Natalia Brandt, Natalia Czarcińska, Diana Fiedler, Mikołaj Garstecki, Anna Goebel, Jerzy Hejnowicz, Valeriia Ianichek, Paweł Kaszczyński, Jarosław Kozłowski, Ewa Kulesza, Hanna Łuczak, Andrzej Pepłoński, Mikołaj Poliński, Paweł Polus, Alicja Rybkowska, Jarosław Szelest, Dorota Tarnowska-Urbanik
In typography, PETIT is a small eight-point size of the printing font, which is used for the content of “lesser” weight, on the margins of what is “important.” They hide the seemingly trivial footnotes and didaskalia, or risky content written in tiny print like in banking documents…
In the column “Notes Printed in Petit” from the collection titled “Calendar cards,” Kornel Makuszyński recalls how he found, in a non-representative corner of the newspaper, a message printed in petit:
“A dancer of an unknown name shot herself in a cafe. The large audience gathered in the premises did not notice anything, the jazz band drowned out both the sound of the shot and the fall of the dead body.“
And although experience teaches us that size is only loosely correlated with value, every day
big = important and bigger = better
Since 1970, in the officially applicable (?) Standard of typographic units of the Didot system, in accordance with PN -70/P-55010, the largest font is 48 point SQUARE. Used to print titles. Garamond or Cicero is best for content…
The concept of the exhibition presenting works, often small in size, sketches, first approximation of the concept or barely a thought… would it better convey the title referring to the smallest size? Maybe a four-point DIAMOND or a three-point BRILLANT?
“The Brillant is too small. We’d better write it in PETIT or even a larger font.”
/Cit. Jacek Mrowczyk, A Small Typographic Dictionary/
The most famous equation of the world – in its simplified variant – E=mc2, has become a significant part of mass culture with all its consequences. We all know it, hardly anyone understands it. I humbly admit – I belong to the group of the ignorant. We know – Einstein, 1905, theory of relativity, the principle of equivalence of mass and energy, and more precisely – “energy” equals “mass” multiplied by a square of constant speed of light (in vacuum). As a result – the atomic bomb…
If we assume that in the field of art the equivalent of “energy” is the suggestiveness of the message, power of influence, and “mass” are the physical properties of the medium, the aspect of its material measurability – size, weight – the consequence of substituting these values in the equation would be an alternative – or work, the larger, the better… or
The solution would be to go beyond the unproductive digressions about big – small, better – worse and to perceive reality as it is – neither big nor small, neither good nor bad. In Mahayana Buddhism, this non-valued way of perceiving is expressed through the term tathata. This word is the root of the word Tathagata and means “He who came in this way.” Gautama Shakyamuni used this term to refer to himself. In a broader sense, it also translates as “the one who is like that.” The word is the equivalent of this term
Funny. When the world is missing in its entire width and height, the smallest objects that are on the periphery of this wide and high world become central and extremely deep.
(Jarosław Mikołajewski, In Hospital, Austeria, Krakow 2018)
One of my favorite writers and essayists Tomasz Wiśniewski, whose characteristic form is short, concise texts combining humor with horror, used in one of his stories the phrase “crucial commentary.” Intuition suggests that it may be a suitable title for a few thoughts, short sentences on the margins of the PETIT exhibition, invitation to which was accepted by artists representing various media, forms of expression and languages of artistic articulation.
Comment 1, or didaskalia for the PETIT exhibition
17 artists, empty (?) gallery space, white walls and small-scale works, modest (?), notes, fragments (?), flashcards. Works on paper, works with and without text, works prepared for the exhibition, and those found in the archive; works in petit version and scale and those that play with this scale.
Yes, I write something in a calendar where there is no more space, so diagonally, on the margins of the margins. And I only do it for the ritual of writing, I don‘t think it makes any sense. If only because I can’t read a word from these notes. I can’t write so that I can read something from it.
(Jarosław Mikołajewski, In Hospital, Austeria, Krakow 2018)
Artists note, sketch, often what is most intriguing arises in the margins, on the periphery… hastily written on a ticket, envelope, scrap of paper, because a thought that can escape must be written, outlined as soon as possible, “fragment” stuck with adhesive tape, idea immediately – even illegibly – but noted down.
Didaskalia allow you to imagine the stage, they are tips for the director or stage designer. Without them, it’s hard to imagine drama. The footnote gives a reference to the sources; it is a side text, written in the margins, in lower case letters, in a small typeface, in petit… so as not to divert attention from content, meaning, it remains somewhere on the side; it is the side content prepared for the inquisitive eye. Jarosław Mikołajewski, reminiscing on Ryszard Kapuściński, wrote about his “torn thoughts,” hurriedly recorded in a notebook. PETIT can be an exhibition about such “torn thoughts”. But not only, of course…
We propose the utterance from these collateral, marginal, and didaskalia written and drawn in petit – the main topic around which we will extrapolate our own narratives and stories. The works collected at the exhibition are a fragment of the whole or prepared specially and dedicated to the place and space with small, very small or “tiny” proposals. They require silence and concentration; attention and mindfulness; a trained, inquisitive eye.
Comment 4 / next
Or maybe in our world, already so large, so huge, and at the same time more and more chaotic and difficult to embrace, to organize, everything is heading towards a great collage, towards a loose collection of fragments, and thus – towards the lapidarium?
(Kapuściński, Lapidaria, Czytelnik, Warsaw 2008)
There is no complete representation of reality. Only a choice.
The motto of Kapuściński’s Lapidaria can be the motto of any exhibition, as well as, and perhaps above all, the one that is so diverse and written down / uttered with a “small print” of the artists invited to the exhibition.
The fragment visualizes, intrigues, stimulates thinking, attracts… Today, as Calvino claimed, “cognition is fragmentary and imperfect,” and “the whole is only potential, hypothetical, complex.” From these fragments, from quick entries, concise statements and 17 ideas, an exhibition was created full of contradictions… which, as a whole, is “just” a collection of fragments, a visual lapidary full of important and crucial – though on a small scale – comments and footnotes to the present day.
OPENING: June 25, 2020, 7 p.m.
OPENING ONLINE ON WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/GaleriaKalisz/
EXHIBITION DURATION: 25 czerwca 2020 roku do 30 lipca 2020 roku
JAN TARASIN ART. GALLERY IN KALISZ
ERGO HESTIA, POLIFARB KALISZ S.A., M&P ALKOHOLE I WINA ŚWIATA
MEDIA PATRONAGES: ZIEMIA KALISKA, CALISIA.PL, Radio CENTRUM
Italo Calvino, American Lectures, Sensitive Barbarian, Warsaw 2002