17.05.2024 - 15.09.2024

Opening: 16.05.2024, 18.00

Curators: Ewa Borysiewicz, Barbara Trojanowska, Jakub Woynarowski Graphic design: Magdalena Burdzyńska Exhibition design: Bartek Buczek, Emilia Kina Coordination: Barbara Trojanowska
The exhibition Background will showcase a selection of historical and contemporary examples of narration from areas including manga, anime, video games and ukiyo-e woodblock prints, focusing on the exploration of ‘background’ in the broadest sense. The scenery in which the action is set is an indispensable, though often underestimated and overlooked, foundation of such artistic realities. The exhibition is intended as a reminder that the background is not neutral: it has agency and is often governed by a non-human logic. In the exhibition, the ‘background’ will play a prominent role: it will be projected as a space that is both contemplative and aligned with the human capacity for processing cause and effect. The show, however, does not aim to present the background as being in opposition to the stories unfolding in the foreground or middleground, but rather to point out that these elements are all part of the same set and indeed interact with and complement one another. In the exhibition, the background interacts with the characters and the characters influence the background.

Another significant theme of the exhibition is that of the boundary separating ‘pop culture’ from ‘high culture’, and is a reflection on its volatile nature – dependent on geographical, social, and cultural situations. Similarly, in Background , the status of copies and originals will be one of equal footing, demonstrating that objects belonging to either category have the same potential to evoke authentic emotions in the viewer, generate memories and provoke valid reflections.

By juxtaposing historic objects of ‘museum status’ with examples of widely available popular culture, Background will demonstrate how fluid and conventional are the categories that we use to orient ourselves in an everyday life which is dominated by visuality.

The exhibition will feature reproductions of backgrounds used in such cult anime productions as Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Kiki’s Delivery Service; woodblock prints by Hokusai, comic books by Yuichi Yokoyama, Tiger Tateishi, and Satoshi Kon; video game elements by FromSoftware and Kojima Productions, to name but a few examples.

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