Magical Engagement / Magiczne zaangażowanie 18.09-15.11.2020


Downloadable maps:

Magical Engagement – map 1

Magical Engagement – map 2


Magical Engagement guide

At the beginning there was a Spider Woman: Sumerian Uttu, according to Navajo – Na’ashjé’ii Asdzáá, Greek Arachne, in Hopi mythology – Kokyangwuti, a woman beyond time, representing everything that’s good, summoned when advice and care are needed, also known as a Spider Grandmother. A Spider Woman of Many Threads arose from an eternal need for justice, and from dust, her style is a combination of folk art from Kurpie and a mischievous drag. She spun her web in the upper display parts, embracing with her chelicerae the steel vault of the municipal gallery. She feeds on the warmth of the projectors mixed with liquefied CO2 exhaled by the heterotrophs, art lovers.

Donna Haraway, biologist and philosopher, in her book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, in which she confronts the consequences of climate change caused by humans, writes about the necessity of creating different, not only human, stories, which – spun using tender spider appendages – could spread like a web in many directions at once. These stories would be sympoietic, created collectively, in contrast to those autopoietic, self-reproducing ones. Stories fit for spider Chthulucene include hybrid-like chants, drawing parables and woven patterns, which do not divide and rule, but connect and speculate about the complex relations between living, transforming beings. These are healing stories, bringing comfort just like litter of decaying leaves, and stimulating the imagination like ripening compost.

The Magical Engagement exhibition, over which Spider Woman of Many Threads has spread her pedipalps, is a place where many threads are intertwined: activist, artistic, anti-fascist, animist, animalist, anti-competitive, magical, queer-feminist, and related to social and environmental justice. The event taking place as a part of the exhibition aim to break the “everyday capitalism spells”, and expose the severed ties between the social world and what is commonly considered as “natural”. The title refers to what has been repressed in the world driven by logic of capitalist Anthropocene, namely magic, ritual, memory of human and non-human ancestors, sympathy, relations. The opening of the exhibition will take place during the autumn solstice. Due to the pandemic reality, the live performances will be transferred to the net. It will be possible to see and listen to the SIORY collective and the Odłam Źdźbło choir [Break the Blade of Grass Choir] in the virtual space.

Visitors can explore the exhibition choosing one of the trails: activist, education, or the trail of magical engagement through art, which cross in some places and merge in others. There are guides for each trail. On the Activist Trail, symbolically divided into stops dedicated to water, air, earth, forest, animals, and movements…

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opening on 18th of September 2020, photo: Jakub Krzyżanowski