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MICHAŁ GROCHOWIAK | THE PETIT BOURGEOIS

25.09 – 29.10.2016
Starter Gallery,  Andersa 13, Warsaw

The petit bourgeois lives the image, and even lives within the image; and like no other is susceptible to the influences, suggestions and manipulations of that two-dimensional representation. He looks through the dusty window frame at the wall of the large pastel-coloured block of flats illuminated by the round flat disc of the moon (some say it’s a gigantic ball). The petit bourgeois can even see through closed eyes, and watches even when dreaming, trying to rationally decide about the neural impulses that begin as reflexes in the cornea of the eye. Sometimes succeeding, but in most cases it’s hard to compete with the speed of light. Experience and cunning suggest that reality is three-dimensional, yet eyesight very often suggests otherwise.

The petit bourgeois sometimes indulges in small extravagances. Although aware of the bold propositions of W.J.T. Mitchell, he does not necessarily agree with him; he does not perceive images as “living”, he does not ascribe them an explicit penchant for intrigue. However, he suspects images of a certain agency, tries to distinguish their meanings, and observe their tendencies. For his own peace of mind, he forgets about the gesture of the human hand behind any two-dimensional representation. He would like to think of himself as an aesthete; it’s easy for him – after all, he already knows it all and has seen it all. He is not a simpleton, does not read color periodicals, does not buy from a TV shop, does not go to discos, and never even eats chips. He is an informed consumer.

The exhibition “The Petit Bourgeois” is the visual manifestation of confronting these observations with daily bourgeois habits, concrete, and religion. (Michał Grochowiak)

This project was carried out in the framework of a grant from the budget of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

photo documentation: Przemysław Nieciecki / PION