Bart Krezolek, MUTE
Curator: Joanna Kinowska
What a misfortune, said the adults. He was big, almost as big as an adult, but apparently he was a child. His twin brother, on the other hand, was completely ‘normal,’ unlike him. All day long, he sat in front of the house, on a bench from which he could scan the entire yard. His eyes, darting in all directions, roamed over every nook and cranny of the yard. He rocked back and forth in place, his mouth contorting into a strange toothless smile. His arms were twisted. From his feet, ugly brown leather slippers hung limply. Sometimes he moaned or grunted, and we were afraid that he would rear up or crawl toward us, bringing with him his misfortune.
But he couldn’t see us when we hid behind the metal skip. That’s where our base was, although it didn’t last long. One day we discovered a dying monster back there. Swollen, pulsing. We held it at bay with long pointed sticks so that it wouldn’t lash out. Its wet fur stood on end. Beneath the soggy fur, skin a livid blue. It pulsed for a long time. And then the pulsing stopped, and the monster shrank, and it morphed back into a cat. A putrid reek pervaded the air. It wasn’t possible to play behind the skip anymore, and the ribwort plantain and sow thistle growing around it became cursed.
The cellar, too, was cursed. Dark. Dank like the monster’s fur. Down there, ghosts living out their deaths, murderers and their victims. In our cellar, all the world’s evil lurked in ambush. And there the adults kept potatoes.
I constantly fear the dark forest,
and that road.
— Bart Krezolek
Hush! Don’t breathe. Listen. Don’t make a sound. MUTE. How many times have you gone still like this? The snap of a twig under a boot when walking in the forest. Careful now. Listen. Are associations triggered? Do subconscious fears grip?
Fear changes with age, but affects everyone, children the most. Sometimes they just need to hear, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ With adulthood comes some resistance. The dark forest. A neglected attic. Falling asleep with the night-light on. Security. That was all ages and ages ago.
Fear affects everyone. What have you always dreaded, ever since childhood? And who will you reassure today that there’s nothing to be afraid of?
— Joanna Kinowska
Bart Krezolek (Bartłomiej Krężołek) (born 1977, Krakow, Poland) studied corporate finance at universities in Poland and the United Kingdom. After working in the financial industry for a number of years, he began to photograph professionally. He currently studies at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava (Czech Republic). Photography is his primary artistic medium, although he also explores other forms of visual art. His work has been exhibited, among other venues, at the Noorderlicht International Photography Festival in Groningen, Riga Photomonth, and the Rybnik Photography Festival.