Between Honey and Ashes


Exhibition of works by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Miroslaw Balka

The Douglas Hyde Gallery

Trinity College Dublin, D2

January 21 – March 23, 2011


S.I. Witkiewicz, born in Warsaw in 1885, died in 1939 on the day that Poland was invaded by the Soviets. ‘Witkacy’, as he became known, is mainly remembered in his homeland as a painter, novelist, and playwright; his photographs are only one aspect of his art.

Witkiewicz was an intense and troubled man who believed that Western culture was decadent, degenerate, and undermined by the collapse of ethical and philosophical certainties; trapped between a decaying past and an uncertain future, he used photography, perhaps more than other art forms, as a way to explore his existential anxiety. His portraits, which make up the majority of the photographic work, attempt to explain, or at least come to terms with, the enigmas of personal existence and the threat of its effacement.

This exhibition focuses on landscapes and the artist’s self-portraits.


Miroslaw Balka, renowned Polish contemporary painter and sculptor, exhibited at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 2003 and at IMMA in 2007. (He has also shown widely all around the world, perhaps most notably in 2009 at the Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern). His work, usually made with industrial materials and such elemental things as ash, soap, and salt, deals poetically with issues related to history and memory.

Miroslaw Balka has been invited to choose a selection of S.I. Witkiewicz’s photographs for this exhibition and to accompany them with a work of his own. In this exhibition, Balka will show a video entitled Apple T.

Artist’s Talk

On January 20, at 5pm, Miroslaw Balka will hold a conversation with Declan Long on his own work and the work of S.I. Witkiewicz. There will be forty seats; doors will open at 4.50pm.


Sheena Malone will give a talk on the life of S.I. Witkiewicz on Wednesday, February 23, at 1.15pm.

Barry White will give a talk on the work on Miroslaw Balka on Wednesday, March 9, at 1.15pm.

[article received from Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Dublin - Cultural Section, materiał nadesłany przez Ambasadę RP w Dublinie, Sekcja Kulturalna]