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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 21, 2011
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Satire Galore
December 21, 2011   
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Two attention-grabbing exhibitions are on display at Warsaw’s Eryk Lipiński Museum of Caricature until Feb. 5, The Library and Politics and Politicians.

The Library comprises over 100 works that won awards at the 13th Open International Satirical Drawing Competition in the western Polish city of Zielona Góra. A total of 743 works by 334 artists from 51 countries were submitted for the competition. Submissions included work by artists from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Iran, Israel, Luxembourg, Germany, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and the United States, in addition to works by Polish artists. The artists were expected to reinterpret the meaning of the word “library” in the context of the modern media and new technology. The works contained references to contemporary cultural icons such as Facebook, Google, and the smartphone. The traditional idea of the library as a building with stacks of books was set against images of gadgets such as the USB storage device. As a result, tradition was juxtaposed with innovation. The exhibition reflects a variety of views and a wealth of cultural and religious references, giving the popular notion of “library” a new artistic twist.

Among the works on display at the Museum of Caricature are award-winning drawings by Poland’s Witold Mysyrowicz (who won the Grand Prize at Zielona Góra) and Paweł Kuczyński and Israel’s Grigori Katz and Kfir Weizman.

The Politics and Politicians exhibition, in turn, focuses on political satire; it targets politicians of all persuasions.

“Politics is the sphere of public life which determines the quality of our personal life, whether we want that or not,” writes the museum’s director Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz in a commentary about the exhibition. “We may not be interested in politics, but politics is always interested in us. Politicians are a specific species of people who are convinced of their infallibility and claim to know best how our lives should be arranged. At the same time, they go to lengths to make sure our lives are colorful and monotony-free. Consequently, we should not be surprised that politics has become the darling of cartoonists.”

This exhibition features works by 22 leading Polish cartoonists, among them longtime Voice contributor Dariusz Pietrzak, who illustrates our “Heard in Passing” column.

until Feb. 5
Museum of Caricature
Warsaw, 11 Kozia St., www.muzeumkarykatury.pl
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