Who is power[less] in contemporary in Poland? Devils! In other words, spirits of cultural. political or artistic heresies. Their power[lessness] is apparent in the exposition, which invites representatives of the world of philosophy, literature, music and politics to the world of visual arts. As part of the exhibition, the text by Agata Bielik-Robson, Cezary Michalski, Michał Witkowski and Janusz Palikot gain the rank of artefacts. Such is also the case with music by the groups Antichrist and Stara Rzeka. Their collaboration with visual artists may help to ignite the spark of heretic creativity in the post-monastic space of the Centre for Culture in Lublin, the seat of the Gallery.
The presented exhibition attempts to confront the viewer with fundamental questions: Is art capable of reviving the critical spirit, which shapes social values confronting the phantasms reproduced by the dominant dogmatism? Is it possible today to create conditions (mental and institutional) for the state of mind opposing the conservatism of today’s Poland.
In December, as part of the exhibition there will be a panel discussion about the dogmas shaping Polish collective imagination in the realms or liquid modernity. Debating the mechanisms of the creation of contemporary dogmas and diversions from them will be philosopher Agata Bielik-Robson and writer Cezary Michalski. The meeting will be moderated by Tomasz Kozak, a visual artist and Piotr Pękala, the curator of the exhibition Devils!.
In Latin diabolus means “slanderer”. The devil defames and maligns, and therefore questions the order of things defined by tradition, customs or the authorities. It is, then, the embodiment of negation, on the one hand malicious and destructive, on the other, however, creative and beneficial. Diabolic spirit can bring a creative element to the discourse only if it ceases to concentrate merely on “slandering” and starts initiating a discussion (Greek: dialektykós = “concerning discussion”). Then it becomes a metaphor of critical analysis, which exposes the shameful, the supressed and revolutionary aspects of social, political and cultural realms. This type of criticism opens space for the free thinking, which challenges the thinking constrained by “positivity”, that is the dogmatism with dialectical negation.
In contemporary Poland the discourse which negates the dogmas is automatically accused of propagating nihilism and the “civilisation of death”. To paraphrase Adorno, it can be said that a nihilist is not so much the devil of negativity, as the demon of orthodoxy. To quote the author of Negative Dialectics: “The true nihilists are the ones who oppose nihilism with their more and more faded positivities, the ones who are thus conspiring with all extant malice, and eventually with the destructive principle itself.”
Adopting the abovementioned words as our starting point, we present an exhibition exposing the “diabolic” images and words in order to see whether contemporary art is capable of initiating creative philosophical, political and aesthetic dysfunction concerning subjects that are avoided by orthodoxy on principle.
More informations on the ende neu website
exhibition opening / 28.11.2014 / friday / 18.00
ende neu / Galeria Biała / Centrum Kultury w Lublinie / ul. Peowiaków 12
panel discussion / 19.12.2014 / friday / 19.00
Dogmatism or Criticism / Agata Bielik-Robson and Cezary Michalski
moderated by: Tomasz Kozak and Piotr Pękala
Sala Widowiskowa / Centrum Kultury w Lublinie / ul. Peowiaków 12