The works of valued and award winning – not only in Poland but also abroad – Polish illustrators of the young generation will be exhibited in the Art Bunker Gallery of Contemporary Art starting on the 16th of September. This coming Friday at 6.00 PM, join us for the opening of the exhibition “Snakes, Daggers and Rose Petals”. We will see works that build a dialogue with the Polish School of Illustration, which continues to inspire contemporary artists. Illustrations specially prepared for the exhibition at the Art Bunker correspond to the works of the classics of Polish illustration, showing the contact points of all the works presented – while reading the exhibition, visitors will be able to see the similarities in the strategy of working on text. The exhibition can be viewed until the 11th of December 2016.
The Krakow Festival Office and the UNESCO City of Literature Krakow are the co-organisers of the exhibition, while the Conrad Festival is a partner of the event.
In the era of rapid expansion of the Internet, experiencing a mediated and media-based reality, which is accompanied by a certain kind of spontaneity and freedom in selecting the model of communication, illustration is redefining its status among the visual arts. What is characteristic of contemporary illustration is not only the innovativeness of the artists and the resulting diversity of forms, artistic techniques and the change of the function of creating the presented world (illustrations do not show the same thing as the text, but are a certain superimposed value and have their autonomy), but also unusual media. The new illustration is also distinguished by its processuality, intermediality and multilayer character. Illustrators are not afraid of reversing the chronology, first creating the drawings or other visual representations, to which they then fit the words, as it were, “illustrating the illustrations” with the text. The image of this contemporary field of art is completed by the fact that it has many distribution channels – illustrators are equally willing to publish their works in books and press as the Internet, they create animations and fashion, putting these projects on the same level as book projects. The creators of illustrations, juxtaposing words and images with the precision of a composer, adopt a variety of strategies of working with the text, not only those related to its content, but also to its other properties, such as sound or melody.
Despite the spectacular successes of Polish illustrators – not only those who co-created the Polish School of Illustration, but also the generations of artists of the last decade, who without any complexes are still inspired by the aesthetics of older authors – illustration still has not received the recognition it deserves among domestic art historians and critics. Despite this, artists continue to reach for the medium of illustration, treating it with the curiosity of a scientist and expanding the concept of book illustration.
If we compare the exhibition to a publication that has its own narrative, with the curator as editor, the exhibition “Snakes, Daggers and Rose Petals” is a book of many possible narratives. Its Chinese-box structure is a reflection of the processual and collective editorial work. The mobile arrangement of the exhibition, inspired by the pages of a book, opens perspectives on not only rearranging it during the exhibition, but also creates the possibility of making further “edits”.
As a guest of the exhibition, it is possible to repeatedly read it and interpret it anew, which the organisers strongly encourage.
Artists: Jan Bajtlik, Dominika Bobulska, Katarzyna Bogucka, Tymek Borowski, Bohdan Butenko, Bolesław Chromry, Agata Dudek, Grupa Maszin (Daniel Gutowski, Mikołaj Tkacz, Jacek Świdziński, Michał Rzecznik), Marta Ignerska, Tymek Jezierski, Edward Krasiński, Aleksandra Lampart, Adam Macedoński, Aleksandra Niepsuj, Stefan Papp, Alicja Pismenko, Bianka Rolando, Magdalena Sawicka, Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, Xavery Deskur Wolski, Bartosz Zaskórski
Curator: Anna Bargiel
Collaboration: Jakub Woynarowski, Mały Instytut Polskiej Ilustracji
Coordination: Dorota Bucka
Visual narrative: Agnieszka Piksa, Damian Nowak
Exhibition arrangement: Mateusz Okoński
Funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the “Węże, sztylety i płatki róży. Polska powojenna ilustracja książkowa” [“Snakes, Daggers and Rose Petals. Polish Post-War Book Illustrations”] measure.
More about the exhibition opening here.