Paweł Maciak

born in 1969 in Łódź, Poland

Tomtit (2005)

Exhibition curator:
Marek Domański
Exhibition in the Galeria jednego Zdjęcia ‘Mała Czarna’ gallery, Wojska Polskiego Street


It was a bird, or rather a pitiful remnant of a bird, eaten away by parasites. Stripped of its feathers, its bluish skin shuddering with pain and disgust, it still tried to defend itself by picking with its beak at the white worms covering it in a milling mass. I wrapped it in a handkerchief and took it to a naturalist I knew.

He examined it for a moment, then said:

‘It’s all right. The worms eating it carry parasites invisible to the eye, and in the cells of the parasites an intensified metabolic process is probably taking place. It is therefore a classic example of a closed system with an infinite system of antagonistic interdependencies which are the condition for the equilibrium of the whole. Contrary to appearances, what we see is a ripe fruit or, if you like, the crimson rose of life. We must see to it that the thick fabric of breathing and suffocation doesn’t burst anywhere, because then we would witness something considerably worse than death and more terrifying than life.’

/Zbigniew Herbert ‘Hermes, Dog and Star’, Czytelnik 1957, English translation taken from the Internet blog of Miguel Murphy:, and edited by Translateria/

photo. Maciak Paweł, Fotofestiwal 2010, Tit

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