- Anna Królikiewicz
The Wedding is one of the most frequently played pieces of the Polish repertoire, drastically describing Polish complexes. The paradox is that the author, while describing the wedding reception, did not even mention how the wedding table looked like. Yet, rustic weddings are, in the culinary terms, up to this day a great theatrum culinae – the show of social aspirations, the hope for a better life. Anna Królikiewicz (contemporary artist, author of installations, painter) and Maciej Nowak (journalist, theatrologist, theatre and food critic) will take up the challenge of reconstructing this gastronomic universe.
Theatre in Poland is of particular importance. Since 250 years ago King Stanislaus Augustus appointed His Majesty’s National Actors group, Poles have considered theatre as a public institution influencing social and national awareness. As Americans await the Great Novel that will describe their fate, so that the Poles look out for the Great Dramas. And they have had some.
Among them there is The Wedding by Stanislaw Wyspiański, a piece from 1901, describing the marriage between a Galician peasant and a representative of the Krakow bohemia. The peasantry and the intelligentsia – two social groups unable to unite – meet at the wedding and confront their prejudices and superstitions. This is one of the most important and most frequently played pieces of the Polish repertoire, drastically describing Polish inabilities and complexes. The paradox is that the author, while describing the wedding reception, did not even once mention how the wedding table looked like and what was served during the reception. Yet, rustic weddings are, in the culinary terms, up to this day a great theatrum culinae, the show of social aspirations, the hope for a better life. Professor Anna Królikiewicz from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and Maciej Nowak – theatrologist, food critic – takes up the challenge of reconstructing this gastronomic universe.
Based on the local Galician products, after studying the sources of the era, Królikiewicz and Nowak will present the sensual, flavoured vision of a Polish wedding a hundred years ago, which the viewer will join when it is already in full swing.
The band is still playing the tunes, but the party is slowly over. Remainders of the feast are still on the tables, and the wedding guests are still tipsy, even intoxicated. The smell of alcohol fills the whole room. – Were Chopin still alive, I think, he would drink – says the hero of Wyspiański’s play called Nose, whose character was inspired by Stanisław Przybyszewski, a modernist Polish writer known throughout Europe. National discussion is unfolding in the atmosphere of decadence, drunken hallucinations, escape from political realism.
The very artefact will aim at reconstructing multi-sensory experience on all levels: before we feel the taste, and more specifically according to research on human physiology, colour instead of taste, the wafting steam, shine, texture, smell, touch are a vanguard thanks to which we study the reality. Apart from synaesthesia, the key to the installation is the key to the survival of Polish household in the countrywide at the turn of the 19th and 20th century: fermentation, drying and smoking.