Curator: Agnieszka Gołębiewska
We are in a wealthy bourgeois salon.
The salon, formerly so important and known also in Krakow, was a place of representation and socializing, a place to frequent, where the world of business and politics met with the world of art.
It is full of beautiful elegant objects, furniture, textiles and paintings. The artistic aspirations of the household blend with their family heirlooms and historical items.The salon is a stage. The events that occur there are a spectacle in which people from this social class are constantly performing. Gabriela is both the salon’s hostess and the creator of almost all the objects in it. She draws on tradition and plays with history. She is under the spell of this place, but also aware of its representative function and attractive appearance.
We are in Gabriela Rosenzweig’s salon. We are in her dream. The artist takes us on a special journey to the harmonious land of beauty. Immersed in beautiful timelessness, we take in her paintings, textiles, wallpapers and furniture.
Splendid isolation: we will not want to leave these rooms. It’s edel, refined and with a touch of extravagance. This meeting of bohemia and the bourgeoisie is a thing to savour.The artist’s literary inspiration is Buddenbrooks, the great epic family saga by Thomas Mann. Gabriela does not so much recreate their salon as build its artistic atmosphere. It is a place where the escape from the world of daily responsibilities to family and society is afforded by beauty, sometimes naive, idyllic, superficial. Most of the family members see it almost as their class duty, for a few of them it’s the only recourse and a great passion.
The paradox in the title of Gabriela’s exhibition is that everyone – not just in our times – wants to be always treated as a unique individual. But the foundations of bourgeois mentality, even in the wealthiest members of this class, are such values as constancy, obedience and work.
To quote Schopenhauer, whose words serve as the exhibition’s title and who was a strong influence on the young Mann, especially through his The World as Will and Representation: ‘Great mental superiority isolates a person more than does anything else, and makes him hated, at any rate secretly.’The artist fills the salon with her paintings, furniture, textiles and wallpapers. The Persian rug will muffle our footsteps. Here, we will find out if we belong in the salon or in the space outside it. Beauty is certainly alluring.
The exhibition is a presentation of the diploma project completed under the supervision of Professor Andrzej Bednarczyk at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts.