talking to professor Gabriel Kołat, The Strzemiński Academy of Arts Łódź
Satyrykon: Working over this year’s “Sharp-eye skills” is run in some peculiar secret. What should we expect?
Gabriel Kołat: All creative work by our students is kept secret which is good for them and for us, the pedagogues. Giving the burden of self-assessment into their hands and the responsibility for their artistic attitude towards culture, we are convinced that in their independent creative path they won’t lose the strength and opportunity given by the healing of our civilizational pathology.
What was your reaction when Satyrykon addressed its offer to you?
Every new offer to publish our students’ works provides the opportunity to observe the phenomenon of significance of didactics for students’ non-didactic creativity. Additional value of such remarks is the merit area marked out by SATYRYKON. Satyrykon’s artistic meeting formula has a stimulating effect on revealing the artistic attitudes in context of contemporary conditioning.
Students’ works sent for the exhibition are accompanied by works by three professors. What is the sense behind this setting?
A few years ago, we introduced the rule (following the suggestion by professor Zdzisław Olejniczak, the Dean of the Faculty of Graphics and Paining) that all the student group presentations should be accompanied by single pedagogue’s works. Joined exhibitions of students and pedagogues have been rare so far as they were connected with some particular occasions. Nowadays, thanks to the students’ activity in creation and in organization, we can observe the specifics of changes and diversity which fill the works of young people who are just starting their artistic career as well as in works of experienced artists (here – pedagogues). Such an exhibition-like coexistence often brings lots of constructive reflections both, to the viewers and creators. Being “confrontational everydayness”, it forms a continuous dialogue which is in some way very beautiful.
The exhibitions so far reflect – what is now very clear to notice – not only young creators’ individuality but also school’s specific character. What are we going to be confronted with this time?
Firstly, we count on young creators’ individuality a lot. If, after public presentation of Łódź community works, there happens to be observed some sort of school characteristics…, it will be good. Contemporary times show that their colour is conditioned by constant changes and fleetingness. School characteristics shown through the prism of “time” exhibition is similar in that aspect. The issues which will touch us during Łódź student works exhibition will show the exotics of the local dialogue with the global outside.
Poznań’s catalogue was impressive with the width of its scope (there appeared 3 workshops and over 100 names in catalogue). What is it going to look like this time? (Looking through the works sent to the exhibition I noticed two faculties, three workshops supported with another two. Besides, some young artists are presented with a few of their realisations or full cycles. What was the selection key?
We could only congratulate Poznań academy, as they made a wonderful catalogue which additionally impressed SATYRYKON society a lot. It’s quite difficult to predict what production will be appreciated and become “the hit”. The proof for that can be easily found in the results of the latest International Satyrykon Competition. The jury of the unquestionably famous competition with long traditions awarded twelve works treating of universal understanding of presented issues which were radically different from one another both, in the sphere of problem choice as well as the diversified form of depicting them. Coming back to the question of faculty inventory, I’d like to notice the participation of three faculties including seven workshops which announced the presentation of their works in SHARP-EYE SKILLS catalogue.
You are said to be the author of the exhibition concept. Are this year’s catalogue and exhibition going to follow (partially or completely) the Comixage concept?
You can’t escape the past, the future, which are right “behind the corner” at the moment of work creation, and they consequently result in coherent, for all the time periods present at the transcendence of creation, state of equality. So, the exhibition will show the elements of Comixage concept, but the catalogue has no place for that as I won’t be responsible for its graphic layout.
The Workshop of Drawing, Illustration and Comic at The Faculty of Graphics and Paining of The Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź has been operating since 2008. It is the first and only that type of workshop in Poland. Is it (or rather to what extend) going to be reflected at this exhibition and in the catalogue?
Actually, the current name is The Workshop of Illustration, Comic, Game and Film Production. We hope both elements, the exhibition and the catalogue will carry the traces of workshop program as the pre-production term is quite wide and can embrace activities in the areas of illustration, comic, drawing, painting, storyboard, scenography, presentation charts etc. – in other words – widely understood concept art.
Were the works specially created for this subject, or you (and other academics) had to look for crumbs of sharp-eye skills in the works created or being created in other projects?
Obviously, majority of works have been created with the idea contained in the SHARP-EYE SKILLS assumptions. Some other works are the result of creative provenience of students who have sharp-eye inclinations.
Professor Gabriel Kołat – a graphic artist, lecturer at The Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź and Łódź Technical University, and this year’s Satyrykon jury chairman.
“Sharp-eye skills” cycle, inspired by professor Zygmunt Januszewski, has been with Satyrykon since 2011. The schools which presented themselves in the cycle include Warsaw Fine Arts Academy, Wrocław Fine Arts Academy, Gdańsk Fine Arts Academy, Artistic University in Poznań, and now it’s time for The Strzemiński Academy of Art in Łódź.