The Power of Secrets. Karol Radziszewski
The Power of Secrets at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw is an experimental solo exhibition – the first such broad presentation of Karol Radziszewski’s art. Artist, curator, collector, amateur historian and a man of many fascinations, Radziszewski skilfully manoeuvres between visual and performance arts. The exhibition at U–jazdowski shows the wealth of his creative practices and artistic methods.
The exposition revolves around the theme of the performative nature of queer archives which bring back the memory of the past once denied and which democratise history.
The tools Karol Radziszewski uses in editing the materials are unique: he combines facts with fantasies, composes documents with shreds of memory; he misleads so as to show alternative trails of remembering. He not only reveals individual experiences but also documents the histories of communities. And he does not limit himself to Poland alone.
The Power of Secrets is created by artists – men and women – whose works expose a variety of tropes in broad historical and artistic contexts. They fall into a joint narrative about the fate of queer communities. The exhibition at U–jazdowski include pieces by Ryszard Kisiel, Natalia LL, Libuše Jarcovjákova, Wolfgang Tillmans and the Canadian collective General Idea.
Intimacy intertwines here with politics, and private histories blend in and out with public ones. The works on display have been dedicated to queer heroes and heroines – Taras Shevchenko and Ewa Hołuszko, the “Hiacynt” campaign, or the attempt to recreate the erotic exhibition of Wojciech Skrodzki from the 1970’s. Karol Radziszewski includes quotes from his childhood fairly – tale drawings in images and murals from the 1989 series. The exhibition also presents the activities of the Queer Archives Institute – a para–institution founded by the artist focusing on researching the queer identity of Central and Eastern Europe.