Paweł Olszczyński: Cigar


/ Paweł Olszczyński: Cigar

curated by: Katarzyna Lewandowska

25.11.2016 – 8.01.2017


Paweł Olszczyński’s exhibition “Cigar” is the story of a strong, obsessive relationship between subject and object. Any valuation for this symbiosis is pointless. Both sides act on each other, creating maximum voltage. Dipped in black latex vases from the 60s looks like sex toys. They were aesthetically sexualized. They became a carrier of context, unfolding in the most original plane – sexual desire. Through sophisticated, dangerous manifestation of their power they relate to the desire of possesion and domination, but in this case you should ask the question: who has power over whom? Fixated collector of black, shiny, phallic “cigar”? Is it just the opposite? Maybe totemic relationship existed between them? The artist portrayed this fetish narrative also in masks and drawings.

Michel Foucault in the “History of sexuality” writes that in the nineteenth century there was a shift from the symbolism of blood to the symbolism of sexuality. He says that sex was replaced by blood and that sexuality isn’t in the modern world sprung, but it is constantly awakened. Sigmund Freud’s theory claims that the old order of power is based on the desire. Phallic forms, shiny latex, black drawings of fragmented body put the viewer in front of Bataille’s questions. What is clean and what is unclean? Repulsive and fascinating? What is erotic and what is sacred? And how eloquent is Battaille’s thesis, that being tainted is the highest experience of being!


Paweł Olszczyński – born in 1985 in Krakow. He graduated from the Graphic Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main. He mainly draws, but his works pass the limit of the drawing. He is also a graphic designer. He works and lives in Warsaw, cooperates with Piktogram Gallery.