Joanna Rajkowska

Dragon

Instalation

Park behind anthropos Pavillion, Moravian Museum

Pisárecká 273/5

 

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Friday 9 – 18

Saturday – Sunday 10 – 18

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Projects by Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska are largely intended for the public, whether it is a physical installation situated in the city, a utopian set for a non-existent sci-fi film on the future of the planet or an extensive series of original cosmetic products and health drinks made from her own body fluids and distributed using mechanisms adopted from the marketing strategies of multinational corporations.

For Brno Art Open the artist created an installation with the suggestive title Dragon. It is based on the feeling of fear from the approaching destruction of civilisation due to irreversible climate change, the most typical symptoms of which include global warming as a fatal consequence of inconsiderate human behaviour and the greed and mindlessness of humans. But the artist works with a very local motif: the symbol of the city being the Brno dragon – in reality a stuffed crocodile – which is the stuff of many legends. The stuffed body of “a monster from foreign lands” has been hanging from the ceiling in the passage of the building of the Old Town Hall since the mid-16th century and has enjoyed great popularity with the locals and visitors to the city and is naturally a sought-out tourist attraction.

 Joanna Rajkowska consistently follows in the track of the main motif: she works with the story by Bruno Schulz, Crocodile Street, from 1934, which uses a metaphor of a city split in two to describe the gap between the old world of honest merchants perfectly mastering the art of trading, and the new world, symbolised by the parasitic quickly growing city quarter typified by superficial consumerism, commercialisation, imitation, primitive stupidity and Americanisation. The literary work of this Polish interwar avant-gardist falls within the Jewish mystical tradition and is inspired by the principles of Lurianic Kabbalah – a principle of spiritual worlds, theories of the creation of the world, its cosmic catastrophe and its rectification. The author works with the metaphor of the world as the text (and vice versa) and with the symbol of the Book, which is also referred to by Joanna Rajkowska in her installation, when she leaves a false dragon, actually a crocodile, in a freezer box resting on a pile of books with the Biblein one arm and Descartes’s Discourse on Method in the other. Entry into the frozen microworld brings an extreme physical experience.