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Natural asylum for steel: Oskar Zięta at Giardina

Zurich, Switzerland

Messe Zurich, Zurich Exhibition Hall

Oskar Zięta, with his sculptural interpretations of steel, is exhibiting at Giardina 2023, one of Europe’s leading indoor garden events. Among the most challenging creative solutions, four of Zięta’s metal sculptures will cocreate a green space, accompanying visitors’ strolls.
Constant movement

Gardens tend to be an asylum of inner peace. Today, when nature is becoming a luxury good, we want to keep those spaces exceptional. Besides their own narrative, Zięta’s pieces reflect and temper the surroundings. Thanks to the exclusive features of high-polished steel, the surface of the sculptures become a massive mirror with a frame of its essence of form.

Nature is constant movement—visible and invisible changeability and adaptability. Throughout his explorations in the fields of engineering and art, Oskar Zięta treats bionics as a leading source of fascination. A manifesto of bionics is the complex ANTROPOD sculpture, a concept based on movement. It reflects its every phase, fluidity, and repetition—an analysis of how motion was translated into the operation of a virtual model. Multiplication of the phases of movement enabled creation of an infinite number of forms with different dynamics. The moment of freezing becomes an artistic creation.
Art of technology

An anthropic fusion of human progress and speed is framed in advanced technological solutions. Flat pieces of metal are translated into the language of parametric programming. The assigned concepts are transformed into successive iterations, proposals of spatial forms with different centres of gravity and different dynamics. They are an effect of multiple attempts resulting in expanding interpretative possibilities. Concepts do not result from the passive use of a computer to open a sketch. The designer is the initiator of the idea, and the results of the search arise from a trust in generative algorithms, randomness, and computational power optimizing the final shape of the sculpture.

Once the parametrics are concluded comes the time for the sculptor to reach for the chisel. In Zięta’s hands, carving is performed in FiDU, the proprietary, internationally acclaimed technology of free deformation by internal pressure (from the German Freie Innendruck Umformung). Steel profiles are laser-cut and tightly joined to create 2.5D flat forms, which are then deformed into three-dimensional objects by injecting air. Zięta calls this process a “controlled loss of control,” because on one hand the parameters are defined by the creator, but when pumped the material maintains its freedom to self-deform. At Giardina 2023 the FiDU manifestos are presented in unobvious shapes:
Alignment and form

ANTROPOD is a unique object combining technological possibilities with the magic of nature. The material is motion and the moment of its capture. It symbolizes the pace of time and acceleration (development of humans, science, and technology). Alignment constitutes an important element of design today. The dynamic form of ANTROPOD sculpture results from the conditions and the nature of space – it is space that defines them. Carefully selected materials and an appropriate form allow the creation of a whole series of individual objects.

Motion. Acceleration. Capture.

ANTROPOD symbolizes the development curve of human civilization, which has increased its pace in the recent year (is rising). It is driven by inventions, innovations, and pioneers who push the world forward with their actions. In order to keep up with it, one needs to adapt and adjust to the changing environment. It is the motion (pace) that constitutes material for the infinite number of forms of Antropod sculptures, while the moment of capture becomes a design-related decision freezing the object in a dynamic pose.

Art of technology

The dynamic form has been obtained through the process of parametric design. This field is having an increasingly higher influence on design, architecture, engineering, and urban planning. It relies on programs creating solid figures based on algorithms and set parameters. It allows for adapting to every environment and generating an infinite number of forms. Art is gradually moving to computer screens. The ANTROPOD constitutes an embodiment of this trend, representing a transient state between the two-dimensional world and the three-dimensional world. Technological development makes it possible for us to transfer the movements of a human body to virtual space. It is an evolution of design tools, a fusion of art and science in its purest form. The boundary between the real and the virtual has never been so blurred.

Architectural independence

Crystal Totem is a minimalist sculpture composed of geometrical, multi-dimensional sculptural modules with a mirror surface called “crystals,” forms that Oskar Zięta uses in several of his projects. Like many other of his concepts, TOTEM makes use of the paradigm of modularity, repetition, and multiplication. Its structure is the effect of composing concave and convex shapes, and its reflective surface multiplies the surrounding space.

The carefully planned, four-sided, multi-dimensional forms of the crystals reflect light, generating unexpected colour impressions, while sharp edges give them a dynamic and rapacious character. These properties generate limitless possibilities for combining them into complex spatial compositions. On a larger scale, they become independent sculptures. Arranged vertically, they resemble Constantin Brâncuși’s wooden columns, and located next to a light source they become a shimmering kaleidoscope.

Tribute to reflection

Created in 2018 for the Jerke Museum as part of the Festival of Light in Recklinghausen, Germany, from 19 September to 4 November 2018, Crystal Totem alluded to the museum’s building, and its polished surface reflected light, creating multi-coloured afterimages, a tribute to Wojciech Fangor, an outstanding Polish painter and creator of stained glass in the museum’s collection.

The minimalist, geometrical lines of the sculpture open up associations to such art movements as constructivism, cubism, and op-art. The forms of these metallic gemstones play with our senses and bring to mind postmodern architecture.

Tides of interpretation

A three-dimensional piece of deformed steel drifting on the tides of interpretation. This is Oskar
Zięta’s vision for a minimalist steel sculpture placed in the middle of anywhere as a constant,
deformed mirror for the changeability of nature and a mirrored dialogue with the elements.

Inspired by the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the master of steel conceptualized the
Sail sculpture as standing still among the waves in the rough waters and exposed to harsh
environmental conditions. Thus, it would change together with the water—its surface evolving in
rhythm with passing.

Oskar Zięta created a prototype of the SAIL special project, closely related to the sea. The launch took place in the Polish coastal city of Gdynia during the Polish Projects Polish Designers and Roundabout Baltic exhibition in 2017. This unique and symbolic sculpture was created with the proprietary FiDU technology. Lightness and inflation by air give it an exceptional meaning in the context of sailing, deeply rooted in Gdynia itself and the Tri-City area, as the outstanding shape was inspired by a wind-driven sail.

An imagination-stirring sculpture that inscribes teardrop-shaped profiles in a metaphorical, twisting way, this is a renewed design challenge in Oskar Zięta’s proprietary FiDU technology. The tapering base is an open-ended study of axial stabilization and continued exploration of the potential of internal pressure forming of steel.
Axial narrative

NYMPH materializes a story full of subtlety and balance, built around an imaginable axis within the metal’s spatial composition. NYMPH is a narrative about Oskar Zięta’s fascinations with reflections and material. As befits a mythical creature, NYMPH easily blends in with the natural landscape, gardens, and greenery. The steel, openwork, shiny construction multiplies the surroundings on its surface. It gives the space a mysterious, unique expression.

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