Henryk | So Long As Never
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So Long As Never

Filip Rybkowski

18.03.2016 – 05.04.2016

As long as there’s sun / As long as there’s rain / As long as there’s fire / As long as there’s me / As long as there’s you

Where are we now?, David Bowie (2013)

The French historian of the Romantic Era, Jules Michelet, in his Great History conceputalised the French Revolution as a drama of Romantic transcendence. His contemporary, Tocqueville, categorised it in terms of ironic tragedy. Neither had more extensive knowledge of the facts recorded in the sources. Each only envisioned differently the series of events that came to be known as the Revolution. Both perspectives, despite their evident differences, gathered followers and became equally plausible. Hayden White explained the process in his essay “The Historical Text as Literary Artifact: The historians shared with their audiences certain preconceptions about how the Revolution might be emplotted, in response to imperatives that were generally extra-historical, ideological, aesthetic, or mythical.

Pierra Nora, In one of his numerous essays on the subject, formulates a programme for the analysis of different sites of memory (lieux de memoire). Nora conceives of sites of memory as depositories of the past. They share the same characteristics: they are a property of particular social groups and guard some or other collectively significant values (concepts, norms, behavioural patterns). Etienne Francois and Hagen Schulz concede that A site [of memory] is metaphorical; it is, literally, a topos. A site, however, is not construed as a finite entity, on the contrary, it is a section of some real, social, political, cultural, or imaginary space.

So Long As Never is Filip Rybkowski’s second individual presentation. The exhibition is constructed as a sequence of objects reminiscent of certain historical artifacts, sites of memory. The architectures of these artworks is left open; the viewer transformed into both the material and the maker, a negotiator of meanings. The ‘uninscription’ becomes a provocation; the objects – a topos. The question of meaning – opens.

Curator: Aleksander Celusta