No 2 (90) 2012
April - June

Apparent Dreams

Nothing is such, as they say. Agata Zbylut has devoted her exhibition to this matter. The artist has been mainly preoccupied with the feminine point of view; in this case, stories of women, related to the dreams that have never come true.

Agnieszka Gniotek

Art historian and critic. She publishes her texts in the following periodicals: Format, Opcje, Private Banking and Arteon. She specializes in the latest art problems, photography and collecting.

Agnieszka Gniotek

THE EXPOSITION is a set of several tales. About love, fidelity, trust. First, one gets acquainted with two loyal females of Adolf Hitler - Blondi, a she dog, and Eva Braun, his lover. He had poisoned both of them before committing a suicide. Pandering to his vanity, he assumed that once he was not there, they would have no reason to live. On the eve of the day of his suicide, he did Eva a favor and married her after 15 years of cohabitation. Possible, the death itself was even a greater favor for her. After all, during their relationship Braun attempted to commit a suicide twice. The reasons being personal, not political.

In love with much older man, she felt neglected and lonely. She had nothing to do with politics respecting Adolf's wish. She believed in the triumph of Germany till the very end. She was beautiful, flirtatious; fond of sports, shopping and photography. Blondi, just like Eva, matched Hitler quite well. A German Sheppard was a perfect dog for the Reich leader. Allegedly, Hitler did not performed too well as a man, allegedly he was a zoophyte. He was not very keen on the loyal dog, and tormented her with training. Some weeks before her death, Blondi whelped. One puppy was found dead by her side, nothing was known about the remaining. Hitler tried on Blondi the poison produced towards the end of the war in haste which was not always effective. He checked on the dog whether Eve would die fast enough. He shot himself. Both had a blind trust in him.

Other she dog - Layka - also had an absolute trust in man. Taken from somewhere in the street, she believed that she finally found her home. Apparently, she was surrounded by loving people. Only for the time being, since they had the reason of their own. They trained the dog, then sent her to the space to meet her death there. Blondi, Eva Braun and Layka had dreams impossible to come true; after all nothing is such, as they say.

The woman called Helenka has no dreams. Perhaps she used to have. It is hard to say, if she lives in her memories. She must be thinking about something dressed in her Sunday best, beads around her neck, while she keeps sitting in her window overlooking a dingy, completely empty narrow courtyard yard. It can be that Helenka is praying, perhaps remembering? She is waiting. What can one be waiting for sitting everyday in the window with the view on a concrete wall? The lady called Helenka is a real character, and the narrow courtyard is just behind the window of Agata Zbylut's bedroom. The lady called Helenka is her neighbor. Agata has dreams. She has been constantly changing something in her life. Are her dreams going to come true? Perhaps they are, though nothing is such as they say. She got acquainted with Helenka during making a video for her exhibition. Her neighbor belongs to a completely different world. After talking to Helenka, Agata still does not know what Helenka might be thinking about. Agata attempts to understand somehow Helenka' approach to life which is completely ungraspable to her. That is why she included another story in her video. She has selected a male hero. A dreamer who has succeeded. Apparently, at least. Larry Walters, sitting in the chair, is flying in front of Helenka's eyes. He attached military balloons to the kitchen piece of furniture and soared up the sky, very high. So high, that he got beyond air corridors of aircrafts. He landed, survived, made come true his dream about flying. Perhaps dreams are to remain dreams. Sometimes they should not come true, remain unattainable aspirations. Fifteen years after his famous flight, Larry Walters committed a suicide. They said that he had made his dream come true but after all nothing is such as they say.

Some narrations and the "Nothing is such, as they say" slogan encrusted with cheap trinkets. The exhibition on appearances. Also about the fact that once we have achieved something, we do not necessarily feel satisfied. And about the truth that dreams must be truly ours, not imposed by cultural codes. The latter has been illustrated be some headless dummies, dressed in white frocks, as for Holy Communion, involved in a slow somnambulistic dance. This is a story about indoctrinating little girls with white gowns, preparing them for future roles of brides. Theoretically, this is a dream of every maturing girl. But is this really a dream of the majority of women?

Agata Zbylut, "Nothing Is Such As They Say", the Artistic Exhibitions Bureau Bielska Gallery, Bielsko-Biała, March 2012