From December 8 to January 11, the City Gallery in Wrocław invites the viewers to the exhibition titled “Schrödinger's Cat. Facing Tradition”. The exhibition is a collective presentation of artists associated with Wrocław, whose work revolves around their attitude towards tradition.[/b]
The starting point for the exhibition is the concept of tradition, which was included by making a reference to the famous thought experiment in quantum physics, carried out by a Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. The main protagonist of the experiment was a cat, who paradoxically turns out to be simultaneously both alive and dead during the study. The experiment illustrates the problem of applying principles of quantum mechanics in reference to everyday life.
There are five artists involved in the exhibition. They all have diverse artistic achievements, different ages and experience tradition differently. They also were or still are associated with Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts. The display features Kasia Kmita’s paper cutouts and stickers; animal mosaics and glass disks by Miroslaw Kociński, Przemysław Lasak's ceramic sculptures alongside Kazimierz Pawlak's glass spatial forms, as well as Natalia Tarnawa's textile prints. All artists represent completely distinct points of view, separate spaces and experiences of the archaic, as well as various media and techniques.
As its underlying concept “Schrödinger's Cat. Facing Tradition” exhibition juxtaposes artistic differentiation with two seemingly distant fields of human activity - science and tradition (especially tradition in art). Tradition is part of each newest discovery of contemporary science. While creating new trends it refers to the existing ideas which have been determining the nature of contemporary art for decades. What’s more, tradition shifts the achievements of art towards the achievements of exact sciences - the theory of perception, behavioural psychology, biology, and physics.
The exhibition involves an additional factor characteristic of European culture and its traditions. It is about absorbing motifs and elements from cultures which, even though they are not European, still fit in European logic and style. The artists have taken over some themes from foreign cultures and created their pieces either in a form of motifs and ornaments, or just by using some specific methods of imaging. Graphic works by Natalia Tarnawa provide an excellent example here, as they feature ornaments typical of Central Asian carpets, or Przemysław Lasak’s ceramic objects, which in turn bring to mind ancient figures from Mesopotamia or Egypt. All artworks presented at the exhibition engage in a dialogue with traditional motifs.
Today, we live in a time when – as in Schrödinger's experiment, artworks for which the tradition is a dead co-exist alongside those which try to revive it.
Paradoxically, artistic freedom results in killing the tradition, thus pieces by old masters lose their sense and meaning. On the other hand, the art that is created both refers to tradition and – apparently – draws from it a wave of ideas and meanings that seemed to be long buried. Thus, a conclusion can be reached that today's art is on the one hand a box with a cat which is alive, while on the other a box with a dead cat.
The exhibition is curated by Mirosław Jasiński.
Photos from the opening:https://www.facebook.com/pg/galeria.miejska/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1535260973216977
Video from the opening: