Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium V, 2012

Living in a terrarium is not easy. It's not that often it smells bad inside. Primarily, in the terrarium, we constantly delude ourselves and pretend. Apparently, live plants grow in a terrarium, but what kind of life is so perfectly spotless and pampered? That there are animals here is also supposedly obvious, but what kind of animals? Each is examined, cleaned and sterilised. Apparently, all this is wild, but somehow tame. It is true that sometimes it gets out of control, but only for a short time. Therefore, we must all constantly add to or turn a blind eye to something. And each terrarium is the same. In the terrarium known as the Kampinos Forest lies a terrarium called Warsaw, Berlin, Poland. Nay, even in the terrarium called Earth. They say that the same applies to the terrarium called Cosmos. Everywhere the same. All perfectly described, measured and created from A to Z.


Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium I, 2012-2013

Jacek Kołodziejski (born 1980) – photographer. He graduated from Faculty of Multimedia Communication at the Fine Arts Academy in Poznań. He studied also Film and Photography at School of Art and Design in Łódź. He is been active in a field of artistic and commercial photography for years. His works were shown during many international exhibitions (i.e International Festival of Photography in Arles, Tec-Tece Exhibition in Arles, Month of Photography, Bratislava and Magnum Gallery Bratislava) and shows in Poland. He lives in Warsaw. 

Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium IV, 2012

Contemporaries: tourists
The beginning of the 19th century – the birth of the modern era – a period with a deluge of tourist guides, with the cult led by Baedeker publishing at the forefront. As a characteristic feature of modernity, tourism gives all its complexity and internal entanglement. The fascination with exotic species of animals; accompanied by their extermination. Curiosity about the world, which led to visits to tourist attractions – a theatre, where the white man saw his desires and ideas about the world. In broader terms, tourism reflects the tension between the romantic need to experience primordial nature, and the process of industrial exploitation of the planet. Tourism, then,  expresses so well the perfect complexity and systematic ambivalence of modern humanity: the manufacture of an artificial world that terrified, and from which humanity fled,  and the search for a lost paradise, naturalness, which when it is found, turns out to be too wild to surrender  to control.
Although actually the works exhibited in the Contemporaries: tourists formed as a result of journeys, out of town trips, long walks and observation of nature, the tourism of Jacek Kołodziejski Michał Smandek should not, of course, be taken too literally. First of all, it must be understood as an ambivalent, self-contradictory human relationship with nature. Jacek Kołodziejski’s photographs were taken over the last four years during trips to southern France, Croatia and Poland. But Jacek says bluntly: "I haven’t got the soul of a traveller, and adventures in exotic countries rather scare me."  As a result, he chose a place where technology tangibly came into contact with nature, and where it was safe. Among them is a park located in the Camargue wetlands and marshes nature reserve, where wild white horses live and for whom there is a comfortable, paved path. Jacek Kolodziejski then photographed the bridge over the highway, which allows the animals to migrate, then a hotel in Languedoc with "wild", but carefully cultivated vegetation. He consciously looked for a particular terrarium, but when he entered the artificially ordered place, it turned out that he had to deal with nature in all its spontaneity and vitality.
Michał Smandek travels the world looking for places where nature seems untouched by man. The Meke Gölü Crater, the white surface of the salt lake Tuz in Turkey, Cabo de Gata in Spain, and Cabo de Sao Vicente in Portugal are only a few of the locations where he has intervened. He has been travelling for a number of years, inhaling the climate of desert areas of the USA and unpeopled areas of Asia. He is interested in nature in its originality and simplicity, so he goes for simple chemical substances, and bases his work on simple physical processes. However, in working with nature he becomes an experimenter, and uses practices familiar from science. As a result, it appears that his work does not have to do with nature, but with something manufactured and artificial. Organic and inorganic matter, which would speak for itself, begins to speak thanks to the Michał’s intervention.
The expeditions taken by Jacek Kołodziejski and Michał Smandek, are first and foremost cultural journeys between the poles of technology and naturalness, and only later moving from place to place. Their works show that when studying the relationship between nature, man and technology, there is no need to reach for scientific and technological innovations, as bioart specialists do. It is not even necessary to leave the house. It is practised daily by all, and begins when spraying the room with air freshener.
An interesting figure of the relationship in question is the location of the BWA SOKÓŁ gallery and its design themselves. A contemporary building, built in a small town, through whose glass walls you can see the old mountains, raised several million years ago. On the terraces around the gallery there will probably be snow, while inside the buzz and hum of projectors and air conditioning reign.

Łukasz Białkowski

Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium IVa, 2012

Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium, widok ekspozycji / exhibition view © J.Kołodziejski

Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium, widok ekspozycji / exhibition view © J.Kołodziejski

Jacek Kołodziejski, Terrarium, widok ekspozycji / exhibition view © J.Kołodziejski



Galeria BWA SOKÓŁ w ramach projektu "Budowa Małopolskiej Galerii Sztuki NA BURSZTYNOWYM SZLAKU w Nowym Sącz". Projekt współfinansowany z Europejskiego Rozwoju Funduszu Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego na lata 2007-2013.