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//Wisława Szymborska. Collages// – second edition

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Wisława Szymborska. Collages – second edition

Wisława Szymborska. Collages – second editionThe catalogue presents a less-known part of the poet's work: postcard-size collages, which had been sent to her friends over many years. The texts on these minimalist compositions have been written by Małgorzata Baranowska, Maria Anna Potocka, Michał Rusinek. The catalogue also includes an interview with Ryszard Krynicki. The publication comprises nearly 150 photographic reproductions of Wisława Szymborska's works.

The first ones [collages] were made in the late 1960s and early 70s. Szymborska claimed that she had taken up the technique because she was unable to find nice postcards, and decided to make some of her own. ‘Please don’t visit me for a few days because I’m going to be an artist,’ she would tell her friends once a year, in early November. This was not an expression of a sudden withdrawal of hospitality or onset of inspiration which required isolation from the world. The reasons were quite practical: all over her flat, the floor was scattered with cut-outs from newspapers and magazines, which she used to make collages that she called wyklejanki, or ‘cut-and-paste cards’. She made such pictorial compositions every year, for over 40 years.

Excerpt from Michał Rusinek's essay On Understanding the Cut-and-Paste Cards

The cut-and-paste cards are works of art in their own right. Some may find fault with them for a modesty unworthy of art or for their levity. But such an approach no longer makes sense today. Nowadays, no one knows for certain what a work of art should look like. Nor are works of art any longer considered instruments for inciting sublime sentiments. Recognising ‘something’ as a work of art is now based on the relationship between that ‘something’ and its maker. If we are dealing with an object whose function is to enhance the personality and activate individual methods of cognition, an object using a private language and generating a kind of dialogue with itself, an object turning certain reflections into external objects and thereby enabling one to look at oneself from a distance – then we can recognise it as a work of art. Creating works of art serves the enhancement of oneself. It is an internal contract.2 The personality lends justification to the work of art; the work of art becomes a means of glimpsing into the personality. Not all artists whose works meet the above criteria have given any thought to the ‘classification of the act’. Thus, some art has been created which its very makers did not call art. Nevertheless, the world of culture has become fascinated by such creative output. Quite serious arguments have been advanced in support of such a state of affairs.

Excerpt from Maria Anna Potocka's essay Serious Poetry, Unserious Poetry and Cut-and-Paste Cards

texts by: Małgorzata Baranowska, Ryszard Krynicki, Maria Anna Potocka, Michał Rusinek
language of publication: polish and english
translation: Jerzy Juruś
graphic design, DTP: Rafał Sosin
number of pages: 200
format: 170 x 230 mm
ISBN 978-83-65851-31-4 
publication date: 2019

The catalogue has been published accompany the exhibition:
Wisława Szymborska Collages
curator: Maria Anna Potocka
Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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