„(...) Sometimes we get an impression that we can
hear a clear sound of a tight string. Thin as a spidery thread, too transitory
in its flickering to be seen, it is set into resonance by the will of
self-preservation. This gentle resonance attracts our attention. Blurred at the
beginning, almost indistinguishable from noises, it slowly acquire acuteness as
new concretions, approximations and variants appear. They are bearing an image
of identity, a knot joining different perspectives and time courses.
This process can be observed in the work of Joanna
Hoffmann. Here everything has its reason..
Causa materialis are ash, wax, sand, paving stone,
brick...in natural colours of grey, ochre, sepia - casts, imprints, traces,
destructs - elements and remnants of something that once had a form. Now -
crippled - became a container, a casket with a double bottom, protection, veil.
They conceal objects: a watch,
compass, magnifying glass, book, record, scale...This is the way the first
tension arises - between the matter in the state of disintegration, decay,
distraction and objects of a highly
complicated and organised body. They designate some points, centres - to notice
them one has to stop, concentrate, read their function and behaviour within the
The effective cause could be expressed in the question:
Is a „stable behaviour” of a subject possible? Can a subject be still a
unity despite the fact that everything which he/she considers as his/her own can
be exposed to distraction, abstraction, joined into another - biological or
ideological - narrative. Is it
possible to objectifies the subject, reduce
to singular behaviours, functions, relations?
Whatever the Self (here - Joanna Hoffmann) generates
seems to have a narrative character. But it is not any particular story. The
aura of used materials and objects does not suggests any strictly defined theme
of narration - it becomes its symbol.
WE are unable to possess symbols, but we can combine
them. What’s more - we do it constantly. Some
people claim that they represent something
we should integrate with. This integration implies the merger into some great
age-long history, into a stream of the ”universal”, where our home is meant
to be. Thus we are „at home” each time when we allow ourselves to join
something more general, something that overpasses us, something we are all
Joanna Hoffmann’s treatment of space results in
compositions which are equally delicate and vulnerable as our Self endangered by
the heavy machine of destruction. Threads of different stories, narratives and
symbols seem to meet each other at points where some distinguished
elements evoke a concentrated and active
look. These threads transform the point of their
intersection into a centre of subjectivity.
Space and time are essential here. Since we have no
access to other dimensions which could join
all these „lines” existing in the space of intuition rather than in
the physical world , we assume the presence of the centre rather than we see it.
The time of existence of substances varies despite the
fact that one conceals the other.
Elements arranged within the ”closed by walls”
space require a panoramic look., a sweeping glance along its own „horizon”,
but then they provoke to come closer
, change the accommodation of the pupil to another distance and scale.
Touch of the matter. The aesthetics of a trace,
These constitute only a part of the structure of Joanna
This structure eludes descriptions. Otherwise what
would be the sense in realising it?
Even if such an analytical description appears - it can
not introduce the unity. However, being truly equivalent it could
evoke such intuition. But then we would be dealing only with its
aesthetic and not with subtle orchestration of space made by Joanna Hoffmann.
Lech Karwowski, an excerpt from the catalogue of Joanna
“Episode. A guide for”,