Wilhelm Sasnal at the POLIN Museum, Warsaw

The relation between the eye and the memory, the touching and the forgetting, searching for a language and losing the ability to speak—these opposing yet often coinciding experiences refer us to a forlorn territory, the one that has been repressed: the realm of shame and curiosity. What lies beyond this blind wall? Seeking answers to this question, Sasnal pursues the path of works that negotiate the representation of the Holocaust as recorded in material and memorized images as well as in witness testimonies, such as Art Spiegelman’s comic book "Maus", Claude Lanzmann’s documentary "Shoah", or Tadeusz Borowski’s short stories.

 

When asked why the Jewish topics - and the Holocaust in particular - are so important to him, Sasnal responds: “It stems from a subconscious sense of loss which is extremely hard to define. Perhaps it also stems from the sense of guilt which has been instilled in me - a Pole brought up in the Christian tradition. To be sure, I did not choose Jewish topics out of sentiment, but rather out of my own personal concern. Now it all seems easier to me, for I have processed those issues, I have named them. Jan Tomasz Gross was right when he said: ‘Poles should deal with this for their own sake, not for anybody else’s.’”

 

Wilhelm Sasnal's 'Such a Landscape' is on view from June 17, 2021 - January 10, 2022.

 

Recent Press:

"Museum exhibits works by Polish artist confronting the Holocaust" written by Vanessa Gera and featured in The Times of Israel. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/top-polish-artist-confronts-countrys-holocaust-past-in-jewish-museum-exhibit/)

Sasnal exhibition takes on Polish Landscape" written by John Beauchamp and featured in THE first NEWS, Warsaw. (https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/sasnal-exhibition-takes-on-polish-landscape-22686) 

The exhibit was also mentioned in ARTnews (https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/gundlach-adds-to-albright-gift-1234596163/) 

 

September 3, 2021