Rafał Grzelewski

author biographical note degree piece

Difficult Freedom

The sculpture is a spatial illustration of my thoughts on the transformation process that took place in Poland over the last 25 years.

The conversion from planned to free market economy at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s enabled rapid economic development of the country. The Poles’ consumer appetite for both basic and luxurious goods, not satisfied earlier, is now being satisfied at enormous rate.People are trying to purchase not only what they need, but also what their children may need in future. This is often accompanied by a lack of reflection on the weight of commitments that are made in the process. For many people the “wings” that we have been spreading over the last 25 years start to be a burden limiting the freedom we fought for. Social pressure and the memory of the past motivate us to purchase more apartments, better gifts or more expensive holidays.

We like to collect more and more, faster and faster, which – instead of giving us freedom – is anchoring us firmer and firmer to the ground. The desire to possess makes us worry about what we do have, instead of enjoying what we can have. Apart from realizing our dreams we buy a material and psychological burden. All these thoughts are illustrated by the geometric figure whose desire to fly is prevented by wings – heavy as anchors.

(born 1979)
Studies: Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology (1998–2004) and at the University of Detroit Mercy (2001), Technische Universität Berlin (2002), Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2015–2017). Fields of artistic activity: sculpture, architecture, interior design. Numerous collaborative projects with Grupa 5 Architects, including commercial office buildings Platinium Business Park (stages 3 through 6) and residential estate (In City at Siedmiogrodzka Street) in Warsaw, Monopolis – adaptiation and development of the historic vodka monopoly in Łódź. Dozens of design team wins in investor contests.