Tomasz Kulka, Idolatria, 2017

Idolatria

The eponymous Idolatry – the sin of the cult of objects – is what matters most in art. The exhibition of Tomasz Kulka’s newest works on the one hand shows how art has become the religion of atheists, and on the other – how deeply ingrained religious art is in our way of viewing the world. The paintings, crafted with conventional techniques are full of elements seemingly close and familiar, and yet impossible to clearly discern and define.

Fantastic scenes of torture do not recall any, even apocryphal texts. It is vain to seek specific religious symbols or citations from holy texts. The gilded edges of the works are not witness to religious content, and their odd shapes are not the result of an attempt to fit them into the void spaces in the chapel. It can be said that these paintings are so full of incomplete gestures, that they themselves begin to produce an aura of holiness. By the means of his works, Tomasz Kulka created a world of a non-existent cult, lacking a source and yet with a clearly defined finish. He employed it with a multitude of religious items in order to show the emptiness behind a work of art.

The pieces comprising Idolatry seem to be watching us. Reproachfully, they expect actions we cannot undertake, they invite us to partake in a ritual we will never know as to wash away our guilt for the sins we have never committed.