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Air bag, 1998
acrylic on canvas 230x230 cm + video projected
onto the painting's surface

A projection onto the painting canvas depicts a figure hung by his arms and legs. Between his breast and thighs there is a car air bag, making it difficult for the figure to breathe and move. Though the air bag was designed to save passenger's lives, here it is an element of discomfort, imprisonment. The lighter shape, though painted on the canvas, functions as the foreground, appearing to envelope the human figure (perhaps like an air bag), whose projected image in fact appears to emanate from beneath the painting. The figure seems both safe and trapped.

"Lejman's works conform neither to the Renaissance model of 'painting as a window' nor to the modern formula of painting as an autonomous art object. I would rather call them 'places', where an action created by the artist takes place and where the role of the viewer is also fundamentally complicit." - Stach Szablowski, The Tax on Luxury


Morphing Disc, 2000
acrylic and blood on canvas 130x130cm + computer generated
video projected onto the painting's surface

A video recording of a naked figure, seen in profile, revolving around the frame's center, is projected onto a painting of the after-images of revolving bodies. The sex of the figure is hard to determine, appearing sometimes male, sometimes female. An additional biological aspect of this work is the use of blood, which emphasizes the physical presence of the bodily being.

"This kind of intervention adds to the space of painting a dimension of movement - something that by definition is absent from the medium of painting. However, Lejman's intention is by no means to make the painting a screen for video projection. Nor is it to interject the medium of painting (itself now in a permanent state of crisis) by imposing on it the passion of modern culture - moving images - even if this interpretation is unavoidable in most analyses of Lejman's work. The artist's intention is to build a piece of multiple surfaces, in terms of space, but also in terms of time. Dominik blurs the border between the material of both mediums. The projections take place in full, preferably natural light. As a result, the film intermingles with the paint, as the moving pictures seem to be located somewhere under the surface of the canvas." - Stach Szablowski, The Tax on Luxury acrylic on canvas 230x230cm + 2 video projections onto the painting surface


Stealth Painting, 2000

In this multi-layered work, the first projection, in the foreground, depicts the figure of a naked man, seated, his back turned to the viewer. The figure is involved in some kind of rhythmical activity. The second projection is a live transmission of what is happening in the space directly in front of the painting. If the viewer passes in front of the camera, he is instantly projected onto the canvas.

"Dominik invites us to see ourselves seeing." - Yehuda Safran, The Dome and the Spirit


Luxury of Survival (It Hurts, I Can't Feel Anything), 2000
multiple video projection

Projected picture of multiplied recording of a ballet dancer hanging upside down turned 180 degrees. She performs a classical pas. In this abnormal position the task is made more difficult by the laws of physics. The only element appearing to keep the dancer at "ground level" is the safety rope around her ankle. In this work, a concept of classical ballet is infused with the idea of denying gravity.


Convertible Cathedral, 2000
acrylic on canvas 33x41cm + video projection of persons inside a car,
seen from above + grand format video projection of a gothic cathedral ceiling

Because the proportionality of complementary elements has been reversed - the painting and projection of the family, and the second projection of a ceiling that approaches and recedes in the rhythm of breathing, the viewer feels unease. The naked persons in the car, a family of three with seatbelts fastened, become as defenseless as they would be before an enormous, collapsing building.

Lejman also creates site-specific works in public spaces.


The Hospital as a Landscape for Little Spectacles, 2002
A 6-weeks installation, part of Art for the Hospital, Culture 2000, l'Art dans la Cite, for Medical Academy Children's Hospital, ul. Dzialdowska, Warsaw - projections onto the hospital walls.

Dominik Lejman explains: Hospitals are particularly difficult to transform visually in ways that can neutralize their aura of trauma. Children, especially, need tools that would allow them to make such an environment feel far more familiar and safe. Given the architectural and communications requirements, I decided to transform the hospital's space on the basis of an idea for "little spectacles", a series of video projections with sound, designed specifically for selected sites in the hospital, and to function under daylight conditions.

The ephemeral character of the pieces, showing animals as if in their natural habitats, does not affect communications or other important priorities of hospital activity. We don't see the projection screen, which is black - we only see the animal as if it inhabited this particular nook in the hospital, not separated by any visible TV or computer screen. All the projections are continuous loops. They do not work as narrative movies but as moving images to be played with. The animals were filmed in spaces comparable in size to their respective hospital sites, so that in projection they behave very much as though actually inhabiting the sites. The images are accompanied by sounds of the forest, the sea, etc., without music. The sites are meant to become "little discoveries" for the children, as they appear in the hospital's environment in a discreet way, waiting to be found by the little patients, who can create stories that make connections between the animal heroes from the various projection sites.


Video Murals - Social Surfaces, 2003
daylight video projections

Dominik Lejman has always used multilayered structures in his work to describe ephemeral moments and aspects of a reality whose main hero is the contemporary crowd: anonymous, transitional, nomadic, hypnotized, isolated, and silent; performing nostalgia for proximity and directness, participation and engagement, intimacy and presence. The artist's display of fresco-like surfaces of photographic wallpapers and cinematographic materials deviously combine the processes of looking and seeing, thus altering the conditions of the spectator. Lejman's work aims at searching for a new regime of seeing - a regime of control and surveillance that activates sensual and mental agencies on the way to smooth perspectival distance and transparency and to structure visual organization.

In Video Murals - Social Surfaces, Lejman employs direct recordings of crowds and urban gatherings he has filmed. This original footage is then rendered into a purely abstract form by the artist through the creation of ornamental crowd motifs that are projected on the wall. In Lejman's words, the structure of the mass ornament is abstract, but is not mere abstraction. The aesthetic pleasure provided by the statistical tapestries is a form of information anesthesiology. It neutralizes the fact of being the product of a shared destiny and organic life, the function of individual personalities with unique souls.


Animating Spaces, 2004
permanent video installation at Schneider Children's Hospital in New York, RxArt commission

The purpose of the installation, like the stated goal of RxArt, is to make white hospital walls more inviting and comforting through art, and thus (as evidence suggests) even healing. Animating Spaces consists of more than a dozen day-light video projections showing different species of animals - carefully positioned by the artist in spatially appropriate sites throughout the hospital, in a way that delights the children without impinging upon the priorities of hospital activity.
For this new multi-faceted, permanent installation at Schneider Children's Hospital, Dominik filmed his animals in such locations as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium, in spaces that were comparable in size to their intended hospital sites. State-of-the-art video projection systems are so designed as to be invisible, so that one sees the animals - projected on the walls, floors and interior windows in continuous loops - as if they were really there. The sites are meant to become, as the artist puts it, "little discoveries" for the children, as they appear in the hospital's environment in a discreet way, waiting to be found by the little patients, who can create stories that make connections between them and their animal heroes. Children have often commented that the animals look more scared than they are themselves.

Air bag, 1998, acrylic on canvas 230x230 cm + video projected onto the painting's surface


Morphing Disc, 2000, acrylic and blood on canvas 130x130cm


Stealth Painting, 2000


Luxury of Survival (It Hurts, I Can't Feel Anything), 2000, multiple video projection


Convertible Cathedral, 2000, acrylic on canvas 33x41cm


The Hospital as a Landscape for Little Spectacles, 2002


The Hospital as a Landscape for Little Spectacles, 2002


Marathon Flower, acrylic on canvas 150 x 135 cm + video projection, 2003


NY Marathon, video mural still


Animating Spaces, 2004


Animating Spaces, 2004


Animating Spaces, 2004

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