The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw presents the first solo exhibition of works by Daniel Rycharski, an artist working at the intersection of diverse social realms between rural Poland, queer culture and communities of faith.
"Daniel Rycharski: Fears" is an overview of the work of an artist who has developed an independent form of collaboration with the local community in his hometown of Kurówko. He has come up with a singular proposal for artistic activity by sparking discussion on issues of identity and the limits of membership within a religious community. Through his works, he manages to convey seemingly contradictory experiences: as an artist and believer, a gay man working within a conservative society to create a new means of emancipation from outdated forms of religion. This cross-section of Rycharski’s works is part of the museum’s programming initiative to pursue a new lexicon for describing the world around us and draw attention to some of the most interesting and radical artistic attitudes of our time.
Over the course of his studies at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, Rycharski began to examine the visual culture and identity of contemporary rural areas. Since then, his works have illustrated a more complex image of the countryside as he began seeking out forms of expression for alternative social experiences and visions. The lessons from Kurówko remain a touchstone for Rycharski in his approach to art and communication with audiences. His personal experience and family situation serve as a point of departure for the artist to take up more universal themes relevant to the perspective of a society experiencing conflicts connected with the return (or endurance) of religion as an instrument of political mobilisation and polarisation. As an artist cooperating with diverse groups, such as agricultural and religious associations, a social club of rural housewives, and LGBT+ activists, he wrestles with numerous social fears and prejudices in his works.
Rycharski’s bold approach to faith and Christianity, which has no equivalent in Polish art, is currently the driving force of his artistic practice. The pieces brought together for the purposes of the exhibition tell the story of an artist who has shifted from a desire to organise a grass-roots revolution and achieve equal rights for LGBT+ individuals within the Church to the determination to practice his faith according to his own rules. Grounded in religion by way of various institutions and family members, he takes a given set of concepts and values and pursues a new version of a liberation project that would embrace outcasts. It is a project he calls ‘Christianity without religion’.
The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw pursues a common nerve running through the actions undertaken by the artist in cooperation with residents of rural areas and the identity projects that have grown out of the fostering of those contacts. Rycharski’s endeavours propose an original language for queer art that is mindful of issues of class sensitivity, which the artist uses to try to reorganise our way of thinking about political divisions, to find another path to articulate conflicts. Expressing himself through a range of actions and situations, Rycharski does not abandon the world of objects, but endows them, rather, with a strong charge of emotion and existential experience by placing the materiality of the object and its history in the foreground.
"Daniel Rycharski: Fears" is a report detailing over a decade of work by an artist who does more than meet the demand for an alternative perspective, while drawing richly from codes of popular culture to develop a new interpretation of the art of cooperation bordering on activism, political action and activation.
Exhibition design concept:
Production of set design elements:
Studio Robot (Krzysztof Czajka, Łukasz Wysoczyński)
Production of stained glass:
Witraże s.c. Tomasz Bieliński, Paweł Przyrowski, Tomasz Tuszko
Jakub Antosz, Marek Franczak, Piotr Frysztak, Szymon Ignatowicz, Artur Jeziorek, Przemysław Pryciak, Paweł Sobczak, Marcin Szubiak, Michał Ziętek
Kacha Szaniawska, Iga Winczakiewicz, Daniel Woźniak, Magdalena Zięba-Grodzka
Natalia Cieślak-Fiedorczuk, Dominika Jagiełło, Marta Skowrońska - Markiewicz, Marta Przasnek, Jolanta Woch, Marta Przybył, and „Use the Museum” team
Agnes Monod-Gayraud, Christopher Smith
Anna Adamska, Krzysztof Adamski, Stanisław Adamski, Maciej Chodziński, Paweł Dobrowolski, Mikołaj Iwański, Andrzej Kanigowski oraz Stowarzyszenie Pomoc Wzajemna, Agnieszka Kosela, Michał Kożurno, Ewa Maciejewska, Michał Matejko, Anna Nagadowska, Aleksandra Nasiorowska, Piotr Pandyra, Adam Pesta, Weronika Plińska, Tomasz Rakowski, Katarzyna Szotkowska-Beylin, Marta Styczeń, Kuba Szreder, Patrycja Wojtas, Iwo Zmyślony, Szymon Żydek
Apple Film Production, Daniel Chrobak, Dawid Chrobak, Małgorzata i Marcin Gołębiewscy, Dawid Gospodarek, Radosław Kikolski, Joanna Kubicka, Kamil Kuskowski, Michał Oleszczyk, Jarosław Perzyński, Wiara i Tęcza - Stowarzyszenie Polskich Chrześcijan LGBTQ, Andrzej Rakowiecki, Marek Rycharski, Wojciech Witkowski, Teodor Zasadowski, Studebts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology - University of Warsaw