“The Dark Side of The Sun”


space-time activities, 2018
_artists: Magda Jędra, Tatiana Kamieniecka, Katarzyna Konieczka, Piotr Pawlak, Julia Porańska
_curator: Emilia Orzechowska

For those who are racked by melancholia, writing about it would have meaning only if writing sprang out of that very melancholia.
(Julia Kristeva, Black Sun, 1987)

1st August 2018* marked the global Earth Overshoot Day (EOD): on this day, humanity’s ongoing consumption of resources exceeded the amount that may be annually regenerated by our planet, meaning that until the end of the calendar year, we will be falling into ecological debt. A debt that is impossible to repay: the plants will not absorb the CO2 produced from then on, nor will the water used by humans all over the world purify itself or the animal herds or fisheries reproduce. Today, to satiate its appetite, humanity would need not one, but 1.6 of a planet. If we do not put a stop to this trend, by 2030 the Earth Overshoot Day will fall on 28th June, and we will be needing two planets to sustain ourselves.

Ecocide is a neologism coined from the prefix “eco” and the word “homicide”, meaning extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of the given ecosystem – an intervention that threatens the life and health of the human population.

We are currently “at war”, following the demand put forward by lawyer Polly Higgins for ecocide to be regarded as the fifth crime against peace. If such an amendment was introduced, ecocide would be globally recognized as a crime and any person perpetrating it would be prosecuted and held accountable in line with the relevant penal regulations.

This (un)armed conflict is ongoing… The dispute about words, arguments, paragraphs, committees, experts, etc.

The Dark Side of the Sun seems to herald this impending change. The oxymoron in the title refers – perhaps only accidentally – to the total solar eclipse, a unique phenomenon that has wreaked havoc and forerun unexpected turning points since time immemorial.


The sun is gone.

It is engulfed in the eternal cloud cover.

There are no more animals or plants.

Our civilization has ceased to exist, and the creatures that survived are trying to resettle and colonize the remaining ‘desert islands’.

What would happen is the sun switched off the Earth’s energy grid? While this scenario may bring to mind the plot of a sci-fi novel, it is actually quite realistic. The stability of the Sun is ostensible: in fact, it is one of the most unpredictable celestial bodies in the constellation surrounding the Earth, and constantly emits vast masses of energy known as coronal mass ejections. The last such ejection reached Earth more than 150 years ago, causing a potent magnetic storm. What would happen if a similar storm were to hit our planet now, when humanity is so dependent on modern, electricity-powered technologies?

Any debate about the Anthropocene is in fact a debate on how to manage the irreversible. Philosopher and sociologist Ewa Bińczyk points out that “we live in the Anthropocene – a new age in which the Homo sapiens has become the driving force on a geological scale and begun to overstep subsequent stability milestones for life as we know it (…)This process is irreversible: ocean acidification, ocean current disruption, destabilization of the hydrosphere, changes to soil structure, loss of biodiversity… We are witnessing another Great Extinction. We are losing 14 species a year. By the end of the century, one half of all species of the flora and fauna will have died out. (…)The world as we know it is ending before our very eyes”.

In this context, the metaphorical Dark Side of the Sun from the title becomes a figure in the never-ending shift of meanings and interpretations without any hope of a moral.

Emilia Orzechowska

* In 1987 the EOD fell on 19th December, in 1997 on 26th October, a mere ten years later on 2nd . This date is not fixed and it is going to get closer and closer to the beginning of the year.

locationislands next to the Japanese Garden, Oliwa Park



Magda Jędra (b. 1977) is a dancer, choreographer and performer, co-founder of the Good Girl Killer group. She is eager to take part in various art-related activities and cooperate with representatives of other performative disciplines. Her performative collages are a result of her reluctance to classify art. When working on a performance, her first guideline is work in a process, and her most important motivation – looking for a specific and appropriate quality of movement to build a distinctive statement. Jędra likes clear-cut, unconventional solutions. She lives in Gdańsk.

Tatiana Kamieniecka (b. 1986) is a dancer, choreographer, performer, dance teacher and body awareness instructor.  She has a degree in Cultural and Education Studies from the University of Gdańsk, she graduated from the Primary Music School in Gdańsk and completed an Experimental Choreography Course in Warsaw. She studied at the Faculty of Dance Theatre at the National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow. She works with the Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre and independent artists. She is the author of numerous performances and site-specific actions. For years she has been exploring broadly understood improvisation, working with various states, imagination and an experimental approach to the body and physical actions. She has won scholarships awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the cultural programme of the city of Gdańsk and the Alternative Dance Academy organized by Art Stations Foundation in Poznań.

Katarzyna Konieczka (b. 1982) is a fashion and costume designer and stylist. She graduated in Costume Design from the International School of Costume and Fashion Design in Warsaw (diploma with honours). She is the author of costumes for the stage and photo shoots (e.g., for VOGUE NL, VOGUE IT, VOGUE UK, I-D Magazine, and Top Model). She has collaborated with Fergie, Lady Gagą, Cocorosie, Nick Knight, and David LaChapelle, among others. She has won a number of awards and honorary mentions from the most important fashion critics in the world, and was the finalist or award-winner of many fashion design competitions. In 2016, CNN named her one of 10 “designers of the future”. She lives and works in Sopot.

Piotr Pawlak (b. 1966) is a guitarist and record producer associated with the Tricity music scene. He made his debut in Bielizna in the late 1980s. He co-founded Kury and played on their award-winning album P.O.L.O.V.I.R.U.S. He plays in Łoskot, Kaszebe, YeShe, and Rito. He composes music for film, ballet, dance theatre, radio dramas and multimedia performances. Pawlak produced several dozen albums by various artists, including Ścianka, Kury, Łoskot, Kobiety, Tymon & Transistors, Pink Freud, Oczi Cziorne, Made in Poland.

Julia Porańska (b. 1980) is a graphic artist, stage designer and (theatre and dance) costume designer. She graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Gdańsk University of Technology. She is involved in interdisciplinary projects that combine culture, fashion and art. She has worked, among others, in productions staged by the Polski Theatre in Wrocław, Stary Theatre in Krakow, Nowy Theatre in Łódź, Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk, and Jerzy Szaniawski Dramatic Theatre in Wałbrzych. She lives and works in Gdańsk.

Emilia Orzechowska (b. 1979) is a curator, producer, academic lecturer and organizer of cultural events. She graduated in Film Studies from the Institute of Audio-Visual Arts of the Jagiellonian University, completed the cultural event organization studies in Gdańsk (specializing in film) and graduated in Art Criticism from the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. She founded the A KuKu Sztuka Association, and currently works at the Municipal Miniatura Theatre (as theatre producer) and Trafostacja Sztuki in Szczecin (as curator). She specializes in public art and site-specific projects. She is a member of the All Inclusiv curators’ collective. She curated and produced six edition of ARTLOOP FESTIVAL in Sopot and ten editions of PARKING – an interdisciplinary event at the Oliwa Park in Gdańsk. She has won scholarships awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and Mayor of Gdańsk. Orzechowska received the Minister of Culture’s Decoration of Honour “Meritorious for Polish Culture”.

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