Grzegorz Kowalski's show ”Kieszeń”, Foksal Gallery 1968 (1-20/20)

In June 1968 the Foksal Gallery hosted Grzegorz Kowalski's exhibition entitled Pocket. The author described the exhibition as "a dynamic environment." Kowalski hung a screen across the room, on whose one side were projected photographs and on the other the reflector's light. The reflector's switch was on the ground in the "working zone" so that the audience could play with their shadows that became a background for the projection. Their figures cropped fragments of the projected slides. The artist was interested in the notion of a place as well as the role of a receiver who sometimes was an active participant and another time just a passive observer. In a text in a catalogue Kowalski wrote:

“Paintings included in POCKET have already been published and are commonly known. My work was limited to merely choosing and arranging the paintings and some additional duties like cropping, magnifying, and coloring. The second part is the construction of POCKET. The requirement for the thorough success of POCKET is presence of at least two people inside of it.

• The first person is needed in the WORKING ZONE that is responsible for the display of their presence and distortion of the image • The second person is needed in the PASSIVE OBSERVATION ZONE The shape of POCKET depends mostly on the viewers’ participation."

The show took place in May 1968, when a rise of violence from the authorities became very visible. Kowalski, just like many others, described that year as an end of a particular era. He wrote about his show:

"Among 'the images one carries in their pocket', by which I meant a 'collective unconsciousness', were, of course, photographs - while figures of living people, the 'active' viewers, served as a screen. Back then I was unaware that this was farewell to the iconosphere of the PRL which I had meticulously collected in the form of newspaper clippings."

(Grzegorz Kowalski. Prace dawne i nowe, red. M. Sitkowska, Bydgoszcz 2002.
Grzegorz Kowalski, w: Idee sztuki lat 60., Seminaria Orońskie Tom II, red. Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski, Orońsko 1994)