Tablica transforms the trial of Krakow’s hooligan ring into an immersive experience, in which the spectator steps into both a football arena and a prison cell, depending on the extension of the triptych’s side panels. Drawing on the vocabulary of altarpieces from the likes of Bouts or Memling, the work takes on an aspect of devotion. This is a devotion that holds the group higher than the self - until, of course, the moment that one’s freedom is at risk, and the only way out is to talk. This is precisely what happened during the investigation of Krakow’s hooligan-turned-drug gang, where hundreds of participants were exposed and put on trial, their names often betrayed by other members of the group who gave information in exchange for a kinder sentence. Four hundred and nine panels show portraits of gang members and prison guards coexisting with butterfly knives, architectural plans of both stadiums and jails, objects present in the courtroom, and countless other details contributing to a larger ambiance of the fight for self-preservation.
Personal stories and third party observations mix, as recollections of the artist’s own time in the group and his brothers’ resulting prison sentence mingle with the four-hundred page testimony from one of the gang leaders. Human chains made of collaged images of arrests evoke the chain of information leaked from each suspect caught by the police. Numbers on each panel are drawn by the artist’s brother, as a record of each day of his incarceration. The laborious notation itself could itself be a metaphor for Dudek’s practice, painstakingly regurgitating his time in the gang, and paying his sentence through the enormous amount of time spent recounting his own testimony through his practice.