words, sentences / digits, numbers – reciprocal pervasion, Tadeusz Sławek
Looking at the concept-shapes by Dróżdż entitled this time words, sentences/ digits, numbers – reciprocal pervasion and holding in my hand an exceptionally interesting text written by Schiller [The Letters on Human Aesthetic Education] we could say that the artist has placed us in the following situation. On the one hand we have something what assumes an order guarded by restrictive rules (words, sentences/ digits, numbers), whereas on the other hand – something raises our concerns and makes us withdraw from this stabilized world. We do not know if it is about the ‘words’ and ‘sentences’ which, in fact, are only the verbal articulations of the ‘digits’ and ‘numbers’. The word is pervaded by the digit, the number breathes with the air of the sentence.
We can see then the ‘black-and-white frieze’ with the same pulsations as the one observable in the monochromatic works by Mark Rothko hung on the walls of the chapel in Houston. In the long columns of words/sentences/digits/numbers our eye can see a unique rhythm resulting from the process of widening and narrowing of vertical shapes. This rhythm being also the form of measurement communicates that the subsequent numbers increasing in their value do not have to be ‘longer’ and more extended in the lingual and graphical articulation. ‘Thousand’ is larger in value than ‘twenty-one’ but does not exceed ‘twenty-one’ when its mathematic notation has been translated into the graphics of our language. Furthermore, the more digits and numbers appear in the columns, the more it seems to us that they are leading to the point which could mark the ending of anymore counting. This activity will ‘break’ at a certain moment but it will never ‘end’. I will not be able to say: here I have in front of myself a limited set of numbers which I am taking over, the collection of numbers which I own because counting lasts forever, it will outlive me and my intentions; now I am only a fragment, a scene in a grand drama of the official census announced with the beginning of everything: But it came to pass in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be in the habitable world. (Gospel according to Saint Luke). During this census and enrollment the time came for her to give a birth to her child. During this counting and in the breaks which occur within it there comes something to the world which becomes adopted by the subsequent digits which do not add to one final and inconceivable number. Something important bears among the words and digits which is a constant truth by Dróżdż which repeats likewise the Gospel and which is traceable in almost all his works.
The fragments of the essay The Chapel of Dróżdż, [in:] Stanisław Dróżdż, words, sentences/ digits, numbers – reciprocal pervasion, Gallery ‘Foksal’, Warsaw 2005, exhibition catalogue.