concept

Satan’s Children

The project serves as an opportunity to explore the theme of the figure of Satan himself – timidly exorcised from the Polish culture, a symbol of rebellion and knowledge, a new beginning.

Curator Stanisław Ruksza

Artists and authors of texts: Piotr Bujak, Bogna Burska, Maciej Chodziński & Maciej Salamon, Hubert Czerepok, Paweł Kulczyński, Jakub Majmurek, Jerzy Nowosielski, Patrycja Orzechowska, Aleka Polis & Wiktor Zmysłowski, Stanisław Ruksza, Krystian Skylstad, Łukasz Surowiec, Łukasz Trzciński, Andrzej Urbanowicz, Marek Wasilewski

Curator: Stanisław Ruksza

Venues: Jasny Dom, ul. Biskupia 2/2; Ciemny Dom ul. Szlak 3/3, National Museum in Kraków ul. 3 Maja 1

The exhibiton is available from Tuesday to Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

The exhibition’s title refers to the novel Satanas Kinder by Stanislaw Przybyszewski – a disturbing, helter-skelter anarchist manifesto, a praise of destruction, chaos and rejection of taboos and order. It is also a contribution to today’s interpretation of the person and ideas of Stanisław Przybyszewski (1868-1927) – the spiritual and social anarchist, a figure seemingly assimilated by the Polish intellectual world, but in fact banished from it. The project also serves as an opportunity to explore the theme of the figure of Satan himself – timidly exorcised from the Polish culture, a symbol of rebellion and knowledge, a new beginning.

The knowledge-bringing Lucifer is thus the second protagonist of the exhibition.

The exhibition shows Stanisław Przybyszewski through his ideas, rather than his biography. Some of the works of the invited artists allude to his writings, while some were juxtaposed by the curator with fragments of his texts, heretical ideas of the blasphemer working as comments or captions to the exhibited pieces.

The exhibition does not have a historical nature. The issues emerging from the works and the need to confront the phenomena determining our lives are extremely relevant.

Reaching for Przybyszewski is motivated by the huge potential hidden in the legacy of this writer and philosopher, who has been emasculated by imposing on him a Young Poland framework, confined to the idea of “art for the art’s sake” (Confiteor).
While the form of Przybyszewski’s writings sometimes seems outdated, also because of the disordered, feverish, hysterical, pre-Dadaist, chaotic nature of his texts, its content announces, senses and anticipates modernist issues. It is full of nuances characteristic for today’s humanities, analysing issues on many levels. The most important questions raised by Przybyszewski are: the crisis of the human agent and the breakdown of a coherent vision of the world with its existential consequences, but also androgynism and the need to break up with the seemingly stable dominant order. The writer also anticipated the role of psychoanalysis in 20th-century literature. The content of his essays and novels seemed to be waiting for art forms which emerged later.
Stanisław Przybyszewski came to Krakow in the late 19th century, at the height of its international recognition, and became editor of the periodical Życie, which meant for him an influx of important texts from all over the world, but also interference of censors.

As Karol Irzykowski wrote at the time, Przybyszewski became “a one-man literary organisation” of Polish culture, more important than Wyspiański. He introduced previously absent themes, he assimilated various ideas and concepts from contemporary Europe. But Kraków witnessed the twilight of his art, the shifting and feverish form of his writings faded in the city (although he wrote the excellent Androgyne there), and the local environment turned out to be not dynamic enough for him.

The first part of the project took place in April 2015 at the National Museum in Kraków – in Wyspiański’s “cadavers” room. It consisted of a reading of Przybyszewski’s texts by Michał Majnicz, an actor from Stary Theatre in Krakow, a lecture by Jakub Majmurek Polish Lucifer, a display of Piotr Bujak’s work Arcade # 1 and a concert of the Nagrobki (Headstones) band.

More / credits

Stanisław Ruksza

Curator, art historian, author, book editor, lecturer.

Patrycja Orzechowska

Visual artist, author of art books, specializes in photography, collage, installation, graphic design, film and art in public space.

“Satan’s Children” exhibition open for three more days!

The exhibition does not have a historical nature. The issues emerging from the works and the need to confront the phenomena determining our lives are extremely relevant.

Curator Stanisław Ruksza