Pausing the course of events. Keeping the feeling of excitement for as long as possible. Looking forward to the end of the story. Cliffhanger, or the suspension of a plot at a time of mounting tension, is a device invented for the needs of serialized novels (it has now spread into many other areas) in order to maintain people’s interest in a world where excess prevails. It incentivises us to wait for the next season of a TV series, to buy the next book in a series, or endure the long strings of commercials during a movie. Apparently, the sense of the unknown captivates and stirs the imagination. Yet recently, cliffhangers have permeated from the world of entertainment into the real world, and rather than being associated with excitement, the feeling of suspense and mystery arouses anxiety and frustration. We look forward to the end of the story, but when it comes, we hope for more plot twists.
“Cliffhanger” consists of works from the latest projects of Weronika Gęsicka – “Holiday”, “Cocoon” and “Smash” – which are based on archival pictures from photo banks. They attempt to capture the tensions and fears that we have come to face nowadays. Inundated with news about emerging threats and not quite optimistic forecasts for the future, we begin to sense the end of reality as we know it. Scratches start to appear on the idyllic pictures that make up a large portion of our privileged world. We are no longer able to function in an artificially created reality where everything, from our image to the way we spend our leisure time, must be perfect.
Weronika Gęsicka (born in 1984). A visual artist. Photography is the central focus of Gęsicka’s art. She also creates objects and artefacts. Her projects address topics related to memory, its mechanisms, and the related scientific and pseudoscientific theories. She often works with archival materials. A winner of many awards including the Paszport Polityki Award for Visual Arts (2019), EMOP Arendt Award (2019), Foam Talent (2017). Her works have been exhibited worldwide. Gęsicka’s works can be found in prestigious collections including Dom Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria; Arendt Collection, Luxembourg; MuFo Museum of Photography, Kraków, Poland; Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Germany.