One day I saw the sunset twelve times

Cracow, 17.07 - 17.08. 2021


Michał Sroka
Michał Zawada
Filip Rybkowski
There are places on Earth where sunset takes two minutes. There are also such places, where the sun disc tries to set behind the horizon for tens of hours. Chromatic distortions and optical dispersion of light waves breaking through the atmosphere make this short moment before the night darkness more spectacular on our planet than the long hours that precede it, when the sun moves high in the sky. It is not without reason that the view of the midday sun is a rarity in the history of painting, while stunning sunsets color tens of thousands of canvases - freely exploring the drama, nostalgia and banality of the motif.How to understand this obsession with depicting the setting sun? Perhaps it is that the increased presence of decadent views, lasting for at least two centuries, coincides with the moment when humanity bids farewell to the planet, the moment of the twilight of our species. We watch in suspense for the fantastic hues in the baroquely clumped clouds, squinting to see the tiny disc of our nearest star silently disappear behind the black silhouette of the horizon. That little bit of sentimental pleasure at the end certainly can't hurt. Nor would it hurt to do a sunset exhibition with a paraphrase from The Little Prince in the title.

Nothing in the world begins and nothing ends - matter is constantly transforming. Something transforms into something else, changes its state, density, color. Only our consciousness ends - it invents beginnings and endings. Is it bad that after we are gone, when no one can paint a colorful sunset anymore, the sun will still be setting over our planet for a few billion years?

You know, when it's very sad, one loves sunsets.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)