“Composing an orderly ‘cosmos’ out of the chaos of reality becomes, for the individual, an impossible task or one that leads straight to insanity”. Thus wrote Jan Błoński about Cosmos, Witold Gombrowicz’s final novel. The sentence “It wasn’t there yesterday” was borrowed from the novel to serve as the title of the exhibition – an exhibition that takes on a similar challenge, stretched, nonetheless, across the shoulders of four independent artists. Gombrowicz’s protagonists are set in summer resort in the Zakopane region of Poland, attempting to crack a code of seemingly abstract signs – stains and cracks in the ceiling, a twig hanging on a string. This exhibition, set in a gallery space located in central Warsaw, is an examination of the contemporary potential of abstraction – both in life and in art. Through a range of examples across a variety of genres, we observe the tension that is created between objects and materials that are familiar to us from our everyday lives and the language of abstraction. Abstraction, once associated with a break with narrative structures and representation, can also be treated as a reflection of a higher order that governs our human activities. The cosmos of abstraction and the cosmos of the everyday come together in specific places and times, often arranged or documented by the artists. The works presented in the show It Wasn’t There Yesterday hover between a documentary record and a fantastic creation, united by the urge to release form from its utilitarian associations.
This is retrospection, introspection and projection all at once, a mixture of moments in time, narrations and artistic traditions – experimental film, decorative art, post-conceptual actions, abstract paintings – which pursue fulfillment in the unreal, a creative perspective on the physics presiding over everyday life.