A solo exhibition by Bartosz Kolata
6–8pm 17th February 2016
'The exhibition under the common title “Sophie in Love” is a number of recent works that take us back to the summer of 1940.
Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel had started off in Nazi Germany as firm supporters of the regime, tempted by blind patriotism that led Germany to the Second World War and its final disaster. When the Nazi party began its climb, Sophie and Fritz were as enthusiastic as everyone else in the 'New Germany’ the movement which promised to restore the nation to its greatness. Based on the letters there are some equivocations in the Scholl’s family correspondence. It is not always clear how they responded to the cruelty that surrounded them. Some of Sophie’s letters were censored and never published. It is difficult to judge some of their behaviour, especially since none of us can relate to the circumstances of Nazi Germany in 1939 . Hitler’s regime would soon openly revealed itself to them as grossly unjust and inhuman.
When the Second World War started in Europe Sophie was only 18. In one of her letters she is telling Fritz that she's glad the Germans are as "bad" in Holland as they are in Germany, because then the whole world must know. In a certain sense the suffering individual is sacrificed to a larger goal. I do believe it was related to her youth. Although she was young, she was also an emotional shipwreck. In her letters she later bemoaned her “inability to love to be loved”.
We know Sophie Sholl as Sophie the young martyr who dared to challenge the world's most sinister tyranny and paid the ultimate price in doing so. She is remembered as Sophie the active member of the White Rose organization executed by guillotine in 1943 when she wasn’t even 22 years old. She is the icon of resistance for many now.
However I want also remember Sophie as a vulnerable girl in her youth and beauty who challenged herself against her own demons and emotions in a time of violent repression, censorship and pressure to conform.
She was full of life. She was in love with Fritz.
I dedicate these works to all members and actions of White Rose: Hans Scholl, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, Christoph Probst, Traute Lafrenz, Katharina Schüddekopf, Lieselotte (Lilo) Berndl, Jürgen Wittenstein, Marie-Luise Jahn, Falk Harnack, Hubert Furtwängler, Wilhelm Geyer, Manfred Eickemeyer, Josef Söhngen, Heinrich Guter, Heinrich Bollinger, Helmut Bauer, Harald Dorhn, Rudi Alt, Wolfgang Jaeger, Kurt Huber and Sophie Scholl.
Most of them were in their early twenties.
The 22nd February is the 73rd anniversary of Sophie’s death.'
- words by Bartosz Kolata
Born in 1979 in Torun (Poland). In 2006 he received Master of Fine Art Degree at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland). He has been living and working in Dublin (Ireland) since 2005. In 2007 he was awarded the First Prize Irish Art Award in the Digital HUB in Dublin (Ireland) and in 2012 the Manifest Art Award at the Kinsale Art Festival. He has been in various group exhibitions including The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery (Ireland), Ormston House Gallery in Limerick (Ireland), Gooden Gallery in London ( UK). Kolata has also had many solo shows including the No Grants Gallery in Dublin (Ireland), The Mill Theatre Gallery Dublin (Ireland) and The Montage Gallery in London (UK). His work is included in many collections.