“Tropical Madness is actually a serious nervous disorder occurring in the tropics as a result of the terrific temperature (of which no Ukrainian heat wave can give the faintest idea) and also as a result of spicy food, alcohol, and the constant sight of naked black bodies.”
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Mr Price, or Tropical Madness
It would appear that deep down inside, we are all a bit racist (and startlingly, often times in full view of the public as well). At the base of our humanity lies a deep-rooted fear of the others from which we derive our prejudices. Assessing a situation depends on what we contribute to it, and its course depends upon the contexts upon which it is built.
In Witkacy’s drama Mr Price, or Tropical Madness the protagonists are confronted with a situation in which they are forced to accept the role of colonizers, while what they want is to be businessmen. In turn, the eponymous tropics awaken in them various uncontrollable cravings which they can’t quite define.
The works presented at the Tropical Craze exhibition behave similarly – it is difficult to believe that they are what they appear to be. They are often many things at once it all depends on the first glimpse which, needless to say, is known to be deceitful.
Special thanks to Szymon Gutkowski and the Mexican Embassy in Poland.