MEDFORD, MA.- New York-based Christian Tomaszewski (b. 1971) is an installation artist whose work over the past decade has been heavily influenced by film, filmic representation, and recreations of film sets from memory on both miniature and monumental scales. Tomaszewskis project Hunting For Pheasants takes its inspiration from the Polish School of film posters of the 1960s and 1970s, a prominent influence on Polish artists of his generation born in the 1970s. Expanding upon his November 2008 exhibition at Galerie Michael Wiesehöfer in Cologne, Tomaszewskis installation is comprised of a series of approximatley 60 poster drawings for movies that don't actually exist, installed over a colorful array of striped panels on the Gallerys perimeter walls, as if curated to give a taste of a certain political moment with its own particular bygone aesthetic.
All the posters represent people, mostly from the international political arena, who were assassinated, some of whom exist vividly in our collective memory, others who are obscure. The artist has eliminated or erased the text and credits one would normally find in move posters, added some graphic elements to others, and generally abstracted the poster design to impart an allure that these figures are mysterious movie stars or cult figures. The posters thereby transcend language and cultural specificity and open up a narrative space that visitors are then forced to negotiate spatially and create themselves through the encounter with a low (knee-high) maze construction filling the entire Gallery floor (see slide diagram). The artist intends the experience to be a strange game of combining the abstract with very specific -- recycled imagery from the mass media that allows only a glimpse into history. The sporting reference in the installations title Hunting for Pheasants seems a facetious comment on western societys superficial knowledge of the politics and historical events that have been precipitated by assassinations for centuries, while the movie poster form alludes to the mythologizing of certain political figures as enduring heroes and others as faded stars.