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Stepping on the Rakes of Bliss — Michał Maliński

Centrum Kultury Agora, ul. Serbska 5a

curators: Oliwia Drozdowicz, Ewa Budnik

Have you ever gone to a shopping mall or into town just to look at the shop windows? Pleasant, isn't it? Those trips to the shop just to try things on and put them back at the checkout 'until tomorrow' or to order something online and never pick it up - it gives you some kind of short-term gratification. To have a ritual, to move somewhere else. Pure, apparent consumption.

Maliński does almost the same thing, but he's not interested in the product and certainly not in the 'fast' form. He has a penchant for outdated, 'provincial' aesthetics, juxtaposed with new technologies - the current drivers of the shopping industry. Storefronts and adverts are such archaic tic toques, and tic toques are such endless infinite scroll advertising giving quick doses of dopamine. Constant content and the opportunity to buy virtual clothes.

Such a nice tik tok blanket is the easiest happiness, a faux ornament, a cute kitty. Maliński, on the other hand, is satisfied by what comes with time and the past - the 'sweaty' plexiglass on a paper advertisement, the broken glass, the faded colours, the tarnished ad, the exceptionally ugly poster that, in the context of the environment in which it hangs, takes on a strange value. One that tells the story of 'our time' in a pointed manner.

By reworking the non-obvious landscape of late capitalism, Maliński creates imagined stories that no longer belong to these adverts, to this order. The product or the advertisement becomes a tool through which Michal can narrate the world around him. A world constructed on appearances.

Author of the text: Karolina Jarzębak


(born 1997, Gorzów Wlkp.).

Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków at the Faculty of Graphic Arts (autumn 2022). Co-founder of the Szaber collective and gallery, he works with photography, painting and multimedia.

In his works, he usually resorts to observing the people closest to him, the spaces he inhabits and the things at his fingertips. In them, he often interweaves codes that build our cultural identity, where he catches the absurdities of everyday life.

He is interested in man's relationship with the world on a global scale, as well as the individual stories of individuals. From mass issues such as the effect of the systemic transformation in Poland to the extreme emotional states of his characters.

He tries to translate them into visual language, catching the clash that occurs between the imaginary world and reality.


  • Finalist at 46. Biennale Malarstwa Bielska Jesień 2023
  • Parapetówka, Turnus, Warszawa 2023
  • Farsz, Krakers, Szaber 2023
  • Laureat Biennale Fotografii TIFF 2023
  • Zmierzch bezkarności, Rondo Sztuki, 2023
  • Melted Teeth, Szaber, 2022- solo
  • Zbiór nieskończony, Fotofestiwal Łódz 2022
  • BAGNO/GĄBKA, Krakers 2022
  • Stepping on rakes of bliss, Krakers 2022 – solo
  • Finalista 45. Biennale Malarstwa Bielska Jesień 2021
  • ZWIERZĘCENIE , Krakow Photomonth 2021
  • Life after Covid?, Riga Photomonth, Łotwa 2021
  • Z BUTA WJEŻDŻAM, Trafostacja Sztuki w Szczecinie 2020
  • Wycieczka w góry, Boogalo, Warszawa 2020 – solo
Mężczyzna całujący psa to Michał Maliński.