In a few days, between 20-22 August, the streets of Lublin’s Old Town will fill with traditional culture. We will get acquainted with it not only through music and crafts, but also exhibitions that will bring out the theme of this year’s Jagiellonian Fair or show how traditional culture can inspire us to create new visual forms and narratives.
Tenderly- in the privacy of the instrument maker’s workshop. Dorota Piszczatowska and Piotr Piszczatowski’s photography
This year, the Festival focuses on traditional folk instruments. This exhibition of photography expands on this theme. It presents a subjective selection of photographs taken over many years of visits to instrument makers. Entering their homes and studios, the photographers had the unique opportunity to meet artists inside their own spaces, usually inaccessible to outsiders. The meetings were very cordial.
The photographs take us not only inside the instrument makers’ studios but also let us witness the process of creating the pieces. Its simplicity but at the same time complexity, its personal and subtle character reflected in the eyes of the artists, marked on their faces and hands. It brought about endless tales or a meaningful silence.
The spaces were filled with many hours of painstaking, focused, and painstaking work marked by layers of dust, shavings and cuttings that settles on tools and raw materials waiting for their turn, on nearly finished pieces and on paintings and photographs – personal icons.
Beyond all this, emerged happy, tender eyes that have seen the miracle happen, that have experienced the joy of creation.
Dorota Piszczatowska and Piotr Piszczatowski are the founders and administrators of the website www.targowiskoinstrumentow.pl
When: 19-27 August 2021, 11.00-16.00 , during the Jagiellonian Fair 20-22 August between 11.00-17.00
Where: Workshops of Culture, Grodzka 7 – ground floor
The Other Side – Justyna Sokołowska
The exhibition presents two sets of artworks: “The double-sided History of Jews from Podlasie” and a collection of illustrations for her artist’s book based on The Book of Genesis.
In the works on display, the artist raises the topic of good and evil and the duality of human nature. At the same time, by referring to traditional forms of representation, such as folk art and early Renaissance Dutch paintings, she reflects on contemporary Polish socio-political reality.
The first set of works focuses on the difficult memory of Jewish pogroms during World War II in Podlasie, the artist’s home. Inspired by the design characteristics of the double-warp weaving technique, Sokołowska draws from the traditions of her region and has created six pairs of posters that at first glance seem innocuous and do not immediately reveal their traumatic content. Only after closely examining the images do we begin to understand them. The distinctive feature of double-warp fabrics is that they are made of two interweaving warps of different colours, where one side is the reverse colour of the other. Sokołowska has used the obverse and reverse sides of her “fabrics” to evoke the tragic events from Jedwabne, Bzury, Tykocin, Dzięgiel and Białystok.
The second set consists of black-and-white illustrations for The Book of Genesis showing Biblical scenes and events: the Garden of Eden, the Flood, The Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and crossing the Red Sea. On the one hand, their form hints at masters of early Renaissance Dutch masters, such as Hans Memling and Hieronymus Bosch, on the other – we see references to digital techniques. The works are constructed as triptychs with a dominant centrepiece and narrower side panels. At the same time, in terms of stylistics, the scenes remain strongly modernised. The effect is surprising and fascinating: against a background of tiny “pixels”, the artist places dozens of fantastic details, including figures of small, mostly naked people, bringing to mind paintings of the old masters, cartoons for children and illustrations from adult romance books. Sokołowska deliberately recalls the frenzy of bodies from such works as Memling’s “The Last Judgment” or Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, which for centuries ignited the imagination of viewers and responded to the never-ending thirst for the visual. Sokołowska’s biblical scenes, full of life, passion and the incredible, are a dialogue with tradition and a commentary on carnality as a cultural construct.
At their core, these seemingly unconnected series of Sokołowska’s artworks touch on current universal issues and themes, such as the duality of human nature and their never-ending entanglement in the discourse of power which has always asserted the right to rule over the histories, bodies and the awareness of those who are subject to it.
Justyna Sokołowska – a graduate of the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw and the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw. She primarily focuses on book design. Her graphic design for the book “Złota Różdżka” / “Struwwelpeter” won a distinction in the contest organised by the Fine Arts Academy in Katowice: “The best-designed book. Let’s start with children” and in the contest for The Book of the Year 2017 organised by the Polish Section of IBBY. She is the winner of the 2018 edition of the JASNOWIDZE / Clairvoyants contest. It resulted in the publication of a book with her illustrations “Amadeusz Foczka (ale z głową bobra)” / “Amadeus (the beaver-headed) Seal”. Sokołowska’s illustrations to “The Book of Genesis” won the “Graphic of the Year” award. She has also illustrated books about wolves and werewolves of Europe ( “Wycie w ciemności. Wilki i wilkołaki Europy”) and vampires (“W górach przeklętych. Wampiry Alp, Rudaw, Sudetów, Karpat i Bałkanów”). She has created animated illustrations for the play Woierna Wataha by The Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica. The project “The Doublewarped History of Jews from Podlasie” was accepted for the Main Exhibition at the International Print Triennale 2021 in Cracow.
Exhibition curator: Magdalena Linkowska
When: 12-17 August, 11.00-17.00, during the Jagiellonian Fair 20-22 August between 11.00-18.00, the exhibition is closed during other weekends.
Where: Gardzienice Gallery, Grodzka 5a, 1st floor
The Voice of women in tradition – Katarzyna Zedel
Tradition means both continuity and change. To exist, it needs to be passed down to the next generations who adapt it to new conditions.
In rural communities, women – treasure troves of knowledge and conduits of tradition – have played and continue to play an enormous role in the transmission of cultural values, including music.
For many women of the older generation, life began in a similar way. They were born and from their earliest days grew accompanied by songs sung to them by older women from their family and environment: grandmothers, mothers, sisters, but also neighbours and nurses.
However, singing is not just associated with the intimate contact between a mother and her child, it was also important for the whole community. The everyday, common sound of women singing eased their suffering and allowed them to share their moments of joy. During festivals and celebrations, singing became an important ritual that included everyone in the community.
However, women’s role in traditional music is not limited to singing. Although playing instruments has been described as primarily a “gentleman’s affair”, Poland boasts several examples of outstanding female instrumentalists gifted with a talent for playing instruments such as the violin or accordion. They followed their hearts. They remain wonderful examples of courageously standing up against stereotypes.
The exhibition is dedicated to all those outstanding female artists, singers, and instrumentalists, women who marched through their lives with a song to their steps through childhood, maidenhood, marriage. Those who reached the mature age of prosperity.
Katarzyna Zedel – exhibition curator and author
When: 20-22 August 2021, outdoor exhibition
Where: Po Farze Square
Women in Artur Pastor’s Photography
Artur Pastor was born in 1922 in Alter-do-Chão and died in 1999 in Lisbon. His first contact with photography came when he made photo documentation for his diploma at the Agricultural School in Évora. This event marked the birth of his passion for photography.
In 1953, Pastor began working in the Central Agricultural Inspectorate in Lisbon, where he set up a Photographic Archive. Over the years, he managed a collection of over 10,000 photographs making up the Inspectorate’s Photographic Library. At the same time, he worked with other organisations connected with agriculture and fishing as an author of many publications, including “A Fotografia e Agricultura”.
In the course of his professional activity, Artur Pastor documented various objects and facilities of the Inspectorate. He also photographed official visits and working meetings. This documentation forms part of his diverse collection of photography, in which he focused on portraying the everyday lives of the Portuguese, their customs and costumes, the heritage of Portuguese cities and villages. Artur Pastor took part in many exhibitions and contests and attended national and international photography salons.
In 2021, the Lisbon City Hall purchased Artur Pastor’s estate from his family, including approximately 210,000 of his diverse photographic works. Pastor’s extensive photographic oeuvre (spanning from the 1940s until his death) has been digitised and prepared for display to a broader audience, both in online databases and at several exhibitions. Currently, Artur Pastor’s photography is part of the Lisbon Municipal Archive (Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa).
When: August 2021, outdoor exhibition available at all times. The exhibition is part of The Jagiellonian Fair 2021 (20-22 August)
Where: The Hartwig Alley
The exhibition will be accompanied by the screening of the film “The Landscapes of Artur Pastor”
When: 22 August, 18.30
Where: auditorium, Workshops of Culture, Grodzka 5a
The exhibition has been organised by Workshops of Culture in cooperation with Lisbon City Hall – Municipal Archive.