Current Issue
« / rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi», 13, 2022, pp. 118-131
DOI: 10.57616/PLIT_2022_08

Marta Tomczok

University of Silesia in Katowice / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ogień i nóż – pirofityczna twórczość Erny Rosenstein

Fire and knife. Erna Rosenstein’s pyrophytic works

ABSTRACT. This article aims to demonstrate the meaning is attached to fire in Erna Rosenstein’s poetry and art. Based on the pioneering analyses by Dorota Jarecka, I suggest that the particularly intense presence of fire in the artist's oil paintings, assemblages and poems is driven by the need to create a constellation of random objects, myths and autobiographical material centered on the experience of witnessing her parents' deaths in 1942. By analyzing various approaches to fire, I show that Rosenstein searches for a form of invigorating and evolving destruction in her poetry (which I define as “pyrophytic art”) which would enable her to fantasize about a world after a catastrophe, a world without human life. In this approach, poetry emerges as an extension of the ideas presented in her art. Taking at times narrative, fairy-tale or mythographic forms, poetry defines Rosenstein’s artistic idiolect in a more individual way than art could, allowing the artist's voice, her own speaking self, to be emphasized and dynamized.

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