Text: Magdalena Boffito
Exhibition: Galeria u Dyplomatów, Warsaw 2011

The Emperor's New Clothes

Handsome rascal, this dreamer in the grand manner, bearing aloft his ideas, carries the weight of them not without a little testiness useful for the brief acts assigned to him. These thoughts, given form like weapons upon his head, for motives of high courtesy ornamentally curved backward. Knowing moreover quite well – although of occult source and readily spasmodic in its deep- buried little sacks; Of what, of what love he bears the duty. There, his sentence structure upon his head, is what he ruminates between two butts. [Francis Ponge, "The Goat," trans. Henry B. Richardson, Yale French Studies, No.21, 1958, 170-1.]

Exhibition, exposition, exhibitionism. When one carefully examines words, one begins to feel that the similarities between them – in the context of the words' communicative functions – are somehow unsettling. We keep making words confront one another, crash against one another, and then we listen if the sound does not come out false; only rarely do the words yield clear tones.

Exposition is a necessary stage in all artistic activity. Any work locked in a drawer will be forgotten. What should we opt for – a presentation, a representation, a high presentability? Several important questions, several different answers, what, where, how, and when? Everyone plays their own tune. Showing or doing for show? Minute nuances can elude us when we examine the matter only superficially. Rappresentazione, esposizione, esibizione, proiezione, presentazione, situazione. Situation, stimulation, collocation.

We grind and sift words, looking for our own truths.

The adjective "high" collocates with the noun "probability" but not with the noun "chance": a high probability, a good chance. To fly low or to fall from up high? Who knows what the Emperor was driven by? A painful truth, a humiliating nudity. Fear, trepidation. Aberration and deviation.

Ponge's goat accurately emblematizes the artist's situation: on the one hand, an excess of vision, and, on the other – chewing over problems and the heavy burden of resentments.

We are like a bride, ordering a custom-made dress – numerous fittings, patterns, snips, scraps, odds and ends. We keep saying whatever comes to our heads. In one skilful move we cast the net, pillage the treasury, borrow in good faith, give more than enough in return, we tell sophisticated lies, we grab at the doorknob and knock at the door or not. A graceful bow to the audience, some dance moves and next-to-impossible acrobatic feats, head down, head up. Down! On your feet!

We emerge naked pretending courteously that a paper leaf can expose or cover anything.