The Movement of Poland around the Sun

„The Movement of Poland around the Sun” exhibition presents a fragment of Andrzej Tobis’ utopian project A–Z (Educational Cabinets).

  • Opening: 2.12.2022, 18:00
  • Exhibition: 3.12–29.01.2023
  • Contemporary Art Gallery in Opole, Pl. Teatralny 1, Opole

The Opole edition is an annual report presenting entries found in 2021. It was conceived as a view, analyzing the cycle from the perspective of the changing seasons.

The point of departure for the „A–Z (Educational Cabinets)” project is the „Bildwörterbuch Deutsch und Polnisch”, an illustrated German-Polish dictionary released in 1954 in the German Democratic Republic, along with its subsequent (second and third) editions, which only slightly revised the original. The idea behind the body of photographs is to illustrate anew the entries edited six decades ago. The pictures can only be taken in Poland. The situations and objects captured cannot be pre-arranged or digitally edited – they must be found. Each new German/Polish entry includes a reference to the index number from the original publication. The photo and the entry form an integral whole, with the words running beneath the image on a white strip. A–Z is a ‘reverse-translation’ of the visual German-Polish dictionary, with the Polish-language version always being the point of reference for the image/word relationship. Many new entries draw on linguistic ambiguities, which makes some of them diverge semantically from their original German language counterparts. Mistranslation is inherent in A-Z, just as it was in the original dictionary. The English-language versions of the entries in this publication, which likewise come from an original, German-English, counterpart of the dictionary, produce a similar lost-in-translation effect.

By mid-2022, over 1500 entries had been found and redefined since the start of the work in November 2006. The A–Z project is a utopian endeavour, if anything – it is unknown how long it will continue, although apparently it will never be realised in its entirety.

A–Z photographs have been exhibited at several dozen solo and group shows in Poland and elsewhere in Europe (Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic).

Born in 1970, Andrzej Tobis mostly works in the mediums of photography and painting. He runs one of the painting studios at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.

  • The exhibition closes the program of the 12th Opole Festival of Photography, organized in 2022 under the slogan Utopia.
  • Coordinator: Joanna Filipczyk
  • Cooperation: Jednostka Gallery