Our ‘Relationships With Machines’ On Exhibit At Mattatuck

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Andrzej Zielinski thinks of his artworks as “feral.”

“My works tend to grow and change to essentially survive,” Zielinski says. But how does an artist impart this ferocious aspect to artworks depicting cellphones, shredders, ATMs, laptops and other inanimate technological objects? Zielinski shows how in an exhibit at Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury.

His sculpture “Unshredding” places a misshapen shredder on casters so it can roll as it shreds itself into purple sparkly tentacles.

His “Refusing to Fall Asleep Again” shows a shockingly bright teal laptop with its screen a swirling mass of purple and orange, as if the frantic colors denote the frantic pace of technology.

“Roaming Mobile” places a cellphone on a chunk of alabaster. It seems to melt into the rock as its little arm-like antennae reach out for help.

Two other sculptures of shredders – one painted metallic green, the other metallic purple – are caught in the process of shredding a chunk of stone that looks like a sting ray, as it goes through the machine and turns into something that more closely resembles an octopus.

Lucite, rather than stone, is shredded into brightly colored clear strips in “Cyclicality” and “Total Transparency.” The bright gallery lights shine through the strips, casting pretty shadows on the pedestals.

Zielinski also works in thickly and variously textured acrylic painting, actually pushing off the canvas. “Shredder in an Unknown Situation” depicts a misshapen machine on wheels, similar to “Unshredding” but in green and blue, rambling across a vivid red background. In “Shredder Paused … I Think” the machine is a blob of gold, spitting out a shock of white like hair.

Technology is poorly understood, Zielinski says.

“That lends it a scary or intimidating or even threatening aspect that can be read into the work, though I think that is tempered, balanced by joyful bright colors.”

The exhibit was guest-curated by Jennifer Terziann of Litchfield.

CONNECTED: RELATIONSHIPS WITH MACHINES will be at Mattatuck Museum, 144 W. Main St. in Waterbury, until Feb. 11. mattmuseum.org.

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