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Trafostacja Sztuki w Szczecinie ul. Świętego Ducha 4 Wto-Czw & Nie / Tue-Thu & Sun 11:00-19:00 Pt-Sob / Fri-Sat 11:00-21:00
Logo TRAFO

NAGROBKI
MACIEJ SALAMON
& ADAM WITKOWSKI
I WANT TO BELIEVE
IN NOTHING

curator: Stanisław Ruksza

co-ordinator: Anna Sienkiewicz-Rogaś

EVENT DATES

Thu 04 Apr 2024
19:00
exhibition opening
birthday concert of Nagrobki
Fri 05 Apr 2024 —
Sun 26 May 2024
exhibition
Sat 18 May 2024 —
Sat 18 May 2024
18:00
wstęp wolny

NOC W TRAFO 2024

See also

The new exhibition of the band Nagrobki (Maciej Salamon and Adam Witkowski), has been created on the occasion of the decade of their intense presence on the Polish art scene. The duo have operated at the intersection of music, visual arts and theater. On the last day of 2023, they wrapped up 10 years of their activity: We have officially released 8 different types of albums, and we have not released at least 3 (with theater music). That gives an average of 0.00219298 released albums per day and 0.00082237 unreleased albums per day. We played 255 concerts and theater performances, which gives an average of 0.06990132 performances per day. We published one book, or 0.00027412 books per day. As Nagrobki, we opened 3 individual exhibitions and participated in at least 4 collective exhibitions – 0.00191886 exhibitions per day. 

 Nagrobki use minimal resources to the maximum way. The exhibition juxtaposes Maciej Salamon’s monumental composition of The Last Judgment, filled with necropolis iconography of death and the inevitability of today’s apocalyptic premonitions and fears (including ecological or socio-political ones), with the group’s latest painting and site-specific works created for the show at TRAFO. They are complemented by a new musical interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima.

The visual aspect of the group is revealed through obsessive references to the subject and iconography of death, contemporary reinterpretation of vanitas motif, and the design mixing Thanatos-related and funerary imagery. However, visual references to death are not just an addition to music, but they point to a deliberately shaped relationship between particular works and emphasize paradoxical vitality of death!

The band sometimes use the term “nekropolo” in reference to their activities. This is another side of the topos of the Polish Thanatos: the medieval tradition of dance macabre, equating all social strata, or the poetry of Józef Baka.

Nagrobki, however, cannot be limited to the convention of cabaret. As Francis Picabia once wrote in his Manifeste Cannibale Dada: Death is a serious matter. After all, black humour, abundantly used by Nagrobki has a strong existential foundation, and the Dadaist, low-cost DIY strategy highlights fragility and contingency of life. Adam Witkowski emphasized in one of the interviews: I think that everything here is spoken without irony, only simplicity of the words we use determines the ironic impression. What is really ironic is the fact that avoiding the subject of death is a norm in contemporary Western Culture. At the same time, one of the contemporary paradoxes of the social status of death is its characteristic media ubiquity and simultaneous tabooization. In the post-Internet era, new media have enabled the ludic spectacle of death on an unprecedented scale.

Does it make sense to see life from the deadly perspective? On the other hand, can you stop it, if you once started? Thoughts about death cannot be stopped; this reflection is fundamental, and it dominates any other perspective. Awareness of death constantly accompanies a thinking man, marking the future life with absurd, or leading to reconciliation with the inevitable (amor fati). As Socrates supposedly said: For I deem that the true votary of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men; they do not perceive that he is always pursuing death and dying. (Platon, Fedon)

There is no other way than death: And if we are honest, we know where we are going – for our entire life we are going towards the cemetery – but we usually do not admit it to ourselves. Because we are sure that we are going nowhere else but towards death, and because we know what it means, we try to master all possible ways of distracting this recognition, and that is why – if we look more closely – we see nothing in this world but people busy distracting ourselves – constantly and perpetually. This mechanism, which is the fundamental mechanism for all of us, weakens and accelerates our journey towards death. […] All these people, whoever they may be, are moved by the mechanism distracting thought about death, which comes anyway. Everything in a human being is a distraction of thoughts about death. (Thomas Bernhard, TAK)