Temporary exhibitions

The Mothers of Originals

Forma do odlewu rzeźby Głowa Fryderyka Chopina z cyklu Głowy wawelskie, Xawerego Dunikowskiego, lata 60-te XX wieku; fot
Forma do odlewu...
The Mothers of Originals
14 July – 2 September 2018
Exhibition opening: 13 July 2018, at 7 PM
Free admission
Neglected, deleted from inventory registers, often destroyed and seen as dangerous for its function of multiplying originals, moulds are not themselves artworks, despite the fact that they are the records of how sculptures are made and, indeed, they are their negatives. Looking inside, one can see the delineated faces and contours which create airy “empty shapes”. Aesthetically intriguing, the place of moulds is somewhere between art and applied objects, thus they possess the most important attributes of artistic creations appreciated in contemporary times. 
This year’s summer season in Królikarnia is dedicated to showing the backstage of a museum and the work happening there. Thanks to the programme of the temporary conservation workshop which has preceded the exhibition “The Mothers of Originals”, the audience has already been introduced to the work that needs to be done before sculptures are presented at an exhibition, namely all the processes of cleansing, filling in indentures and gluing back broken parts, as well as securing the objects against wear and tear. “The Mothers of Originals” are a continued narrative about working with sculptures, about the ways in which sculptures are produced and about the possibility of multiplying them. The form of the mould is viewed here in an unconventional manner – in confrontation with the viewers and subject to evaluation as an artwork. The focus is placed here on the mould’s aesthetic aspects – the simplified, minimalist external shape and the hidden, secret interior. 
The presented constructions which have been taken out of the storage spaces of the Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture include both positives and negatives. The first ones were cast from clay models in the form of plaster coats; the plaster was often produced from a number of separate elements so that the once ready cast could be taken out completely intact from the inside of the mould. Less fragile silicon forms were introduced some time later. Owing to their greater elasticity, they were not only more durable but also reusable. The plaster positive forms that could be used for years eventually replaced the nondurable clay ones. There is no set number of “original” casts –
it is all a question of convention and depend on provisions of law, as well as the decision of the author.
The forms displayed at the exhibition were used to cast sculptures in plaster, bronze or brass. The look-alike artworks differ from each other in terms of the material they were made from, or the polychrome or patina – but not the shape. The minimum differences only tell the story of the fates of the different objects and their mutual relations. The objects shown as part of “The Mothers of Originals” include moulds from the Królikarnia collection, for example, sculptures by Xawery Dunikowski, such as Head of Fryderyk Chopin, Head of Janusz Korczak, Portrait of Franciszek Mączyński or Head of a Polish Woman, but also the anonymous half clay and half plaster mould of a Sphinx, which was to be placed in the Palace’s park. This reference to the history of the place and its patron opens up the discussion on the role and the means of the work of a museum, and the constant revision of norms and definitions of art. 
Exhibition curator: Ewa Kozik
Curator of Museum of Sculpture at the Królikarnia Palace: Agnieszka Tarasiuk
Exhibition design: Dorota Pabel
Exhibition photographs by Bartosz Górka 
Project team: Antoni Burzyński, Mariusz Grzelak, Barbara Kaliciuk, Anna Maciąga, Joanna Torchała, Andrzej Urbaniak, Marcin Witkowski 
Media partner: TVP Kultura