What can connect Kazimierz Malewicz’s suprematism, plastic dynamism of Umberto Boccioni, futurist theatre, aero-painting, international constructivism, Czech poetism, Dadaists’ photomontages, the school of Bauhaus, poetry of Brunon Jasienski and Tadeusz Peiper? Obviously the string of the above-mentioned themes, artistic theories and creative actions could be labelled “avant-garde”. But there is one more word that connects them: “football” – the one that sounds the same in all languages, that points at a new cultural phenomenon that comes from the aesthetics of modernity. Football used to provide a wide range of choices for artistic expression: starting with specific commentary for the action on the pitch, or presenting the human body’s expression, through discovering the form for expressing rivalry or effort to generalizing the movement and dynamics. It has represented the totality of the work of art, it was a new phenomenon admired by the intelligentsia, bourgeoisie and the proletariat; it has mirrored sensibility of a modern human and modern life and even created the antievangelic reality of the saints, the secular reality of a utopian, better world.

The lecture that accompanies the “Only a game?” exhibition has been thought as a presentation of typical qualities of avant-garde depiction of football in the field of various artistic experiments from before the World War Two, in order to show its great meaning in culture in the first part of the 20th century.