Sławomir Marzec

from Apocalypse to Genesis

Pro morte is a place in Polish hospitals where those considered dead are kept for a few more hours. Like a confession of helplessness, but also of hope after losing hope. A place where anything can still happen. 

I have been painting pictures from this series under my eyelids for years. Pre-mortem, post-mortem images? I kept hoping I still had time for them. And suddenly it turned out that the time was “now’, having been given a five per cent chance of survival left. Dizzy from chemo and radiotherapy, I was actually painting them on my knees. 

In them – or through them – I create a personal apocalypse, one that may be happening now, silently and imperceptibly. Maybe because we have become blind to it, maybe because our postmodern apocalypse is a loss of the ability to understand ultimate meanings. These paintings are located at the intersection of contradictory discourse and horizons: sarcasm and sublimity, fleetingness and finality, vanitas and kitsch... The paintings hang so that the upper edge matches my height. Each shows the lower half of some glittering gold lettering. Illegible. No one but me knows if it is one inscription or fragments of many. Or is it simply gibberish? The very desire for speech that is dignified, revealing, true? Or is it a language not yet discovered? 

The paintings “re/represent” the four corners of the world, the four evangelists, and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And of course Kohelet, in each painting taking a different form of a circle painted with varnish in the lower right corner. It shines or darkens. It comes and goes, because all that is will not be. And it will be like it never has been. 

Each painting has its own “hidden” colour of the horseman of the Apocalypse – white, grey, red and black. And this colour has its own seam connecting the surface of the picture with what is behind it and what is in front of it. And a concatenation of symbols, gestures, small objects, signs, fragments of photos... And primary colours, but in a different, ultimate sense: the colours of earth, blood, fire and ash. A hopelessly futile entanglement ensues. Or a labyrinth of hope. Or maybe just misleading clues, false scents? Anything to keep it secret. Not to turn it into a riddle, a problem, a bold cliché. 

And the fifth, smallest, “surplus” painting “i.” Next to the door. Dice are placed on its upper edge. Like the final roll of fate, inevitably falling and arranging into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. But there are seven dice, because one extra die pretends to be “a six combined with a four.” Coincidence, mistake, or a necessary lie? On the side edges of the paintings are fragments of the text of the Apocalypse in the original Greek. The space between the four paintings is filled with random photos of my shadow. 

Some time has passed in anticipation of the inevitable and final. Enough to take up the subject… Genesis. Again, but in such a different context. This time as a paradoxical situation of being in the horizon. This series consists of six (!) almost identical paintings. Each of them creates a square of random splashes of primary colours and black. An equally important component is the green dot, which is always located in a different, but always significant, place (the centre, the symmetry point, or the intersection of the golden ratio and so on). The dot undermines the randomness of the whole composition. Each image has a title taken randomly from the internet, but modified: erased, tripled, palimpsest or with empty quotation marks. In addition, on the upper white surface, there is an almost invisible inscription in white, it is a fragment from the Book of Genesis. It is also turned upside down. In a counter to the Seven Days of Creation, the exhibition is complemented by a collection of irrelevant, random dates from my life, written in chalk on the floor. Along with headphones plugged into the silence (?) of the wall. 


  • Text by 
    • Sławomir Marzec 

  • Opening
    • 23/06/2023, 19:00 (Friday)
      • Admission free.
  • Exhibition on view through
    • 24/09/2023
      • On Thursdays admission free.
Tuesday 11:00—19:00
Wednesday 11:00—19:00
Thursday 11:00—20:00
Friday 11:00—19:00
Saturday 11:00—19:00
Sunday 11:00—19:00