The art exhibition from the collection of the Ethnographic Museum of Kraków.
Kazimierz Town Hall, second floor.
This is a story of what art can attain when liberated from academic walls, the limits of artistic styles, and the web of trendy theories.
Instead of a well-organized lecture, we propose a narrative inspired by a poet’s words. This exhibition can be navigated through Czesław Miłosz’s texts from his Unattainable Earth. The volume is not so much a poetry collection as an anthology of Miłosz’s thoughts: poems, translations, notes, maxims – by him and others. They allude to one another; they are separate, yet connected.
Similar principles guided us in designing the exhibition’s major concepts. There are three hundred items on display, created over the centuries. We organised them into eight themes. This way, everyone can experience the imagination of artists from past and present.
Many of them will always remain anonymous. Other artists – those who gained recognition from both collectors and experts – still are unknown to the wider public: Epifan Drowniak – Nikifor, Maria Wnęk, Dorota Lampart, Karol Wójciak – Heródek, Renata Bujak, Katarzyna Gawłowa, Jan Wnęk, Władysław Chajec, Jędrzej Wawro, Bazyli Albiczuk, Ludwik Więcek, Władysław Luciński… Their works create metaphors for the human struggle with fate, they reveal the acute passion of the soul, they open new ways for experiencing the present.
We want this exhibition to be a space for building a personal relationship with art. The objects on display manifest not only the power of artistic expression, but also intimate testimonies to life – of those who created and continue to create this art, who needed and continue to need art. To how many prayers did the saints whose likenesses are presented here respond? To what events were crosses and small chapels witnesses? From what emotions, joys, fears, and tragedies were the sculptures, paintings and collages made and ere still made?
We prepared two versions of the guide for those who want to find out more about the artists, objects and phenomena on display: a printed guide and an electronic guide which can be accessed via tablets available at the Museum. The topics discussed in this guide were selected by the exhibition’s curators. You can use their commentary according to the proposed order of the exhibit or however you wish.
Unattainable Earth is a part of MEK’s permanent collection. It can be visited as a piece of a larger whole and on its own. Admission price is always included in the admission price to the town hall located on Wolnica Square.
The Ethnographic Museum like to express their gratitude to Anthony Milosz for his permission to use the poems of Czesław Miłosz and to Agnieszka Kosińska for her assistance in contacting the Poet's heirs.