HEVELIUS_object, Material: aluminum profile; Dimension: 400 x 400 x 36 cm; Date: 2022
detail – HEVELIUS_object, Material: aluminum profile; Dimension: 400 x 400 x 36 cm; Date: 2022
HEVELIUS, Technique: Lenticular Graphic; Dimension: 180 x 83 cm; Date: 2022, Hevelius music composition made by Paul Wirkus

Mateusz Dabrowski, Paul Wirkus

Paul and I were listening to the music along with looking at Iannis Xenakis’ scores. There was an idea to create a spatial graphic composition using lenticular printing, created on the basis of the score drawn by Paul. The drawing was to be created on the occasion of composing a piece conceived for the Hevelius project, dedicated to the famous scientist. In the graphic image, we can follow the notation of the sounds that accompany the image, while listening to them. An important element for us was the coexistence of image and music in a mutual perceptual context. The illusory, moving and spatial image was conceived referring to the primal human needs, civilization’s desires, the determination to seek, discover, explore and ask new questions.
Every object in the sky is dependent on other bodies and phenomena in its surroundings. Gravity constantly affects the relationship between objects, events, forces acting on each other and energy, this applies to any matter regardless of the environment.

score by Paul Wirus

The Moon and Sobieski’s Shield: Old Heveliana and Contemporary Art

King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów

curator: Dorota Folga-Januszewska

22/04 – 15/27/2022

The Moon and Sobieski’s Shield is an exhibition that presents Johannes Hevelius as a scholar and an artist while highlighting the ties between the famous astronomer and King Jan III. The historical part of the exhibition focusses on works by Hevelius – illustrated volumes entered into UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2021, as well as Sobiesciana from the Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and selected objects from the collections of the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów. The Orangery and the historic park of the Wilanów residence provide space for the presentation of graphics, paintings, and installations by members of the faculty and doctoral candidates from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw inspired by Hevelius’ studies of heavenly bodies (including observations of the Moon and the constellations drawn by him). Analysing the visual aspect of the scientific studies of the 17th-century scholar, contemporary artists staked out an innovative, fascinating path into the limitless space above our heads.

The exhibition is the result of a creative exchange between employees of the museum, PAN’s Gdańsk Library, and artists from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

An exhibition at the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów from the collection of the Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences, also presenting works and installations by artists from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

The exhibition of Heveliana at the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów is conceived in such a manner as to, on the one hand, present beautiful evidence of historical scientific thought bound in an interesting artistic form and the impact it had on arts and sciences in the 17th and 18th century, and on the other, provide a reminder that artistic and intellectual legacies stimulate contemporary culture.

Drawings, etchings, prints, medals – visitors will find all of those in King Jan III’s Banqueting Hall, the highest-placed room at the very centre of the palace, in a 2nd storey extension erected as an observation point, in the manner of a Roman villa belvedere. The windows of the Banqueting Hall open to east and west; once, the view from them stretched far, not only toward the floodplain of the Vistula in the east, the far-off city in the west, and the gardens surrounding the property, but also to the sky and the stars!

The Moon of the title, observed and depicted by Hevelius in a print from an etching that astounds with its technical quality and the plasticity of its imagined craters, is the symbolic opening of our presentation. Next to it will also be found Sobieski’s Shield, Scutum Sobiescianum – the constellation Hevelius used to inscribe the name of the Victorious King in the skies.

Descending from Wilanów’s belvedere and passing through the preserved historic palace interiors, one is treated to a collection of objects inspired by cosmological themes dating back to the times of the Sobieskis as well as modern visual and aural arrangements designed by contemporary artists, inspired by the research, thought, and graphical art of the Gdańsk astronomer.

Heading toward the Orangery, visitors will observe artistic installations also in the park; meanwhile, the Orangery will contain a condensation of contemporary artistic endeavours: sculptures, graphics, drawings, paintings, installations, forms of conceptual dialogue, multimedia, and projections arranged according to the eight phases of the Moon.

Dorota Folga-Januszewska