David Gryn blog

Sadie Coles and Artprojx present Wilhelm Sasnal’s Fallout – Oct 2010

In Art, Artprojx, David Gryn, Entertainment, Fallout, Film, Film and Video, Frieze, Frieze Art Fair, London, Prince Charles Cinema, Sadie Coles, Screenings, Video, Video Art on 11/08/2010 at 3:39 pm


Wilhelm Sasnal's Fallout

World premiere of a new film by Wilhelm Sasnal
70 minutes, Poland, 2010, in Polish with English subtitles. 35mm.

this is the brief moment after the disaster
when they crawl out of their holes

Sadie Coles HQ in association with Artprojx is delighted to announce a
series of screenings of Fallout, the second feature film by Polish
artist Wilhelm Sasnal, at the West End’s Prince Charles Cinema in
October. Set in an unidentified region of Poland, Fallout glimpses at
the decimated existences of men and women in the aftermath of a
nuclear bombing. The largely nameless characters

inhabit a wasteland of  junk-strewn garages and drab apartment blocks
– locked in a listless waiting game that recalls the dramas of Samuel
Beckett. Only the ghosts of human dynamics survive, fraught with
undercurrents of sexual suspicion and decay. Men address each other
using sardonic epithets – ‘Mr Bad’ or ‘Mr Kiddo’; and they observe and
follow each other with ambiguous intent. Sasnal holds his characters
at arm’s length, undercutting our instincts about them as their
desperate interrelationships shift and expire, to form an acute and
unnerving picture of personal and social degeneration.

Wilhelm Sasnal has emerged in the last decade as one of Europe’s most
celebrated figurative painters as well as a prolific maker of short
films shot on 8mm or 16mm camera. Fallout demonstrates his engagement
with Polish avant-garde cinema from the 1940s works of Stefan and
Franciszka Themerson to the punk music videos of the 1970s. In
particular, the film foregrounds the relationship between picture and
sound: its discordant, tremulous soundtrack merges with interior
noises while mirroring the phases of wobbly footage shot on a handheld
camera. As in Sasnal’s short films, the influences of music video and
poststructuralist cinema combine to evoke ‘personal cinema’ – the
privately produced short films which proliferated among Polish artists
during the Communist regime, and which often overlaid the banal
details of life with whimsical fantasies. A painterly sensibility
furthermore threads through the film, which echoes the off-kilter
angles, minute observations and mundane subjects of Sasnal’s canvases.

The characters of Fallout find parallels to their dystopian world in
stories and dreams: ‘Mr Bad’ speaks of Siparis, the sole survivor of a
volcanic eruption, while a doctor relates how she has been “dreaming
of mice lately, young and old, all sick”. Fallout is itself a social
fable in the mould of Orwell. Its nightmarish world – where memories,
whether individual or collective, are suspended, and words themselves
have disappeared – furnishes an allegory for the Polish Communist
regime’s assaults on individual freedom, as well as the identity
crises, personal and national, of the post-Communist era.

Wilhelm Sasnal was born in 1972 in Tarnow, Poland, and lives and works
in Krakow. In 2009-2010, he had retrospectives at K21 in Düsseldorf,
Germany and Centro De Arte Contemporàneo, Málaga, Spain. Major solo
shows include Wilhelm Sasnal, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere,
Finland, 2010; Years of Struggle at the Zacheta National Gallery,
Warsaw, Poland, 2007; Matrix, The Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA,
2005; Wilhelm Sasnal, The Locker Plant, Marfa (TX), USA; Camden Arts
Centre, London, 2004; and Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland,

Free performances
Tuesday 12, Thursday 14, Friday 15 October at 10.30am

Breakfast screening with the artist
Tuesday 12 October from 10am

Numbers limited, RSVP required:
rsvp@sadiecoles.com or
+44 [0] 20 7493 8611


Artprojx at Prince Charles Cinema
7 Leicester Place, Leicester Square


Wilhelm Sasnal's Fallout

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: