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//Maurycy Gomulicki. Bibliophilia//

Maurycy Gomulicki. Bibliophilia

The catalogue contains texts by the artist and the curator and 16 reproductions of the works from the Bibliophilia series.

This photographic series, first presented as an exhibition at MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, combines the enjoyment of reading with erotic delight (library plus girls). Gomulicki’s librarians are full of sex appeal. They are the artist’s friends and acquaintances, ravishing young girls who devote themselves to reading Freud, Bataille, Warhol or Różewicz whilst wearing a swimsuit. This can be interpreted as the author’s projection, a creative transformation of the author’s sexual fantasies into the language of art. But it would appear that there is more to such a politically incorrect juxtaposition, which many consider absurd.
If I may put this in somewhat highfalutin terms, we are concerned with a vision of the library, a vision of culture represented by the library. For Gomulicki, a library is – both metaphorically and literally – a space of the unexpected, of both emotions and encounters; a source of inspiration, wild excesses and adventures, and, last but not least, of initiation. Such an appealing vision of a library might be contrasted with the conceptual – which is to say, devoid of passion – projects present in modern art, of such artists as Candida Höffer, Martha Rosler or Nicolas Grospierre. Gomulicki’s Bibliophilia is a passionate reinterpretation of the phenomenon of the library, created and exhibited in an epoch which is radically unsympathetic to libraries.


*Fragment from Adam Mazur’s Library Plus Girls, which appeared in the catalogue of the exhibition.

Bibliophilia
or: The Temptations which Lurk amongst Books*

This entire project revolves around my grandfather, Juliusz Wiktor Gomulicki, and his book collection – the library of a humanist and a wayward spirit, an aficionado of curiosities and a ladies’ man. Books were truly set the stage for my childhood – for the first six years of my life, I lived in a place piled floor-to-ceiling with books, often in double rows. For the next thirty plus years, I was an almost daily visitor there, treating my library as a resource and a backdrop for letting my imagination roam; a place of manifold initiations. The smell of dust and daydreaming about girls coexist perfectly in my consciousness. To this day, whenever I see pornographic photographs with books in the background, I find myself trying to make out the titles along the shelves instead of concentrating on the ecstatically writhing bodies. Books are not only the knowledge contained therein – for me, they are primarily a source of pleasure. The books and women in my life have become as much triggers for my fantasies as the conduits of their fulfilment. My life story is full of female writers and female readers.

Maurycy Gomulicki, Mexico DF, 26.2.2011

*Fragment of Bibliophilia, or: The Temptations which Lurk amongst Books, which appeared in the catalogue of the exhibition.

Maurycy Gomulicki. Bibliophilia

language of publication: Polish and English
texts by: Maurycy Gomulicki, Adam Mazur
translation: Anda MacBride
graphic design, DTP: Rafał Sosin
publication date: 2011

The catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition:
Maurycy Gomulicki. Bibliophilia
MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
20 May 2011–8 September 2011
curator: Adam Mazur
co-ordinator: Katarzyna Wąs

Out of print