Jarosław Kozłowski: Ćwiczenie Z Semiotyki · Exercise of Semiotics, 1977


Poznań, Poland

In stock

Poznań: Galeria AKUMULATORY 2, 1977 (12), 60 × 35 cm. Letterpress and offset lithograph. Poster published in conjunction with the exhibition of an important conceptual project by Kozłowski utilizing mass produced postcards of roses accompanied by commentary statements relating to the nature of each flower. Subtle yet subversive political commentary with a wink to Gertrude Stein and René Magritte.  Printed on thin stock.


One needs to point out also that in Kozłowski’s work, liberation is related to the opposite gesture, namely, the objectification of ideas. Ideas are not thought when, as is generally believed, something is conceptualised, but when they are reified. A perfect example of this may be found in the work from 1977 called Exercise in Semiotics. It consisted of a sequence of 49 mass-produced postcards with reproductions of roses of various brands and colours. Each pair of identical photographs was marked with the same commentary doubled by its opposite. If the caption under one photograph read, ‘this pretty red rose is a red rose’, under the next, identical photograph, the caption said, ‘this pretty red rose is not a red rose’. The real colour of the roses was irrelevant. The artist intended for the term ‘the rose’ to mean THE ROSE. Such miracles had been possible only in the Cana of Galilee and, maybe, also in Hegel’s philosophy. Kozłowski seems to be saying that now they are to be common experience. Democracy means also, or above all, the democracy of cognition.

Szymon Wróbel, Jarosław Kozłowski: Quotation Marks, 2010

condition: Mild handling wear to be expected from this kind of light and fragile paper. Excellent.