Passage II is poised in the split second when the black jacket turns to orange. They burst it wide open over the expanse of time in order to look at how bodies lay claim to even the harshest and most uninviting of spaces. If black is a protective skin, orange is the emotional and psychological connective tissue that spans each of the three works, along with much of the rest of Dudek’s oeuvre. Here, it erupts in a spray of fiery shrapnel from the jacket’s right arm. It also bleeds to the surface where he has cut the panel with a knife. It is no coincidence that Krakow is nicknamed the City of Knives, a violence of which even Dudek’s brother was not spared. Here Dudek wavers between fight and flight. In a jacket half outturned, he distills the moment he will either jump the fence and enter the fray or lie in wait. The decision is a calculated one: once outturned, the jacket’s vivid color leaves nowhere to hide. Will he be the first or the last to shed his black sheath? Will he claim himself a leader or mere foot soldier?
Images bearing the names and emblems of soccer clubs and cities Dudek visited during game travel are spewed across the collage’s surface. Among them are also images of young men and women walking out of council estates. He points to the urban landscape that helped constitute an entire generation brought to shelter inside flyer jackets. Tongues of scorched surface where he set controlled fire to the panel lash at the garment’s almost sacral depiction. Dudek draws a fine line between proselyte and zealot. These soccer clubs were their own kind of cult. One he extricated himself from but was never been able to leave behind.