They smell of fur, they snore, they slurp. They make themselves comfortable in their space, occasionally glancing from under their black-and-white eyelashes. The most important thing is they exist. Everyday life with them, hallowed by the routine of walks. When they lie next to me like this, I imagine a place or a land. There are all sorts of animals there. They have their names, their characters, their tastes. I don’t know exactly which ones, because they are their own, not given by humans. Animals make choices. This is not utopia or paradise, dreamt up during a Blue Monday nap. Rather, the circle of life. And death. Perhaps such a world was created after the “Last Judgement,” where those with horns, hooves, tusks and fur settled their accounts. Probably in concert with other animals. Though perhaps this is already thinking dictated by a habit of anthropomorphisation.
For now, a simple conclusion will suffice – animals want to live. Being able to feel, they are able to play, enjoy, show emotions, build relationships. They feel pain and horror. They are present in so many contexts and at the same time outside the realm of the visible. If they cannot be freed from suffering, they should at least be recognised. The bear in the circus, the Kraków horses, the exploited cow – their fate, once seen, becomes the centre of the performance, it is impossible to escape with your eyes from such an clear perspective.
Flora and fauna. Nature. Forest. Meadow. Animals. Ecology. There are different words, the imagery follows. Expansive compositions rather than minimalist ones focused on individual entities. It is still life – impersonal, subjectless. And there are many friends and strangers out there. Alive and feeling. They are in the sphere of the sacred, they are subjects because these are their homes, their places. They are not made for man and not worth protecting for him. Forgoing imperious gestures of the host is at the same time learning to become a guest, with humility and gratitude. There is no need at all to idealise it in order to dive into the magical realism of life, that which is close, entangled in interspecies dependencies, and that which is at least momentarily safe, hidden from view under moss, litter, somewhere in dense thickets.
Karolina Pikosz

curator: Karolina Pikosz

Start 02.02.2024, 6 pm
3 Gdańska St.
End 16.03.2024

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