The eponymous World-text is a phrase coined following the example of the word-forming operations performed by Stanisław Dróżdż (1939-2009). It expresses his overarching conviction that the reality around us is a text to be read. The exhibition identifies three main themes, which permeate many of his works and interpenetrate each other. They are reflections on language, time and human life. Two works are site-specific in character: one reduces text and space to a density of the world that contradicts emptiness (the so-called Lines), the other refers to a random game of dice that contrasts the chaos of throws with the order of things (Alea iacta est).

Born in Sławków on 15 May 1939, he died on 29 March 2009 in Wrocław, where he had lived since 1955. The most outstanding Polish concrete poet and one of the most prominent artists of the Polish avant-garde. He represented Poland at the 2003 Venice Biennale with his individual exhibition Aleaiactaest.

In his work he moved from the “classical” form of the poem to its visual notation based on the use of single letters, punctuation marks, numbers and mathematical symbols. Over time, Stanisław Dróżdż began to expand his works into long series using mathematical algorithms (e.g. the Hourglass, whose original version was placed on MWW’s façade). He called these works “concept-shapes,” which he equated with “concrete poetry” – this is also how he titled his exhibitions.

Thanks to Stanisław Dróżdż, this trend, which developed around the world from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, was still alive in Poland for another decade, and was particularly strong in Wrocław, where it brought together artists from various fields of the broadly defined arts.


Sylwia Świsłocka-Karwot, Elżbieta Łubowicz

Space design:

Aleksandra Biegańska

Exhibition design by Monika Aleksandrowicz and Iwar Romanek, mathematical calculations by Jerzy Baranowski


Starmach Gallery