Przetrwalnik // Spore

Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Paulina Mirowska, 2023

installation: object (carbon steel, dried plants from reed, miscanthus and sedges, essential oil from juniper berries, cotton fabric dyed with onion peels, linen rope), 100 × 110 × 200 cm;

collage: a collection of works (carbon steel, galvanized mesh, fruits of reed, cattail and lobed cattail, seeds of, among others, water caltrop, oak, teasel, burdock, elm flower scales, felt, linen string), dimensions variable.

The structure of the facility was created in cooperation with craftsmen from the Kowale Losu studio in Warsaw.




The form made of steel and plants is the idea of ​​shelter in times full of conflicts and crises, both global and personal. A refuge in a state of threat, overwhelm, overstimulation, an attack of fear of an uncertain future. The artists ask questions about the possibilities of regeneration and relief in an accelerated, technological, dying world. Working on Survivor also has a personal dimension for them, because for each of them it is a time of facing their own problems - the death of a parent and activist burnout.

The facility was lined with dried plants collected from urban wastelands and outskirts. It is complemented by a collage presenting the artistic and research process. It is a reflection on the materiality of the seed, combining the softness of the interior, which houses the delicate embryo, with the hardness of the shell, which protects it from the outside world and helps it survive the period of unfavorable external conditions. By examining plants and looking at them, the artists learn other models of functioning in the present, with a slight "tilt towards the future"*.

* See: J. Erbel, Wychylone w przyszłość. Jak zmienić świat na lepsze, Kraków 2022.



The Przeprzelnik project draws inspiration from the phenomenon of a seed as a young plant form, somehow frozen in time. The botanical thread is juxtaposed here with a fragment of the book Lęk by Antoni Kępiński - a Polish psychiatrist and philosopher - which talks about the awareness of the future time, i.e. the anxiety-provoking unknown:

[...] to live, we must constantly strive towards an unknown future and transform it into a known past. This transformation of the unknown into the known, the future into the past, requires effort and courage. It's not always possible for people to do it. Sometimes he is too weak himself, and sometimes the situation is too difficult. Then he is afraid of the future, he wants to go back into the past [...] or at least stop in the present, but this is impossible, because life is about expansion into the future, you cannot stop even for a moment**.

** A. Kępiński, Lęk, Warszawa 1977, p.14.