This art installation at the National Museum in Warsaw has attracted international attention over the last week, so I thought I’d meander along to see it. I spent some time at the museum in January and it’s an impressive place, with over 830,000 items in its collection, a remarkable effort given the challenges of the Second World War when certain people pinched great chunks of its works.
Anyway, this sculpture has been created by Jerzy Kalina and is entitled “Poisoned Source”, depicting Pope John Paul II holding a meteorite. The water has been turned red and it’s in response to an artwork by Maurizio Cattelan from 1999 which showed the Pope being hit by a meteor which had knocked him out.
I read in the Guardian (yes, sorry, I like the Guardian) that this was akin to someone trying to put luggage into the overhead compartment of an aircraft. And now, looking at the photos again, I can’t quite get that imagery out of my mind.
The installation was attracting some interest, I took the photos to avoid including people where I could, but there was a constant flow of those who were intrigued by the work. I suppose that if any artwork can interest people then it has performed a role of some sorts. It’s being interpreted by some of the media as a sculpture which is designed to be pro-Government and pro-Church, but the artist has completed many works over the decades which are interesting talking points and this seems as good a way as any to mark 100 years since Pope John Paul II was born.