The Eye Never Sleeps 2020 – THE FEAST



International Non-accidental Meetings


09.11.2020– 12.07.2020

The Ostromecko Palace / The Municipal BWA Gallery in Bydgoszcz/ MCK Bydgoszcz


The Eye 2020 – the ideological basis for the programme
For the Western culture, feast does not simply come down to a “slap-up meal” and its various, more or less provocative or carnivalesque overindulgences. However, even in places where it seems to be like this, where coarse amusements, gluttony and trumpery lavishness seem to be dominating – like in the Roman Feast of Trimalchio, some of the paintings by Peter Bruegel the Elder (The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day, The Land of Cockaigne), in the metaphorical scenes of the “fight between carnival and lent” or in the renowned movie by Marco Ferreri in 1973 – in fact, it often turns out to be a means of satire, an act of criticism: an emblem or a symbol of social and civilizational demise, moral degradation of both the collective and individuals. Sometimes it is even the omen of the upcoming apocalypse. What is more significant, there are two tales of feasts that, as a matter of fact, represent the way of the Western faith and morality. Naturally, we are talking about Symposium by Plato, which has actually begun and stimulated the course of our thought, and The Last Supper, which has been one of the founding acts of Christianity (as well as a momentous subject in arts). Of course, this coil and “intersection” of the two traditions is not everything. If one looks closely enough, all the significant events, all the breakthroughs, all the great traditions are related to their own symbolic feasts. The Jewish Passover Seder commemorates the paschal feast before the Exodus from Egypt, the Biblical Belshazzar’s feast was a cryptic augury of his death and the fall of Babylon, the Christmas Eve supper (a Polish tradition) and the Easter breakfast symbolize the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the tradition of the knights of the West stems from the legendary talks and feasts at The Round Table, the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre that marked the religious and political turning point in France began right after the royal wedding feast, one of the most respectable literary prizes, The Prix Goncourt, is announced after the dinner at the Drouant restaurant in Paris… And so on, and so forth. The Polish culture is not different, as the two critical feasts from the Pan Tadeusz epic poem, or the corresponding scenes from Wesele create significant foundations for the Polish memory and national imagination. The ones in which – not for the first time and not for the last – it is possible for the living to feast with the dead, for people to feast with ghosts. However, it is not only about those particular, unique acts and stories. Feasts are simply inscribed into the order of human’s destiny, into the simple life of the individuals and communities. And they are given in order to emphasize its rhythm and crucial moments – both the ones through which order and normal, natural course of actions is being manifested, as well as the ones in which the power and strength, the feeling of joy are shown, as well as the ability to overcome miseries. People thus feast as the times tell them to, according to the customs, traditions and the requirements of the situation: on the days of solstices and equinoxes, as the beginning of spring, harvesting crops, the beginning of the winter’s darkness or after having defeated an enemy or some other kind of evil. One feasts because of the birth, weddings, life triumphs and farewells, especially the last ones – with the dead. Lastly, one feasts in a spontaneous way, “just because”, or out of the blue. It is so, as a feast, in its deepest essence, is the element of the collective being, a radical contestation of human loneliness. And this is what makes it so powerful and meaningful.

Written by: Prof. Zbigniew Mikołejko




Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego pochodzących z Funduszu Promocji Kultury,
uzyskanych z dopłat ustanowionych w grach objętych monopolem państwa . zgodnie z art. 80 ust I ustawy z dnia 19 listopada 2009r o grach hazardowych








Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego pochodzących z Funduszu Promocji Kultury






Wydarzenie jest współfinansowane ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego w ramach Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego Województwa Kujawsko-Pomorskiego na lata 2014-2020.

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