Art Exhibition at the University of Warsaw Gallery
Chasing Mythical Beasts…
In children’s and youth culture, illustration is crucial – a union of words and visual art. From the outset, we intend to dialogue with artists and to create at the same time an opportunity for young people to present their work to new circles of viewers. The previous conference, Our Mythical Childhood… The Classics and Children’s Literature Between East and West (2013), was accompanied by an exhibition prepared by students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under the guidance of Professor Zygmunt Januszewski (1956-2013). It was inspired by mythological phraseology (Cerber by Maia Abgarowicz and Minotaur by Joanna Gebal gravely guarding this page are borrowed from that show). Currently, we continue our collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts – with Professor Januszewski’s students. We also invited to participate in the project a photographer, Tomasz Łaptaszyński, who has been capturing reception of the Graeco-Roman world in Poland, often far from the capital, in the popular culture connected to the daily life of Poles living in various regions. The artists will show their works at the University of Warsaw Gallery, at an exhibition honouring the memory of Professor Januszewski. Below are attached descriptions of the endeavours prepared by the artists.
Jan Rusiński, Department of Illustration, Faculty of Graphic Arts, Academy of Fine Arts (ASP), Warsaw
Continuing the collaboration began in 2013 between the Department of Illustration at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, ASP Warsaw, Zygmunt Janszewski Foundation ILLUSTRO, and the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, we approached the work on the new project with great anticipation; the results of our efforts will be shown during the conference Chasing Mythical Beasts…
This time, we decided to transpose mythological themes into short, comic book genre, seeking current contexts and reasons to open up the imagination of students and alumni of the Department who meet at specially designed workshops.
The project will have again a research dimension in exploring the vitality and meaningful potential of classical legacy and, on the other hand, will provide space for experiments of a formal and artistic nature.
Tomasz Łaptaszyński, independent photographer
Our culture hails from the Mediterranean. We heard it still at school and in spite of reasons given, such as the influence of Antiquity on our literature, art, or law, we lack obvious visual evidence to prove it in our daily life, except for the masterpieces of the so-called high art. Egypt was too far, Greece looked rather towards the East, and Rome stopped on the Rhine, instead of on the Vistula. After all, nobody expects to see a pyramid around the corner, or a Jupiter temple. These simply passed us by.
In the years 2013–2015, I worked on a project “A” designed to demonstrate that, in fact, this view is not entirely true. My photographs will attempt to show that today, when the knowledge of the ancient culture ceased to be the foundation of education, around us are created objects abundantly influenced by the achievements of Antiquity. Most often they are just a caricature, or they display a very minor resemblance and, in most cases, relate to Antiquity only through their form, because their function is quite contemporary. This is why, I confront the viewers with a catalogue of Trojan horses, of columns in all of their styles, sculptures, pyramids and sphinxes parading as hotels, bars, amusement parks, or regional posts of vehicle inspection. Each consecutive photograph shows that Antiquity reached us here, a bit later and somewhat differently than people would generally think, but undoubtedly for real.