l’étrangère, in collaboration with Henryk Galery in Kraków, Poland, is pleased to present ‘A Country Where the Gypsy Has Been Hunted’, an exhibition by the Polish Roma artist, Krzysztof Gil.
The show is comprised of a single installation, entitled TAJSA Yesterday and Tomorrow (2018), which takes as its point of departure the ritual of ‘Heidenjachten’ or ‘Gypsy-hunt’, prevalent in Germany and the Netherlands from the seventeenth until as late as the nineteenth centuries.
The installation, a shelter-like construction made from raw canvas and fragments of wooden planks and connected with threads, ropes and bone glue, imitates the traditional, humble and temporary houses erected by itinerant Roma communities. Inside the shelter is a large panoramic tableau that depicts a procession of hunters, animals and human corpses, drawn with white chalk on a black background. The characters have been inspired by the Rembrandt painting, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632), in which Dr Tulp presents a public dissection to members of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons. Gil’s drawings of the hunters’ trophy heap, which includes a deer, a hare, a bird and a Roma, perversely resembles the aestheticised paintings of the Dutch still-life tradition.
The exhibition is supported by the Municipality of Kraków, Poland and the Polish Cultural Institute, London, UK.