The Rose and the Ring

Magdalena Karpińska, Hanna Krzysztofiak, Zbigniew Lengren, Tomasz Mróz, Dominika Olszowy, Zofia Pałucha, Mikołaj Sobczak, TOILETPAPER (Maurizo Cattelan i Pierpaolo Ferrari), Konrad Żukowski

June 15–22, 2019

Główna 51

"The Rose and the Ring” is a fairy tale for children by British writer William Makepeace Thackeray – author of the famous novel "Vanity Fair”, a satirical portrait of English society of the XIX century. Jerzy Gruza is the author of an excellent film adaptation of the book “The Rose and the Ring”, realized in 1987. The film has been often broadcasted in the morning hours, with children audience in mind. A whole generation loved the movie, also because it had all the features of an adult story. It contained plenty of ambiguous allusions and erotic remarks. The castle of Pieskowa Skała and Polish landscape served as the background.

Narrative of every good fairy tale unfolds as a juxtaposition of opposed qualities – good and evil, beauty and ugliness, and strongly accentuated class division into servants and the royalty, common people and the court; disgraceful rulers and righteous slaves. The idyllic exhibition in Petrykozy alludes to the magic and the erotic threads recurring in the fables for grown-ups.

Love is one of the subjects of the exhibition, and the countryside scenery becomes a background for sensual love. Nature is the witness of the love elation in the film by Dominika Olszowy and Tomasz Mróz. Nudity appears in the work of Konrad Żukowski, where the communion with nature can serve as a source of pleasures, as well as a cause of funny and unpredictable events. Anthropomorphic roses follow the viewer with their eyes (TOILETPAPER) while multilayered theatrical scenography by Magdalena Karpińska reveals an unusual climatic occurrence.

Some magic and fabulous objects like a ring or furniture for a dwarf (Tomasz Mróz), animated chandelier in shape of deer’s head (Hanna Krzysztofiak), a mirror (Magdalena Karpińska) and Amor’s arrow (Zbigniew Lengren) complete this theatrical scene.

The landscape of Petrykozy, with its wooden barn, wild nature and proximity of the open-air museum and the Siemion’s mansion serves the bittersweet contemplation of the lost innocence. The painting by Mikołaj Sobczak inspired by a Chinese story depicts a scene when the Emperor Ai, aroused after his nap, prefers to cut a piece of his robe rather than awaken his lover sleeping on him. Sobczak weaves a thread of Polish-Jewish relations into this Chinese fairy tale, shifting the accents of a romantic story into the political and historical direction. In the background wooden cabins are being consumed by the fire.

Exhibition view