists have declared a will to collaborate and combine artistic strategies. Nesting is a fulfilment of these wishes. The artists address issues of proximity and memory that are close to them both.

 

The project is realised within the framework of the all-year-long programme of Asymetria Gallery: The Assymetric Jerzy Lewczyński.

 

Jakub Śwircz