Młodość 1861 liter później

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“Młodość 1861 liter później” (“Youth 1861 letters later”) is a work based on Adam Mickiewicz's poem „Oda do młodości” (“Ode to the Youth”) from 1820. After the user activates the process, the original poem disappears letter after letter and the title changes accordingly to the number of disappearing signs. On the entry page we could see the original work by Mickiewicz which in this case is entitled “Młodość zero liter później” (“Youth zero letters later”) and user by clicking the top right corner of the page or the Esc button activates the process which is defined as “doczekiwanie starości” (“waiting for the senility”). The process of disappearing goes in one, inevitable direction and cannot be reversed, the only thing a user can do is to pause it or witness the terminal decay of the work into nothingness. After all letters are gone the title displayed is: “Młodość 1861 liter później” (“Youth 1861 letters later”).

Original work by Adam Mickiewicz is one of the flag examples of Polish romantic tradition, which in this case could be characterized by the grandiloquent tone of the work and totality of the presented vision. The implied timelessness and grandiosity of “Oda do młodości” in “Młodość 1961 liter później” is contrasted with the absolute inevitability of decay and the passing of time. Something that once was the anthem of the youth turns into nothing more than a collection of empty spaces and the explosion of human potency is reduced to the possibility of mere pausing or postponing what is terminal.

“Młodość 1861 liter później” is one of the examples of Leszek Onak's prolonged investigation into the topic of time, present in his previous works such as “Kręgosłup Czasu” (“Spine of the Time”) from 2011. What is specific about “Młodość 1861 liter później” is its seriousness and undoubtedly pessimistic tone.

The work is dedicated to Genowefa Zmarlicka.

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Gabriela Korwin...