The title of this exceptional exhibition has been derived from my meetings with an outstanding museum expert prof. Kazimierz Malinowski. As early as the 60's at Torun University, Prof Malinowski made his students realize the role and cultural importance of private collections - not only those great royal ones, belonging to Polish magnates, and the nobles, but also those seemingly unimportant middle-class collections of doctors, lawyers, bankers, architects, craftmens, artists... I was particularly interested in provincial collections, which were usually treated as "remembrance halls" where one could in fact find anything exemplifing the mentality of the local society. As a matter of fact the places were open public collections, located in schools and usually managed by a teacher or a local culture hobbyist. Artistic values needn't have set any criteria for them. The pieces were not only a manifestation of the people's creative activities but also were a whole set of weird things and natural curiosities which were treated very often as exceptional works of art. Such collections have been a prototype for my long standing venture. Each "work" (not even "artistic") which is a result of a mental act might take its place in the Exchange Gallery collection. Since the very beginning I have been convinced that these acts will have their special meaning for many artists in the future (which actually has already happened), as they were created without any artistic calculations. They were created as a result of current creative premises, beyond any profit motives or any fashion of the time. So they are disinterested private act, confirming by their intention nothing but respect for other individuals as they are given to the close person in a special moment. These "mental objects" might fill our living space - they are with us in our intimate situations. Sometimes they get attached to us till the end. There's a magic power immersed in their memory, the power within the shape of cumulated energy. I hope that one of these days the energy will be released unforeseen, in other public circumstances, becoming an authentic art work of uncommon significance.
Józef Robakowski /2003/
translation: Zbigniew Kowalski & Anna Kowalska-Petrie
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