Father Talks about the Supermarket

Artists Maciej Cholewa
Genre Installation   Video
Edition Survival 17

[…] Maciej Cholewa in the work Father Talks about the Supermarket draws attention to the retrospective negotiation of historical narratives and interpretation of specific events. The starting point for the installation is a video combining found footage and recorded memories of the artist’s father, who grew up in Silesia in the mid-1970s. With hindsight, some of the games described by the artist’s father, such as throwing human bones unearthed during preparatory works for the construction of a supermarket in the site of a former Jewish cemetery under lorry wheels, can be easily dismissed as barbaric and antiSemitic. However, when told from the point of view of a child, without a forced sense of shame or insincere guilt, they point to the social ignorance of Jewish history at the time and the systemic omission of subjects connected with PolishJewish relations in education. What comes to the fore in the father’s stories is boyhood combining mischief with innocence, childishness evolving into masculinity through pranks testing the limits of acceptability and security. A comparison of mischievous acts from the 1970s and practical jokes played by boys today triggers indirect questions about the mechanisms of exclusion and intentionality or thoughtlessness of certain actions which, from today’s perspective, could easily be condemned as expressions of a radical ideology. In a way, Cholewa’s work summarises the part of the exhibition devoted to personal narratives, alternative interpretations of history and attempts at its redefinition through values that are considered important by artists. […]

Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz: Concealed. In: Art Reviev SURVIVAL 17. Catalogue, Wrocław 2019, p. 70-71.

photo: Małgorzata Kujda