Curator: Agnieszka Gołębiewska
Australia began to emerge on Adam Rzepecki’s map about two years ago. We can now say: Almost in a different world.
At that time it was to be an exhibition about choosing a different perspective, looking through someone else’s eyes.
About beauty and mystical quests.
Today it also becomes a story about our topsy-turvy world.
What are dreams of distant lands? And why do we look at the stars?
On the one hand, Kundera’s ‘Life is elsewhere’ is the idealisation of otherness, of faraway places, of being not-here, where it’s apparently always better. But other worlds are also Lem’s famous ‘mirrors.’ Do we seek otherness and we are ready for it or do we merely look for mirrors to see our reflections, and it is impossible to put yourself in someone’s shoes?
Because every person is a world unto themselves, a subject that Adam Rzepecki’s Australia also addresses.
Thus Australia, nearly the end of the world, and, more exactly, the Australian sky. A mythical faraway land, ‘at the bottom’ of the globe for us. Hic sunt leones. People walk upside down there. Australia and other ‘Australias’, symbols of otherness, but also our dreams and distant, occasionally near-impossible plans. Our knowledge of it is sometimes scant. Each of us has to find his or her yellow brick road. What will you ask about? What will you see? What path will you choose and where will it take you?
Adam Rzepecki makes heaven on earth for us. Although heaven is for everyone, we look into it so rarely. The eternal silence of these infinite spaces has always interested and terrified us, as it did Pascal. And the artist has looked into them for some time now. What will he enable us to see? Or rather, what will we see beneath our feet?
Since his earliest photographic experiments in the 1970s, the artist has been interested in the point of view adopted by us, on which so much depends, and a critical attitude towards the medium in which we usually put too much trust.
As with photography, once the ultimate authenticator, we nowadays trust the ubiquitous online videos and the applications that make it possible to view them. Fact must be supported by a photograph or film. But it’s enough to want to look differently, from another angle, to change the lens, and what we will often see then is a completely different object, one with a different ‘truth’. Hence Adam’s idea to look further and deeper in his artistic experiments.
So it’s the Australian sky beneath our feet. A sky to walk and tread on. The Artist’s perversity at its most poignant. The concept of the exhibition and our conversations from nearly two years ago. And then Australia is burning. It may still be burning, but we are too busy to ask about it anymore. Paris’s Notre Dame is also ablaze, and soon fire, real as well as symbolic and virtual, engulfs the whole world. Perhaps it has always been there; it’s just that we have not trained our lens on it and have not posed the question. Climate change and the deterioration of social climate.
And so we are here. It’s December 2020. Incidentally, one week after Adam Rzepecki’s 70th birthday. In the second wave of the pandemic that has turned our life upside down. Everything is the other way round. Everything is different. It is new and unknown, as though our horizon were covered with a strange, Australian sky. Consequently, the exhibition goes against the grain too.
Adam Rzepecki has reversed the polarity of our perspective. He has once again changed the poles of established thoughts.
A sky on the floor and to tread. Is this at last a heaven for everyone? The starry heavens beneath me?
So what is there within us?