temporary exhibition

Printers and Romances

  • 7 October–11 December 2022
  • curators: Maria Marszałek, Marta Smolińska

opening: 7 October 2022, 18.00

The "Printers and Romances" exhibition accompanies the Year of Polish Romanticism, i.e. the bicentenary of the publication of Adam Mickiewicz’s volume of poetry with the famous Ballads and Romances at Józef Zawadzki’s printing house in Vilnius. Zawadzki’s company released works in the spirit of Enlightenment, with ambitions to explore and describe the world. In 1822, he also published a literary bomb – Mickiewicz's debut. The historical artifacts presented at the exhibition are being confronted with works by contemporary artist Piotr Bosacki. The dilemma between feeling and believing and the eye and the glass featured in the Romanticism ballad proves to be surprisingly current. 

In his work "Retina in vitro", Bosacki comments on Romanticism from the point of view of fluid Świteź-like (post)modernity. It invites us to reflect on transformations in knowledge production, print technology, universal literacy and philosophy of language which are already taking place or which we are just sensing. Nineteenth-century proponents of progress believed that the development of sciences would bring universal happiness. Perhaps in two hundred years we will be considered equally naive.

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