LINE AND LAND is a debut exhibition for Michał Paweł Markowski, university professor of Polish language and literature, philosopher, translator, and writer. The exhibition accompanies the publication in Poland of a literary experiment, titled DAY ON EARTH. Photographs from different places in the world, fiction about traveling, and travel essays inform each other in unexpected ways, creating a space for the reader to cross different fields of perception and reflection.
LINE AND LAND may be viewed as an extension of the vision presented in Markowski ‘s DAY ON EARTH, yet it stands alone as a self-sufficient artistic project. The photographs, selected from a larger body of work, emphasize different lines, angles, and curvatures that orient and shape our perception and transform the landscape we gaze at—devoid of symbolic meanings, human presence or sublime underpinnings—into the purely imaginative. The photographs are imbued with the mild melancholia of unpopulated places and interpret our surroundings in terms of rigorous forms and not accidental circumstances. The underlying question posed by Markowski is how different positions we happen to occupy reveal the world of distinct rhythms, forms or compositions that impose themselves on our seeing.
MICHAŁ PAWEŁ MARKOWSKI is The Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature at University of Illinois at Chicago, the author of over twenty books on philosophy and literature, including 5 collections of literary essays. He has written on Nietzsche, Derrida, Cartier-Bresson, Edward Hopper, Francis Bacon, Fernando Pessoa, Franz Kafka, Witold Gombrowicz, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, among many others. His essayistic writings have been awarded in Poland with numerous prizes, most recently with The Kazimierz Wyka Prize for Literary Criticism (2010). He serves as the Artistic Director of the annual International Joseph Conrad Literary Festival, which takes place in Kraków, Poland. His most recent books include: Universal Dissolution: Schulz, Existence, Literature (2012), Politics of Sensitivity: Introduction to the Humanities (2013), and Day on Earth: Traveling Prose (2014).