Artist: Honza Zamojski
Curator: Nevenka Šivavec and Yasmín Martín Vodopivec
Venue: MGLC, Ljubljana
In Honza Zamojski’s latest exhibition, the eponymous Middleman plays various roles. He is a viewer who, upon entering the exhibition space, stands in the middle of the symmetrical architecture. He is also an author who mediates between the world of ideas and the material world by creating drawings, sculptures and texts. Middleman is also visualised as a simplified and symbolic puppet that can be moved by various forces.
Essentially a site-specific installation, the exhibition takes place not only within the symmetry of architecture, but often in relation to the symmetry (or asymmetry) of a sheet of paper, a word and a human figure. An attentive viewer will notice that the further one moves away from the centre of the exhibition, the brighter it is and the more there is to see. You could even say that the narrative explodes, and what tries to put it back together again is Middleman holding the collapsing world with all his might.
Once upon a time, Middleman mediated in the Matter between Everyman and Neverman. The mediation was to take place in Middleman’s office, which was in the middle of an old mansion. Both had heard that Middleman was supposedly an idiot, but that he was simply the only one who could resolve the Matter. Middleman waited at his desk, leafing through the file with the
information about Everyman and Neverman. Both of them were idiots in his eyes, but that was his private opinion. Everyman generally went through life quite well because, like in a medieval mystery, he moved linearly from point X to point Y, it being preordained that at the final point Y he would be offered an exit, and that this would be vertically (read transcendentally) upwards,
which meant he would leave the world joyfully and absolved from all sins when the opportunity arose. Meanwhile, things were generally much trickier for Neverman: he imagined that he could do whatever he wanted, that he was a soldier of free will, so he meandered in his own particular way – a little backwards, a little forwards, a little upwards, a little downwards, and upside down, sideways and around the bends. His fate was uncertain for this reason, and it was clear from the file that at point Y (yes, that’s the one that can’t be avoided) he could only go down vertically (pencilled note in the file: Glory be to him! He should have thought of that before …).
Middleman pondered on it; stood up and moved first a little to the right, then a little to the left and came hurriedly back to the centre. He proceeded once more to the right, and once more to the left, only this time on his hands. He did a headstand and hopped back behind his sprawling desk. The case was actually quite simple: the difference between Everyman and Neverman lay
only in the Matter. Not that Middleman knew exactly what the Matter was supposed to be, but he had been taught, and it was not hard to understand, that chaos is the opposite of cosmic order. And he was a faithful servant of the latter. Besides, he was the national champion of simple palindromes, so Middleman considered himself important and just.
On entering the mansion, Everyman and Neverman were caught by a glowing light. Middleman stood between two guards who looked exactly like him and solemnly declared: “According to the laws of cosmic order, I am inclined to believe that both of you may be fifty per cent right about the Matter, so I can only suggest a settlement and payment of court costs. However, I am
also inclined to the other side, meaning that the first wins and the second is imprisoned, or conversely that the first loses his freedom and the second wins. But as I have already stated, the first option is open, if we come to a mutual understanding; and at this point, Middleman cleared his throat and gave them a fleeting wink. Everyman bowed and Neverman could barely hold back his sneer as they handed the envelopes to Middleman.
What an idiot, Everyman and Neverman blurted out to each other at the same time as they passed the door and burst out laughing. What a pair of idiots, Middleman muttered to himself as he stashed the money away and closed the file.
The work of visual artist, designer, publisher and curator Honza Zamojski spans a wide range of media and art practices, from illustration and illustrative sculpture to infographics inspired by corporate messages and poetic wordplay. Honza Zamojski is the author of more than twelve books (including Love Letter, onestar press, 2017; Four Eggs Theory, self-published, 2015; Fishing with John, NERO, 2013). His work attracted a lot of attention at the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts and received the special Audience Award.