❞ The armed ranks come together in an amorous embrace. Cupid’s arrows pierce bucklers and hearts. The forces of love triumph while the sweet furries clash with the muscular Cubs in light split armor. Shouts of armies of protective spirits whiz in the air❞ .
Today’s games are mostly about competition. Discord is typically encapsulated by struggle, battle and violence. War.
At the root of the exhibition is a passion shared by both artists – miniature wargames.
Warhammer is a series of games in which fantasy armies fight countless battles in an endless, eternal war. Different factions, armies and fantastic creatures, races and monsters, clash on epic battlefields. In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.
This dark world, whose essence is combat, has developed its characteristic aesthetics, based on an array of weapons, muscles, claws and broadly understood violence – exaggerated, aestheticised and conventionalised. At the same time, it freely draws on various historical references. Over time, the Warhammer universe grew to include books, films and computer games describing subsequent alliances and stages of the conflict. It has become a cultural phenomenon and an emblem of one of the aspects of popular culture.
While advocating equality, freedom and feminism, two young artists, Jan Możdżyński and Sebastian Sebulec, queer this world by turning war into a battle of love. They create their alternative miniature armies – guardian armies, which at the LoveHammer exhibition are presented through the prism of love. Instead of fighting to the death, they are fighting a different battle. The artists thus question the stereotypical order of the “boyish” game, expressed through brute force and culminating in war and violence
This alternative vision of discord and battle reverses its order. Cubs and Mutts in Love meet in a non-antagonistic fight.
I started my Warhammer collection with the army of Necrons – cosmic “mummies.” Centuries ago, as a result of internal wars, the soul of their ancient ruler disintegrated into millions of miniscule particles. Similarly, the figurines in my works – they are parts of me. They are my personal army of moods, attitudes, thoughts and infatuations. Despite their rough appearance, these are fragile creatures. They often originate from crude 3D models from computer games from the turn of the century – the time of my childhood. I am still quite naive in my perception of the world, which is why my warriors of love fight with tenderness, curiosity and boastfulness with a tinge of jealousy.
I like them because they are lonely and nobody looks after them. But maybe that will change soon.
Mutts in Love
Mutts in Love are at it again!
These seemingly harmless cuties know tricks that will raise your bloodpressure and awaken butterflies in your stomach… They lure their victims with voluptuous shapes and a hypnotic dance, while their sweet eyes pierce right through to see the hidden longings of your soul. Their claws are dripping with liquid desire – one scratch will make it impossible for you to stop thinking about them. But poisoned arrows are their most dangerous weapon; woe to those who are hit.
However, their weapons of choice can be treacherous and unpredictable… Perhaps the powers they have managed to tame will get out of hand and lead to their undoing?
The battle playing out in the biggest window of Krupa Gallery’s seat is accompanied by a codex – a publication that usually accompanies wargames, presenting the fighting characters and units, their special skills and attacks, methods of fighting. The publication is available as a pdf file to be downloaded from the Gallery’s website.
Jan Możdżyński lives and works in Warsaw, where in 2018 he graduated from the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts.
In his artistic practice raises topics connected with gender, gender iden-tity, and stigmatisation due to sexual preferences. His works show the relationship between feminism and the rights of sexual minorities. He refers to BDSM fetishes and related items, depicts role-playing situations, disintegrating the traditional understanding of masculinity and feminini-ty. He is interested in the mechanisms of repressive patriarchy.
He is an active participant in the BDSM community. He practices boxing and conducts boxing classes for friends.
Sebulec studied Animated Film at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He works with 3D graphics, animation, and game engines; he pays particular attention to the figures of virtual companions, avatars, and guides. He is also inspired by the culture and aesthetics of online fandoms.
 from the cover of a rulebook for one of the Warhammer variants (Warhammer 40,000. Rogue Trader, RPG)