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In Memory of Stanisław Cichowicz Koji Kamoji, Mirosław Bałka – Crushes

December 21, 2022

Opening: Thursday, December 1st, 2022, 6 pm,

Exhibition open from December 2nd, till January 21st, 2023

Curator: Lech Stangret

The idea of an exhibition dedicated to the memory of Stanisław Cichowicz has a history of several years. After the death of this preeminent philosopher, artist and poet in 2000, his accomplishments were celebrated in multiple forms, but it was Koji Kamoji who spearheaded the commemorative exhibition at Galeria Foksal. The project he outlined was to be an exhibition gathering artists and people who not only valued Cichowicz’s achievements, but had also known him personally and had had the privilege of discussing various topics with him.

From the beginning of work on the exhibition, it was assumed that participation would be spontaneous. Ultimately, after a series of discussions and consultations among those interested, a project was selected which was to consist of two parts: an exhibition of works by two artists (Koji Kamoyi and Mirosław Bałka) and texts, essays and statements about Cichowicz accompanying the exhibited works. It was likewise agreed on that the texts by Wiesław Borowski, Ewa Burska, Stefan Szydłowski, Paweł Polit, Maria Anna Potocka and statements by both artists on the person and oeuvre of Stanisław Cichowicz would not be on display during the show but will be part of a publication accompanying the exhibition.

Undoubtedly, Polish philosophy owes much to Stanisław Cichowicz, both as a translator of twentieth-century French philosophers and as an editor and commentator on their thought. He was fascinated by artists and the works they created, by this Cezanne-like “thinking via images.” It was such a strong feeling that he became an artist himself. Meetings with artists, which in some cases evolved into friendships, opened up new horizons for him. For example, under the influence of Koji Kamoji, he became interested in Japanese culture and haiku poetry. Following the creator-thinker principle, i.e. one must first understand in order to be understood later, he made an effort to learn the history and principles of haiku. In the book, we have included an excerpt from a letter in which Professor Agnieszka Żuławska-Umeda explains to the artist the history, principles and concepts associated with haiku. We publish it along the essay Origami, satori, haiku which gives insight into his reflections, and a short text by Koji Kamoji on this subject.

The joint exhibition by Koji Kamoji and Mirosław Bałka devoted to Stanisław Cichowicz is also a form of expression, one formulated by artists in the language of art. Both authors express themselves in the sparing forms characteristic of their work. The works, while unquestionably unique, seem to complement each other by expanding, through their proximity, the many planes of reference and thus the possibilities of interpretation. We can find in them affiliations both to the person and to the multi-layered work of Stanisław Cichowicz. For those who knew Cichowicz, they will trigger memories of him, for others they will be references to his achievements. If they remain in the viewers’ memory, then the aim of the exhibition, as well as of the entire project, will have been achieved.