Daniel Rycharski has artistic ties to the Sierpce region in northern Masovia, where he has worked with local communities for over a decade. Through his practice, the artist lends his voice to LGBT+ people and contemporary forms of spirituality and religiousness. “Family Care,” Rycharski’s newest effort, is the latest in a series of projects that facilitate encounters between different social worlds. The action brought together farmers from several villages near Sierpc and a group of LGBT+ people, who accompanied the locals as they went about their everyday duties. Hospitality and cooperation laid the foundation for a dialog that would hopefully reverse the social erosion and online hatred that often fan the flames of homophobia. At a direct level, the project was intended as a form of therapy for Poland’s deeply riven society. It also echoed ongoing discussions about insufficient funding for care and care work, which are indispensable to any community. The farmers received remuneration for their labor.
“Family Care” challenges stereotypical portrayals of rural villages as closed, conservative communities, while also creating an opportunity for residents to interact directly with members of the LGBT+ community, demonstrating the problems they struggle with on a daily basis: the lack of full civil rights, and violence, both symbolic and physical. Among the outcomes of this encounter is a series of art objects that draw upon the shared experiences of the participants. The family care banner on display at the WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION festival proposes a new, secular iconography: a visual complement to the concept of irreligious Christianity, which the artist is continuously developing. The embroidered motto is a quotation from Abbé Pierre, the French social and spiritual activist who founded the Emmaus movement. Family care — taking deliberate action to help others — is one way of continuing that stance.
The project additionally includes a series of sculptures made from farm equipment, which has been transformed in the image of angels’ wings. These objects, which will be added to the exhibition in late October, along with photographic documentation posted online, contribute to the story of this experience of cooperation and dialog.
(b. 1986) – artist, activist, creator of objects and activities in the public space, a lecturer at with the Academy of Art in Szczecin. Winner of the 2016 Paszport Polityki award for Visual Arts. Rycharski has an established art connection with the village of Kurówko and the Sierpc area in the northern Mazowsze region, where he often works with the local community. He sees his artistic practice as a form of LGBT activism and a reflection on contemporary forms of spirituality and religiosity. His solo exhibition Strachy [Fears] is one of the most important artistic voices of recent years.
Rok powstania: 2020
installation. Courtesy of the artist.