The work is an accurate replica of Yasser Talal al Zahrani’s prison cell at the American detention camp for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Saudi prisoner died in 2006. The official cause of death was given as suicide. However, an examination by an independent pathologist showed traces of repeated beating, which could be indicative of torture. The work can be interpreted as a commentary on the abuse of human rights by imperialist powers, and the individual’s helplessness in the face of such behavior.
Taking up the fight with the two-dimensionality of the painter’s medium, Bartosz Kokosiński inflates the structure of the canvases with foam, deforms them, and radically bends their stretched frames. He deconstructs the painting as an artistic medium. In his most famous series – paintings devouring reality (2010–2015) – the canvases have been transformed into expanded objects, drawing in collections of various things, found by Kokosiński at flea markets, attics, and in the studios of befriended artists.