Tag Archives: news

“For the world has changed…” (Whilt 14),

Well, it’s been rather an emotional day… wasn’t it?

You don’t have to be a supporter of the 44th President of the US to feel the profoundness of the moment. Personally, I can hardly remember from an experience this very intense joy of witnessing the ‘history in making’; my generation came to ‘power’ of its awareness after the first man has landed on the Moon, after the Cold War has finished and after the Communist monster  has been crushed. Now, something close to magic is going on in the air, some sort of an awaken passion and an inspiration instead of the sleepy  indifference and ‘everything goes’ philosophies; I met students of law, art, philosophy and I spoke to middle-aged taxi-drivers; their eyes sparkled when Barrack Obama’s name was mentioned.

Basically, he is an artist – the new man in charge – the pure-blooded, first-rank artist, whose art is that of a born and charismatic leader – he uses words, his entire persona the way Turner was using watercolours painting his stormy seascapes or Leonardo his oils rendering all those sublime figures hovering somewhere between human and angelic states…He crafts simple messages-concepts into some compelling, wings-giving visions, which both – transcend their time and space,  yet – draw their power from a deep respect and a concern for the ‘real’ and the ‘present’.

He is also a very classical type – I would say the Old Master, being only at the dawn of his challenging way. Just look at the Inauguration Ceremony – musicians and poets delivering the messages of beauty and integrity (all great leaders had used art to ennoble their position and visions), priests preaching (as – traditionally – the spiritual power meets and supports the political might)… And him – surrounded by all those brilliant outfits, velvet curtains and ancient symbols (Lincoln’s Bible and inspiration) – displaying impeccable manners and the air of authority, which only his inborn and greatly cultivated aristocracy of the spirit could have made to look so natural…

Everything about him is so stylish that he is already a myth – just see his icon-portrait done for the campaign’s sake. This Warhol-esque piece of the contemporary design (difficult to say ‘art’) is already a ‘pop-celebrity’ on its own – I guess Baudrillard has his sweet satisfaction in the other life seeing his magic of ‘simulacra’ realised. I’ve seen recently an exhibition -like event with this poster on the view – the modern Mona Lisa with the crowds swelling around it in order to get closer and have a shot taken… Crazy ? – rather not…

For the world has changed and we must change with it (Inauguration Speech) – change, hope, responsibility, virtue, freedom, courage, curiosity, honesty – time to assess the past rigidly and leave it, time for a change – because the world is not the same any more. Let’s treasure these moments, no matter what will come sooner or later. They’re quite rare and they may define years and epochs to come… Also, for an art-world, also for you as an artist if you’ll choose to. We live in the great times, despite all the appearances – let’s teach ourselves to inspire others, to re-inspire ourselves…


Land that plane on Hudson…(Whilt 13)

Peter Bruegel, Landschaft mit dem Sturz des Ikarus, c. 1560, oil on canvas

(The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project.)

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I hope it will leak to the everyday language as a form of a proverb/saying, just the way : “Cross your Rubicon” is…

“Land that plane on Hudson…” – would mean – do attempt nearly impossible, and not merely ‘attempt’, but do this in the best possible way; and do this now, each minute counts …

As many of you, I’ve been following the crush landing on Hudson river (from 15th Jan. 2009) with the growing amazement. What emerged as a perfect ‘news’ story of a drama, heroism and ‘happy ending’ (bet – the movie-makers already have the scripts of a blockbuster ready in their heads) continues to stupefy and will keep, I guess, in years to come. In our neurotically disintegrated reality of conflicting meanings and shaky values – a man in charge does just the right thing in just the right way – something that keeps us open-mouthed would be called merely ‘a routine fulfillment of duty’ a hundred years ago.

And I cannot help marveling at the sheer beauty of that landing (now available online from all major broadcasters) – the art of flying, the art in itself embodied – just the only way it was meant to be in technical terms, but it comes very close to the sublime quality,  considering all the circumstances (just imagine – that so simply- looking, smooth, controlled, successful dive is still regarded as nearly impossible to achieve by experts)…

Looking at that comparatively small, white ‘bird’ falling off the sky so beautifully and dramatically, with the world ‘watching’ around helplessly – I thought about the Icarus’s poignant story – a boy, who wanted to be closer to the sun, and fell of the sky in the waters – no one has ever paid any attention (as Breugel’s great vision form above captures it; just try to find Icarus…), just as it remains mostly unshaken by one or another dreamer being crushed to death (social, cultural, personal, economical, actual defeat) due his/her daring pursue to get closer to the sun…

Yet, it’s all worth to try – and to try in the best possible way, there is – as Capt. Sullensberger’s example shows…

And this is what I have learned today (Whilt)…

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Polish Theatre gets the clapping!

I just couldn’t miss this great opportunity to dive in the memories of my family town – Krakow (‘Cracow’ as it is misspelled sometimes).

The annual,  intensely energetic festival of theatrical performances – the “Divine Comedy” hosted by Krakow’s stages has made the arts news in the Irish leading newspaper. In the recent edition of the “Irish Times” Peter Crawley reports from Poland in all the acclaiming terms, tinting the relation with a bit of jealously (‘why something similar cannot be done here, in Ireland?’ – one can read between the verses).

To emulate the success of the cultural event is equally difficult like – I guess, to gamble if a transplant will be accepted by the ‘mother’-body or not. In Krakow, as far as I can remember, there were at least three major national theaters (independent companies) functioning all year long and few minor ones – all employing the set of full-time and excellently prepared professionals – actors, directors, stage design artists and so on. To be a respected theatre personality in Poland has meant to be more than the talented painter, even some of the writers didn’t get the same devotion; some of the poets only (mainly Nobelists and other great-s) would equal or surpass the actors and directors on the Pantheon of the ‘moral’ and ‘existential’ guides. The most famous academies for the future ‘theatre people’ have got the magic aura around them; fine art centers only rarely could have matched them in the sky-high level of the artistry in their principles and the artworks produced.

Above that, Poland’s social, political and cultural life has been always evolving around the drama-comedy sweet-sour swing – it’s been full of a struggle, bloodshed, brain-washing, oddities and bizarre elements, hate and vanity – a bit like in Ireland, yet – in Poland there is ten times more hands to meet the challenge of becoming a professional playwright or a performer. Adding to it the long tradition and the comparatively recent excitement with the ‘showing Europe who we are’ (Poland joined the EU in 2005) – and you got a high-quality international festival, prepared and ‘powered’ mostly by the young generation and – what’s important – getting the claps!

Well done Krakow. Looking forward to hear more good news.

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Read the original article here.


Metamorphoses, little changes, make-up…

As my loyal readers have probably noticed, this site is undergoing little changes, metamorphoses, make-up – however you can put it.

These activities are basically inspired by my new ‘more commercial approach’ (read my latest post about it) towards art in general and this blogging in particular. I’ve just become aware that this art-devoted blog has no ‘art’ or ‘blog’ word in its name, and that I mention the subject only vaguely on the ‘mother-page’. Consequently, most of my readers keep ‘bumping’ into this site by an accident, lured by images or ‘names’, catch-phrases (not always art-related) that I’ve used. Well, cannot be otherwise – can it? Who, after all, would associate “Terra Incognita” with ‘art’, ‘art studying’, ‘art reflection’ etc.? And why it took me so long to get it???

I write for people, who would appreciate fully the issues being addressed here. And I need them, their critique and opinions to develop. That’s why I put “ART NEWS” subtitle to the mother “TERRA INCOGNITA” name. The “News” is a powerful catch-word – it belongs to the most popular tags in the WordPress  – blog-world (beside LIFE, POLITICS and others), and generally – searching engine-wise. It corresponds well with the design of my page (I chose it among others due to it simple, newspaper-like appeal) and, hopefully, it will motivate me to keep my writing fresh, concise, animated, revealing – just like the good news are.

I’m going also to change my image-header (I intend it to be like a ‘logo’ for my latest artwork, therefore – adequate changes will be adopted). What will not change? – well TERRA INCOGNITA and its main author – Katarzyna Skonieczna will, hopefully, stay the same, in its general policies and the ethos that animates them…

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