Since 29 June visitors to the City Gallery in Wrocław can experience Małgorzata ET BER Warlikowska’s solo exhibition titled “Toxic Lollypop”. The spaces within the gallery are filled up with paintings, prints and ceramic objects, which are shown alongside pieces made of glass and steel. The display is dedicated to the problem of poverty in its broad sense as opposed to the question of wealth..
The title of the exhibition was inspired by Warlikowska's objection to the photo seen on the Internet, on which a black child shared lollipops with a person who was photographing it. For the artist, the act of giving food of as little nutritious value as sugar on a stick to a hungry boy on one hand became an expression of utmost absurd, on the other provoked reflection on the huge gap between what we really need and what we get instead. According to ET BER, what politics, economy and religion offers us is a completely inadequate response to our real needs, it is just their poor substitute - the eponymous toxic lollipop.
Warlikowska's show explores all meanings of human poverty, from the most common one that is related to material conditions, through social discrimination, and up to the so-called wartime poverty. However, poverty cannot be discussed in isolation from wealth. The artists points outs that these are two sides of the same coin, the two opposing yet complementary forces. Poverty would not exist without wealth or wealth without poverty. Because, as ET BER says, these two worlds inextricably interweave and it is impossible to make unequivocal divisions between what is luxurious and what is cheap and shoddy. Thus, the artist's projects abound in ridiculous combinations of elements referring to both wealth and poverty. However, Warlikowska's monographic exhibition does not offer any synthetic, book-ordered analysis of phenomena of poverty and wealth. The artist leads the viewers through a maze of meanings and references and, instead of driving them into a scientific discourse, allows them to launch an avalanche of free interpretations. Mirosław Jasiński, the curator of the exhibition, writes about it in the following way: "Toxic lollipop" is like the reversal of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It reveals the mirror, by climbing through which we get a chance to at least lick some Normality and Reality after having experienced toxic entanglements and trends of modern times. After all, they remind us of the Wonderland more and more.
The exhibition features painting, print, print on ceramics and glass, ceramic sculptures and three-dimensional objects made of glass and steel.
The exhibition is open until 18 August 2018.
The official opening of the "Toxic lollipop" exhibition will be accompanied by a recital performed by Konrad Imiela and Kuba Suchar.
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: