Emotikon Robert Rumas & Piotr Wyrzykowski
14.04 – 20.05.2012 Emotikon Robert Rumas & Piotr Wyrzykowski
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
curator: Maria Morzuch
co-operation: Magdalena Komornicka
The Emotikon project had its first instalment in the Muzeum Sztuki Łódź in the Spring of 2011. The exhibition is a summary of a trip that Robert Rumas and Piotr Wyrzykowski made around a number of countries of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. In search of emotions, they visited Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine and Romania, places that are geographically, culturally and aesthetically diverse. The artists, in the vein of two traveler-documentalists, explored places and stories without a preconceived scenario, thus giving the exhibition a sociological and anthropological character.
The title emerged from the connection of two words “emotion” and “console”. Today, the word designates the digital symbols use to represent the emotions and mood of the author of a text and have become a characteristic feature of contemporary extra-verbal communication. These signs are symbols of little faces which, by dint of a mental and visual short-cut, have become bearers of emotional information. The artists saw an association between the function of emoticons and that once held by the photoplasticon: a mechanism for presenting individual stereoscopic photographs in which the mechanism advanced every few seconds to make a new image visible through the viewer. In the artists’ opinion, the photoplasticon accumulated the emotions recorded on the slides presented and, as an element of nineteenth century visual culture, was a precursor of the kinetoscope and cinematography.
The reference to film is not accidental in the context of this exhibition: the artists, thinking about the layout of the exhibition, viewed the gallery rooms as a film tape, which they subjected to cuts and editing. Each of the installations constitutes a separate narrative unit, while the exhibition as a whole formed of edited audio-visual material. The artists planned the presentation in Zachęta in relation to the prevailing exhibition conditions in the gallery, with a result that the exhibition underlines zones of coincidence and interweaving of meanings and symbols. An open metaphorical space thus emerged constructed out of fragments of real emotions encoded by the artists during their expedition.
Just like the authors of photographs used in photoplasticons in former times, who organised expeditions to distant countries and strove for the documentary accuracy of the chronicles they provided, Rumas and Wyrzykowski journeyed in places at the boundaries of different cultures and civilisations, investigating also the civilizational and social margins. They planned the creation of an exhibition, which through photographs, sound files, documentary videos and objects, forms a vehicle for emotions and moods: those collected during the exhibition, as well as those again provoked while looking at Emotikon, surprising not just viewers, but also the authors of the exhibition themselves.
The journey of the artists was organized, amongst others, thanks to the support of the Turkish Embassy in Poland.
Piotr Wyrzykowski’s participation in the project was made possible through the scholarshipof the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Artist's works in the Zachęta collection
Robert Rumas & Piotr Wyrzykowski
14.04 – 20.05.2012
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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sponsors of the gallery: Lidex, Netia, Kei.pl
sponsors of the opening ceremony: DeLonghi, Kenwood, A.Blikle, Freixenet, Kinga Pienińska, Piwo Żywe
media patronage: Gazeta Wyborcza, Polskie Radio, The Warsaw Voice, Stolica, PANI, Artinfo.pl