Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost
14.01.2022 – 14.02.2022
Paweł Olszewski / Justyna Smoleń
Retoryka 24, Kraków
Opening: 14.01.2022 godz. 18.00-20.00
Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday 16.00-18.00
Treat what you see as an exercise. You will ask: an exercise in what? We will answer: an exercise in remembering and forgetting. Of repeating and destroying. There are several tools at your disposal. Some of them are fragments of the distant and the near past, which have formed a new whole in which nothing is as it once was. Some make you look at yourself for a long time, but give little in return. Some repeat the same or almost the same thing over and over again. Some should be discarded, but are still here and won’t let you forget. Some try to perpetuate what you want to remember, but end up writing it off.
Justyna Smoleń and Paweł Olszewski deal with processing – they change the focus of objects and thoughts, and thus our ideas about the world that surrounds us. They reach for the elements of everyday life that we would like to get rid of, giving them another chance – a chance to tell us something, to mean something to us again. They nurture history, yet they are far from being academic historians. They conserve what would sooner or later end up in the dustbin: the meagre remains of porcelain dandelions that have long since lost their seductive charm, flowers that, withering, are about to lose their miraculous form, saliva that moistened our mouths a moment ago, and now dries on the wall. They reverse the order of things – what is repulsive begins to attract again, and what we would like to keep suddenly becomes something we reject.
In one of the Slavic tales about the creation of the world, a god moulded a man from clay, and a malicious devil spat on his body, condemning it to illness, urges and death. Justyna and Paweł have prepared for us something like a modern golem stuck out of clay, saliva and plastic, a mixture of the dry and the wet, the analogue and the digital, the inanimate and the organic. The world they create is haunted by memories and their degenerate spectres. It is a world condemned to recycling. It is difficult to think of something completely new, because the past, the greatest burden, cannot simply be swept under the carpet.