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Magdalena Mazik //Creative Approach to Life//

Magdalena Mazik Creative Approach to Life

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK was founded in the 21st century. At the same time it has been the first museum of art in Poland since 1945 that was built from scratch. In terms of its programme, MOCAK looks back at the previous century and thanks to the permanent exhibition – Mieczysław Porębski's Library – the historical horizon of the MOCAK Collection consists of the generation which started creating Polish culture after the war. However, the Museum's programme cannot be fitted into a rigid chronological framework, since the borders of contemporaneity, as Porębski wrote, cannot be clearly delineated. Nevertheless, they should be subject to reflection.

By reading the 11th issue of MOCAK Forum you can learn about the direction of the Museum's programme explorations concerning Leon Chwistek (1884–1944), Marian Eile (1910–1984), Roman Ingarden (1893– 1970) and Mieczysław Porębski (1921–2012). The artistic and intellectual biographies of these men in the context of the Museum's activities and schemes are presented in the introductory article by the director Maria Anna Potocka.

The main part of the magazine comprises articles which undertake to reinterpret the ideas of MOCAK's Four Greats. In this spirit, Anna Olszewska writes about Mieczysław Porębski's idea in the era of computer, whereas Sebastian Stankiewicz analyses the perspectives of Roman Ingarden's aesthetics, Karol Chrobak sheds light on Leon Chwistek's work, while Paweł Panic – on the column Franciszek i inni edited by Marian Eile. We also succeeded in bringing back MOCAK's Four Greats as subjects of conversations once again. Interviews and memories reveal how smooth the passage from individual memory to history, the transformation of private into public sphere are. In the magazine Władysław Stróżewski talks about Roman Ingarden, Mieczysław Czuma about the weekly magazine Przekrój and Krystyna Czerni reminisces about her co-operation with Mieczysław Porębski. Jerzy Porębski, the Professor's son and author of the arrangement of Mieczysław Porębski's Library at MOCAK, has also been invited to contribute to the issue.

We hope that reading the magazine will inspire you to look anew at Krakow, the secondary hero of this issue. A walk, facilitated by our educational insert – the Ingardens' Krakow map – might be an opportunity to do so. In the text by Anna and Mateusz Ingarden, which accompanies the map, you can see the familiar places from the angle of people who were connected with them.

The shape of the current issue of MOCAK Forum is a result of a reflection on the role of an individual, possibilities of creatively influencing the reality and its image, which can be reconstructed on the basis of traces left in the archives. An expression of this archival reversal, but also the tension between word and image are visual essays prepared by artists. Łukasz Trzciński takes a look at the photographs by Roman Ingarden, while Andrzej Tobis reveals the workshop behind his conceptual and photographic project A–Z.

The part concerning MOCAK's activities explores the already indicated motifs in a series of interviews: psychoanalyst Bartosz Puk talks about overcoming clichés in education and the role of imagination, Robert Kuśmirowski talks about the benefits from the past, while the curators of the exhibition Poland – Israel – Germany: the Experience of Auschwitz (MOCAK, 15.05–31.10.2015), Delfina Jałowik and Jürgen Kaumkötter address the problem of representation of memory.

The issue is completed with a range of statements by the participants of the exhibition Artists from Krakow: The Generation 1980–1990. A separate text is dedicated to Ryszard Krynicki's visual poem G, whose reprint was published by MOCAK last year. The poem is a kind of private vengeance on the system taken by the poet at the turn of 1960s and 70s with scissors, wrapping paper and words cut out from newspapers, which were full of propaganda. One can say, this issue of MOCAK Forum is also about the power of collage and creative cutting through the present/past.

Happy reading!

Translation: Joanna Wadas