Run–Up, installation, 2015
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Spatial discipline is present in everyday life: within a city space it takes the form of pavements, bollards, barriers, kerbs, stairs and drives. They demarcate our ways and create rituals associated with transferring from point A to point B. They vastly influence the scope and quality of movements we perform and they limit their number. Despite their permanent impact they stay out of our focus, camouflaged and quite frequently totally unnoticed. They merge into any landscape as its permanent visual element. We have been made to get used to the forms, structures and positioning of those elements responsible for introducing certain discipline. Their arrangement, shape, height and rigidity have become a part of us. We have learnt how to bypass, leap over or neglect them by treading our own paths and marking up our own directions.

A sporting area is an explicitly and intentionally ordered, rhythmic and disciplined space. Its look reflects precisely defined, rigorous rules, that define the operating range and behavior of people present there. The zonings at gyms, stadiums and pitches stem precisely from their functions. Specially designed objects, buildings, facilities and obstacles present at any stadium become an inseparable whole with the idea of a certain discipline. Lines, colours and divisions create a space, which determines a specific way of moving, thus explicitly influencing its reception.

A run-up is a short run before a sport attempt or an exercise. It is included in a cycle, in which technique, speed and accuracy are of the highest importance. It accounts for a brief mobilization of force, effort and a moment preceding the completion of a goal; an antecedent event inseparable from the forthcoming. Such a metaphoric run-up is performed before any task and is necessary to overcome any prospective challenges and obstacles.

The spatial installation Run-up is a resultant of the three elements previously described. It is composed of a lining, a well-known material present at homes, offices and libraries; a frequently encountered bedding – domesticated and safe. It also abounds in large quantities in gyms, as a covering for floors and walls to provide safety for athletes. The distinctive feature of a lining is its softness – a glass will not break against a floor covered by carpeting. It secures ground underneath and muffles noises. A red carpet version is used worldwide, especially during major official ceremonies and public speeches. It is unrolled in front of politicians, religious leaders and film stars.

The lining of the Run-up installation fulfils its basic function – it is there to walk on. I construct a relief, a landscape filled with rhythmic, disciplining elements by employing the soft and domestic character of the material. Polyurethane foam used in the installation, normally unseen, is present at every home in mattresses, fillings of sofas and armchairs due to its softness and comfort. In the Run-up it is used explicitly, in its natural white, creating subsequent rises and obstacles. The shapes and heights of the particular elements relate to objects in a public space: kerbs, stairs, flagstones and drives.

I employ recognized domestic materials in the relief, however walking on it becomes wobbly and difficult and therefore more conscious. Soft surfaces usually provide place for sleeping or sitting. We expect definite and possibly invariable hardness of the ground to walk on. In Run-up, the softness of the bedding and its horizontal, layered design transform common domestic materials into obstacles. The 100-square meter stretch of the landscape reflects the size of my family home, a place I see as a run-up towards adult life. Operating within the area of the well-known living space, I break, cut out and arrange materials referring to the rhythm, dynamic and directions specific to sporting events, streets and public space.

Carpet - courtesy of The Carpet Factory Agnella S.A.

Pictures by Marcel Kaczmarek