Five Musketeers is an exhibition in a laboratory-style – in which we try to mix the alchemical “five elements”, counting on reaching a crystallized awareness of the state of things. Using the opportunity, in this laboratory we would like to touch upon one more sphere of the “art world”
Five Musketeers. Where does the title come from? From an association between two unique, amusing in their own way, considerations.
First of them is the fact that in Polish, as the only one of Slavic languages, the word “art” is feminine and Art is a woman (in other languages it is neuter). Naturally this is a German influence showing through, as we have picked the word “sztuka” (“art”) from that language. Funnily enough we have swapped the gender – the feminine “die Kunst” and “das Stück” became “he” Kunszt (craft) and “she” Sztuka (Art).
The second consideration: Musketeers (the ones from the novel by Alexandre Dumas) though in the king's service, de facto served the queen with passion and devotion. Bearing the risk, though different in character, they were equally dedicated to their service. And in Polish “Art” is the queen.
Eugeniusz Minciel, Lech Twardowski, Mariusz Mikołajek, Krzysztof Skarbek i Przemysław Tyszkiewicz – each of them has decades of experience in serving the art. These years were often filled with sacrifices and tough, persistent struggle in the times and place that are not the most conducive for devoting yourself full-time to artistic activities regardless of circumstances. Especially since art is a ruthless and demanding lady.
Everything else aside, besides the fundamental motive behind this exhibition – the desire to showcase works of five exquisite artist from Wrocław, who agreed to be represented by the City Gallery from this year on, this exhibition in the broader sense, through the clash and comparison of five distinct characters, creative paths and art philosophy, is also conceived as a morality play. Because when choosing our path of life, provided that we decide out of our own free will to take the artistic path, rather than for example politics, business or office, we also make a moral choice. And just like in those performances of medieval morality plays, this exhibition has a structure of mansion stage. Just to remind you, the medieval morality plays were usually staged during village fairs. Carts would makes their way to the market square or somewhere near by. They were called mansion stages: each of them had its own set and had separate stories that were staged in parallel. Sometimes they would merge into a single story, sometimes they deviated, sometimes they were interrupted by interludes in which what was the most important - a tale about man's fate, at that time with a clearly religious, or as some would say spiritual, message - was mixed with a down-to-earth, frequently ribald humour. The audience would move around to follow the story from one mansion stage to another. Sometimes they would ignore the narrative order because after all in the story about man's life not the chronology but the soul is most important. The other thing is that, despite it being difficult to imagine nowadays, the linear perception of time was foreign to most of the Europeans throughout almost the whole of Medieval age. Just like the materialistic approach to being's essence (that is a XVII and XVIII Century invention).
This exhibition is basically is a morality play on the theme of vicissitudes and struggle of man's/artist's soul with art presented across five mansion stages.
curator: Mirosław Jasiński