The Charm of the knowledge
ul. św. Piotra 17
When we think of knowledge, we think of results, analyses, and answers – temporality, volatility, and experience rarely come to mind. We have built an image of knowledge as something palpable and comprehensible, something separated from the system and other research fields. Yet it is fluidity, unawareness, and the nature of events that remain a mystery we want to delve into.
Fluidity, however, has no tangible value and has little to do with productiveness and civilisation. To be fluid is to neglect time and instant profit, and to value understanding and empathy instead. Fluidity is an ephemeral quality, constantly floating, fading and shapeshifting. Its inexplicable charm creates an emotional bond that has been both inspiring and frightening us for ages.
The archaic Polish word for forest – uroczysko – is closely related to the term for ‘magic spell’. The mysterious powers of the woods were reflected in language. The etymology of the Polish term for a witch, wiedźma, is equally enchanting: a woman residing on the border of civilisation and nature was literally ‘the one who knows’.
To be under a charm – there is an ambiguity in the expression as it can be both good and evil. How were self-sufficiency, solidarity, and generational knowledge perceived in the past? How do they shape our language and attitude today? What can we say about the archetypes of the Great Mother, Baba Yaga, and the evil stepmother? How come that the forces that influence us remain under the surface?
Dorota Stępniak, the curator, and Agnieszka Bar, the designer, closely inspect many qualities of glass: its fragility, durability, softness, and transparency. It is a starting point for an extraordinary story about wisdom, maturity, and the relationship between civilisation and nature. 'The Charm of knowledge' is an exhibition that examines the importance of women, but also the balance between data, experience, and the ecosystem. It is a story about resource management and a path to better understanding of ourselves so that we can build meaningful relationships.
“What I know comes from experience.
What I know changes my perception.
Sometimes I am afraid to know…”