A Return Visit. Dali at the Pendereckis is the joint title of two exhibitions of photographs by Marian Eile. Audiences will have an opportunity to view the extensive show at the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków, as well as the Opera Gallery at the Warsaw’s Grand Theatre - National Opera. This is the first time this series from the 1970s is being displayed in full. The series staged a visit to the Penderecki house in Kraków by Salvador Dali, with the great painter played by Włodzimierz Mancewicz, and his wife, Gala, by Anna Arvay.
The curator of the exhibition, Anna Maria Potocka, describes the series' background:
In the first half of the 1970s, Mr. and Mrs. Penderecki paid a visit to Salvador Dali in Spain. They told this story to Eile, who assumed that it would be appropriate to invite Dali to Kraków in return, and if for some reason it wouldn’t be possible – to enact his visit. Thus was conceived the idea for the series A Return Visit. Dali at the Pendereckis. Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki – amused by the concept – agreed to take part.
The photographs presented in the two exhibitions are part of a vast collection of Eile's work donated to MOCAK, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, in 2013. Anna Arvay and Monika Opioła-Szargut presented MOCAK with 50 photo cycles, 41 prints, 23 drawings, projects and documentations of Eile’s activity, as well as some 200 issues of magazines.
The mise-en-scènes for A Return Visit. Dali at the Pendereckis, straight from a TV series, depict the protagonists’ characters quite accurately. The curator says:
Dali appeared as the master of mischief and exaggerated gestures, Penderecki – a composer with a passion for antiques, while Elżbieta Penderecka was the mother and the housewife. Marian staged a number of situations: a conversation between the hosts and the guests under a Christmas tree, a session of drawing Penderecki’s portrait, a visit to the childrens’ room, the expulsion of Dali’s nude muse by Mrs. Elżbieta, relaxing time by a mini bar, collective singing with the composer’s accompaniment, and a solemn discussion between the masters. My task at the photo shoot was to take care of the framing; I also had an appeareance as a supporting actress, when, suspended from the ceiling of the Pawilon Gallery, I was explaining the essence of contemporary art to Dali.
Marian Eile was a journalist, satirist, painter and stage designer. He graduated in law from the University of Warsaw, and also studied painting. He worked as a journalist and graphic artist for Wiadomości Literackie, where he had a column, Konkursy Pana Grypsa / Mr. Gryps’s Competitions, in which he combined drawing and photomontage with witty puns based on word association. During the war, he worked as a stage designer at the Teatr Miniatur in Lviv and as a road worker in Radom.
He became the editor-in-chief of Przekrój in 1945 and remained in that post until 1968. His motto was:
To produce a periodical which is one level up from reader, but is also comprehensible to an intelligent cleaner, a simple professor, and a primitive minister.
Under his guidance, the magazine became a key influence for culture and style in Poland and in the countries of the communist bloc.
As a protest against the government’s anti-Semitic policies, he emigrated to Paris in 1968, where he worked for the newspaper France-Soir, in which he published a daily satirical cartoon as a commentary on current affairs.
He returned to Poland in autumn 1970 and embarked on collaboration with the magazine Szpilki, in which from 1972 until 1979 he ran the column Franciszek i Inni / Francis and Others. He also worked as a French translator and a stage designer, while continuing to develop his own painting and other forms of art.
A Return Visit. Dali at the Pendereckis
Curated by Maria Anna Potocka
Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Cracow
Zwierzyniecka Street 1
Private view: 28.9.2013
Exhibition open: 29.9 – 22.12.2013
The Grand Theatre - National Opera in Warsaw, Opera Gallery
Plac Teatralny 1
Private view: 1.10.2013
Exhibition open: 2.10.2013 – 7.12.2013
Source: own materials, mocak.pl. ed. DW. Transl. AM 30.09.2013