“Krok”, one of the first neon works by Jarosław Perszko, a sculptor, author of installations and performative actions, was created for the Sculpture Park at the Center of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko in 2016. Since then, this medium, seemingly completely detached from Perszko’s artistic pedigree, has been an extension of his creative answers to questions about the nature of an artistic object – a product that fulfills itself in the process of both creation and existence. Neon light as a medium, although ephemeral and intangible against the backdrop of previously predominant works in stone and metal, develops the same issues of transformation and processuality as its casting or forging of a sculpture so far. It seems, however, that the artist ignores this superficial, aesthetic reason for the popularity of neon lamps in contemporary design, shifting its effect towards the light carrier of the performance.
With the installation “Three Graces” in the Oroń Orangery from the beginning of 2022, the artist began a series of monumental site-specific works in which he recycles 24 lamps and accompanying components used in it. This is significant from the point of view of the inauguration of the local exhibition at the Center of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, which coincided with the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The meaning of the show at that time gained an unexpected, though shocking, context, difficult to ignore in the view of the original intention of the work. Perhaps this is the reason why the lamps constructing the “Three Graces” in the artist’s hands gain the form of the relics, dressed only in subsequent scenes (“Sleeping Three Graces”, National Museum in Szczecin, 2022; “Dancing Titans”, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, Lithuania, 2022).
Perszko’s site-specific installations with the use of neon lights not only expand his concept of the materiality and processuality of an artistic object, but also preserve the continuity of the story about the human condition in the era of the great test of humanity. The latest concept, dedicated to the space of the Biała Gallery in Lublin, is another chapter of this narrative in which light gains a total scale, while embodying the measure of man.
Jarosław Perszko mainly creates sculptures, objects and installations that metaphorically refer to the fragility and transience of human existence and the world of nature. In his artistic practice, he experiments with glass, light, metal, stone and delicate materials, creating minimalist forms, saturated with metaphysics. The artist lives in Hajnówka and works at the Faculty of Architecture of the Białystok University of Technology.