No such thing as an innocent eye

Jan Domicz, Andrii Dostliev, Lia Dostlieva, Brendan Hoffman, Michał Sierakowski
No Such Thing as an Innocent Eye is a conscious reference to Ernst Gombrich's concept presented in his famous 1960 book Art and Illusion. Based on the idea that seeing is not a mere registration and perception is not a passive process, the exhibition looks at the Ukrainian landscape as a carrier of meaning and memory. Visual perception, determined by the ability to conceptualize through the beholder, is understood here as an active experience. The gaze, always entangled with the viewer's perception, makes it difficult to convey an unadulterated image of reality. For can one see a thing without first having a concept of it?

Michał Sierakowski's photographs, focused on the relationship between the Ukrainian landscape and the national identity of contemporary Ukraine, are juxtaposed with Lia and Andriy Dostliev's series Black on Prussian Blue, based on a reconstruction of a family album found by the artists, of a Wehrmacht soldier who was in the territory of present-day Ukraine during World War II. The gaze of the perpetrator, his optic of what the Eastern Territories are, is confronted with the gaze of the Polish photographer, who looks at Ukraine from the perspective of a newcomer curious about its history present (or not) in the landscape. American photographer Brendan Hoffman has been documenting the war in Ukraine since 2014, his images are regularly published by the New York Times. Framing the works is the series of objects by Jan Domicz. 


Part of the exhibition will be presented at the old railway station in Piaseczno, in the glass carriage of the Piaseczno-Grójec Narrow Gauge Railway (Wojska Polskiego Street, corner of Sienkiewicza Street).
During the opening, a publication of the theatre drama about the war in Ukraine by Ewa Sułek, Animals Who Ate Their Humans, will have its premiere (Nisza 2022).
Curator: Ewa Sułek
Producer: Paweł Zaręba
Subsidized by funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Fund for Promotion of Culture - a state special purpose fund, as well as from funds of the Piaseczno Municipality and Zalesie Górne. 
Exhibition Partner: Piaseczyńsko-Grójeckie Towarzystwo Kolei Wąskotorowej.