Z Archiwum artysty 1. „Ja, Bruno Schulz” i „Dom mojego ojca”
I, Bruno Schulz and Home of My Father
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An acclaimed sculptor residing in Rome and Warsaw describes his two works: I, Bruno Schulz (photograph on the cover of this issue) and Home of My Father: “The suitcase I used for I, Bruno Schulz belonged to my parents who came from Lwów, and in 1945, after the Second World War, reached Warsaw, i. a. via Kraków, my birthplace. It was kept in a storage cupboard together with other concealed ‘treasures’ until the winter of 1982, when, during the martial war period, I turned it for the first time into an art object. The impulse came from a photograph I discovered amidst a sizeable collection of photographs of my parents from the time of their courtship: young and beautiful, together with friends, captured in assorted fun situations, and radiating joie de vivre. The mood of one of photographs, however, drew my attention: in it my father looks at his family home in Kulparkowska Street, bombed in 1939. From that moment home and suitcase merged into a single image: I envisaged the house as a cardboard suitcase concealing in its interior my parents’ youth together with the Eastern Borderlands and the fragrance of Bruno Schulz’s ‘cinnamon shops’, which at the time came alive with such special force. Thus, opening the suitcase I came across the large eyes of Bruno Schulz evoking the Holocaust of that world. This, however, was not the end of the history of the suitcase. In 1986 I restored its utilitarian function by taking it with me while leaving for Rome. The fact that every so often it changed from a useful object into an objet d’art, and vice versa, is the reason that it functions as an ontologically questionable object, as if it originated from the ‘Schulzian prop room’. Several of my works refer more or less directly to its ‘contents’. One of them is Home of My Father, an installation I created ten years later upon the basis of the photograph, with a dismantled miniature home bringing to mind a birdhouse due to its small size and applied material as well as the fact that it stands on a sizeable pole supported by bricks. The resultant entity creates a configuration maintained in a state of ‘unstable balance’, and produces the impression that a stronger breeze could smash it in into pieces. Naturally, the pole could be just as well a pilgrim’s staff”.
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