04.09 – 09.11.2008
Big Boys Games /
This exhibition is an attempt to show the absurdity of war in an unprecedented manner – without pathos, reference to historical fact or categorical judgments. For all that the subject of the trauma of war is strongly present in today’s artistic discourse, the works presented at this exhibition approach it in a singular fashion – they represent the tragedy of armed conflict while evading easy moralization, identification with victims, or glorification of the figure of the soldier.
Aggression is compared to a senseless game; it becomes the theme of an artistic prank. The artists do not subscribe to national-patriotic mythologies – through the use of irony, they strip them of their loftiness, rather. At the same time they try to answer the question: where do the fascination with aggression, the military aesthetic, the figure of the soldier, games of war and the facile division into “the good guys” and “the bad guys” come from? Do they stem from pressures exerted by culture and media when promoting a particular image of masculinity? Or perhaps the tendency toward aggression exists within us from childhood?
Artists: Olaf Brzeski, Edward Dwurnik, Grupa Azorro, Grupa Łódź Kaliska, Władysław Hasior, Jerzy Kosałka, Paweł Kowalewski, Tomasz Kozak, Zbigniew Libera, Robert Maciejuk, Jerzy Stajuda, Jerzy Truszkowski, Włodzimierz Jan Zakrzewski