What happens when time does not hold still? When it can no longer be ordered chronologically, but is layered on top of each other in such a way that new time forms emerge?
MAGNA MAGMA shows photographs from Mika Schwarz’ archive. On wooden panels stained in different colors, almost sculptural-looking portraits of teenagers can be seen in black and white, embedded in the colorful grain of the wood. Blurred images of everyday interior scenarios are mixed in, in between home-grown crystals that grow on doorknobs, pans, and scarves; on things that seem like placeholders of an undefined everyday life. Instead of outlining the mood of one’s own youth, however, the various types of images and objects stand side by side as freely associated principles of form – or rather form together, as a reciprocal reaction of self-chosen form and chemical formula. Time, this becomes visible here, begins to move and proliferate. So what opens up when matter and time wrap around each other and continue to overlap?
In MAGNA MAGMA, the temporal dimension of archived photographs enters into a dialogue with the formal principle of crystal. Contrary to its spiritual charge and its promise of healing, the focus here is on the rulebook of its growth though: as a kind of pre-programmed mechanism. Just as the atoms of the crystal take possession of trivial objects, the photographs become the resonating bodies of a view of the past that repeatedly covers the present. This gaze can double, blur in places, disappear, or suddenly reappear. It transforms the certainty of recognizing oneself or a certain moment into a fictitious pattern of constantly changing forms. In this way, identification processes detach themselves from their supposed origins. The focus is no longer on the individual image that freezes in the moment, but on the emblematic mass that melts as soon as time and matter come into contact with each other. What opens up here as a period of time has neither result nor origin, is intuitive and yet regulated; it does not follow chance or a self-imposed authorship, but the rules of atomic growth. By thus showing the past as a process of growth and a moment of transition – exemplified by the life phase of youth – MAGNA MAGMA ultimately formulates an archaeology of the present; an exploration of moments of identification that do not lie completed in the past, but are always in transition.

Agnieszka Roguski

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