Curator / Roman Lewandowski

7.10.2021 / 6pm
Centre for Creative Activities in Ustka
 ul. Zaruskiego 1a

7.10.2021 – 30.01.2022
Centre for Creative Activities in Ustka
 ul. Zaruskiego 1a
Small Gallery in Słupsk / ul. Partyzantów 31a



The exhibition of works by Jakub Ciężki, Iwo Nikić and Ireneusz Walczak is intended to focus on the vocabulary, syntax and “alphabet” of the language of painting. The title ‘Pharmakon’ serves both as a poison and remedy of art in the textual dimension of painting and mainly through the emerging sign. The exhibition is intended to reflect on the phenomenon of textuality in general and the written word in particular. In fact, no story can exist without the written word, regardless of its dubious provenance and the uncertain future it faces. History has shown repeatedly that the written word has the power to kill or save lives. One of the fiercest opponents of writing was Plato, and yet, mercifully, he was the one who saved the teachings of Socrates from oblivion. Plato repeatedly expressed his reluctance to writing in Dialogues. In Phaedrus, the Greek philosopher recounts the myth of the Egyptian god Thoth, the inventor of letters and numbers, who compares writing to a “remedy” (pharmakon) to improve memory and wisdom,” and Tammuz, the king of gods, who scolds Thoth roundly: “If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder.”

In fact, Tammuz’s statement expresses the view of Plato himself, who believed that the “pharmakon” in question acts as both remedy and poison. Thoth considers writing a panacea for forgetfulness and a means of acquiring knowledge, but Tamuz views it as a substitute for memory. Jacques Derrida concludes: “In his sophistry, Plato scolds not the recourse to memory itself, but the replacement of living memory with a prosthesis; the perverse act of replacing a live organ with an dead object, and more specifically, the replacement of the active resurrection of knowledge, its conscious reproduction, with a passive and mechanical “remembering”.

It can therefore be assumed that since the time Plato’s Phaedrus, writing has been viewed as a pharmakon, i.e. a poison corrupting the purity of logos, even though it can also arouse and galvanize seekers of identity … In Ireneusz Walczak’s work, the pharmakon appears as a modus of representation and an aesthetic mechanism for organizing things.


Jakub Ciężki was born in 1979. In 2003, he obtained an honours’ degree in painting under Professor Jacek Wojciechowski at the Faculty of Arts of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. Finalist of the Art & Business editorial competition for the Image of the Year 2004. Winner of the Grand Prix in competitions organized by the Franciszka Eibisch Foundation in Warsaw (2004) and at the 40th Bielska Jesień Painting Biennale in 2011. He was nominated three times for Polityka’s Passport (2011, 2012, 2014). Scholarship holder of the ministerial scholarship program Young Poland for 2013. He received an artistic scholarship from the Mayor of Lublin for 2015 and 2016. He has presented a number of solo exhibitions, including: Corporal Puishment (2015) and Haven’t We Met Before? (2012) at Galeria Propaganda in Warsaw (2012), I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness at Galeria BWA in Gorzów Wielkopolski (2015), blackout at Galeria Bielska BWA in Bielsko-Biała (2013), To Read Between the Lines in gallery of the Lublin Society of Fine Arts ‘Zachęta’ (2009). He has participated in several dozen group exhibitions. He lives and works in Lublin.


Ivo Nikić was born in 1974 in Pristina. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, he obtained a degree in the studio of Professor Jarosław Modzelewski. In 2006 he received an Artist-In-Residence scholarship in Bern, Switzerland. He has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Poland (CCA Ujazdowski Castle, BWA Zielona Góra, Studio Gallery, Arsenał Gallery in Poznań, Fokus Łódź Biennale) and abroad (including Humboldt Berlin, Umspannwerk; Bat-Yam International Biennale of Landscape of Landscape Urbanism in Israel; Rotor in Graz; Tokyo Fashion Week). Since 2001, he is a co-founder of the “Szusz” group together with Piotr Kopik and Karol Radziszewski. He is a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2014). He has been nominated several times for the Polityka Passport award. He lives and works in Warsaw.


Ireneusz Walczak was born in 1961, honours’ degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Faculty of Graphics in Katowice (1988). Full professor, runs a painting studio for students of the 2nd to 5th (final) year at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. Since 1989, he has painted eleven series of paintings, including “Building an Identity”, “My House Is My Language”, “Multikulti”. He has participated in 270 group exhibitions, and presented 21 solo exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Winner of 30 national and foreign awards and honourable mentions, including the Grand Prix – award (medal) of the city mayor of Chamalieres – 1st World Triennial of Small Graphic Forms, Chamalieres, France (1988), “The Pollock – Krasner Foundation Award”, New York, USA (1993), Grand Prix – “Bielska Jesień” , Bielsko-Biała (1994). He has taken part in major generational exhibitions since the beginning of his artistic career> These include “Critics About Us” – BWA Sopot (1989), “Black Hole” BWA Katowice (1990), Painting of the 1980s – Frankfurt am Main, Dusseldorf – Germany (1991), “Demolition of the Iron Curtain” Kuhlhaus Berlin Exhibition Center – 2011). Trojan Horse – BWA Katowice – curator Ingmar Villqist (2015). Dialog der Generationen – Neue Polnische Kunst Freies Museum Berlin (2015) He has participated in numerous art fairs Art Cologne and Art Frankfurt.

Honorary patronage

President of the City of Slupsk Krystyna Danilecka-Wojewódzka
Mayor of the City of Ustka
Jacek Maniszewski