WowHentou A teenager committed suicide in a quiet corner of northwestern Poland in 2015, partly because he opposed homosexual relationships. Daniel Richardski visited the village and took a branch from the tree where they committed suicide and made a simple cross. He carried his work.“I went to Warsaw and installed it in front of the presidential residence. Another cross stood in the same place to commemorate the crash of a plane in Smolensk in 2010, killing the Polish president and many other senior officials.
A corps of Polish artists is trying to shed light on the country’s move towards intolerance under the ruling party of law and justice. However, Richard Ski’s art scene corner is lonely. He set up a studio in the village of Croco, about 110 km from Warsaw. He considers himself a devout Catholic, but has been rejected by the Polish church as homosexual. “For me, living in Poland means living in a cage,” says Richardsky.
Throughout his work, a 35-year-old artist activist is rattling the bar. Rycharski molded rosary beads from a resin mixed with the blood of a gay friend. He made scarecrows from wooden crosses and clothes donated by persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He sewed a church robe from the clothes of a Polish priest, called it the “Ku Klux Klan” and covered it with a distinctive pointed hood.
Still, Richardsky is devout. The award-winning Polish screenwriter Mateus Pasevic can consider the “cross” to be “eerie,” but Richard’s pilgrimage to the cross turns his work into a “religious act, ritual.” I point out that. His faith helped calm his critics. Government officials complained about the exhibition of his work in 2019 at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, but did not close it. Ordinary people tried to destroy his fragment that was on display in public, but some apologized after the artist explained his meaning. “He doesn’t want to lose ties to the church. He wants to create a dialogue,” says Cassia Matt-Usinska, curator of Richardsky’s latest show at the Kahan Art Space in Vienna.
In fact, Richardski very recently began to think of his sexuality in his work. Four years ago he left the international Krakow. And it was decided that the city wasn’t for him. His goal was to tell the story of a rural Polish community, often despised as a backward and Philistine. Rycharski captivated local villagers with street art, decorating homes, barns and public spaces with images of some wild and some domesticated hybrid animals. In 2014, he celebrated the 150th anniversary of the abolition of the Polish feudal system by building a rainbow-colored Arc de Triomphe outside his neighbor’s house.
It may end up in galleries all over Europe, but his art is most often first exhibited on Polish farmlands. His favorite project fused his two worlds.After a series of Polish villages proclaimed themselves LGBTQ-Free Zone, last year Mr. Richard persuaded to invite five families in rural areas LGBTQ Visitors will stay for a few days.The most striking exhibit in Vienna is a tapestry depicting one of these hosts, with shorts and T-A shirt with mechanical farm equipment spread behind him like an angel’s wings.
It was hard to find a host happily, says Rycharski. It was even more difficult to convince them to join the gay Poles. “People trust me, people understand me, and people can do things with me that they can never do,” he says. ■
This article was published in the Printed Books and Arts section under the heading “Country Places”.
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