The exhibition “Bartosz Mucha: Rożnowskie, or a Refuge in Tabaszowa” tells the story of a designer who in January 2020 radically changed his creative strategy. Bartosz Mucha left for the mountains and started to build a wooden house on his own. The exhibition presents a photographic documentation of this process along with a series of sculptures – masks and heads – and hand-carved stools created from construction waste.
Bartosz Mucha is a designer working on the borderline between design, architecture and visual arts, utilitarianism and conceptualism, known for his existential questions, poeticism and humour, as well as for setting a rhythm and time frame for his activities. The Rożnowskie, or a Refuge in Tabaszowa project was conceived spontaneously at the beginning of the pandemic year 2020, and the author devoted exactly a year to its completion. In this time, he built a house in Tabaszowa on Lake Rożnowskie and created a series of sculptures — masks and heads — and hand-carved stools. Mucha carried out the project alone — with the exception of highly specialised tasks, such as installing electrical wiring or roofing. The artist emphasises that he worked in concentration, in solitude, in a nearly meditative unity with nature and the changing seasons, building/creating for himself and his own pleasure. The author probably assumed that the pandemic that imposed social isolation and slowed down the course of professional matters would be over by the end of the year. He met the deadline he set for himself; however, the epidemic is still not letting up, and he decided to share the results of his work with the public.
Mucha says that the departure from design and the turn to handicrafts brought him joy in the regained simplicity of creation. Its symbol can be found in the axe, exhibited in a separate display case, like an object from an ethnographic museum, which the artist used to build his house and work on his sculptures. He found it in the gazebo left by the previous owner of the plot and restored it.
Bartosz Mucha described the course of the experiment in Tabaszowa in his favourite format — the photo book — available at the exhibition in the Zachęta Project Room. The photos documenting the subsequent stages of his work can also be seen on the walls of the gallery.