The project „Garden” by Marta Zgierska and Mateusz Sarello is an invitation to observe a couple in a dialogue, negotiating their relationship and their collaborative authorship. The boundaries between the two are ambiguous; obsessive, poetic and analytical. She’s dedicated to systematic fragmentation and dissection of the image of her own body but at the same time also the dissection of flowers as symbols of other women. This results in persistent acts of contradictory self-inscriptions, at the same time violent and subtle.
Surreal collages trick the gaze directed towards them. Disintegrated human body is inseparably intertwined with the flowers. Plants seem to take over and control the body parts. On the other hand objects (emptied vases) perform the role of the (female) body. Fetishization and (self)objectification becomes a vital tool in testing and understanding the past and the present of one relationship.
Lea Vene, curator of International Photography Festival Organ Vida in Zagreb, Croatia
The basis of „Garden” are the photographs of Mateusz Sarello, illustrating a morbid past relationship with a woman. The decaying, drying out flowers are bouquets never offered to her, as well as everything that is impossible to name and express.
Black and white still lifes are traces of a past relationship which, despite fading, will never cease to exist and sting with its presence.
Marta Zgierska (privately Mateusz Sarello’s partner) is trying to inscribe herself into his internal landscape, to find her own subjectivity in it. She replaces flowers with her own body; lips, eyes and ears begin to blossom on the dried out stems. She gives new life to the dead plants though a living, present body. Replacing flowers with her own body, multiplied at numerous instances, is a compulsive attempt of marking her presence.