According to the taxonomy of organisms, the kingdom is a category of related phyla in zoology or divisions in botany. Since the times of Carl Linnaeus, i.e. the 18th century, it has been classified as the highest rank, a status valid to this day, at least according to the International Code of Botanical and Zoological Nomenclature. Currently, six kingdoms are distinguished: animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, protista and chromista.
According to James Lovelock, proponent of the Gaia hypothesis and author of “The Quest for Gaia” written in the 1970s, all living organisms, all kingdoms, interact to form and maintain optimal conditions for life on our planet. The Earth itself is able to react to changes, it adjusts to them, in order for life to keep developing. It is a living planetary being. Lovelock also claimed that when the activity of one organism is beneficial to itself and its surroundings, it begins to spread. A reverse process is also possible, so any organism with a negative impact on the environment is bound to become extinct, and importantly – without influencing the overall continuity of life.
The two months of isolation due to the lockdown will seem an insignificant stoppage only with the benefit of hindsight. In the global and individual dimensions, the period has triggered a number of changes. Politically, economically, socially, ecologically or psychologically, the time has brought reflection. Within less than six months of the pandemic, the kingdom of humans – understood as a form of power constituted by man in relation to nature – has lost its seeming hegemony, says Dominika Drozdowska, the curator of the exhibition. Facing the new circumstances and redefining their earlier quests, Dominika Kulczyńska, Kalina Bańka, Karina Marusińska, Hubert Kielan, Barbara Żłobińska, Mariusz Maślanka and Wojtek Furmaniak draw the picture (definition) of a post-kingdom period of mankind. The “Kingdom” exhibition is a vision of what might follow the era of man.
artists: Dominika Kulczyńska, Kalina Bańka, Karina Marusińska, Hubert Kielan, Barbara Żłobińska, Mariusz Maślanka and Wojtek Furmaniak
scenography: Hubert Kielan
curator: Dominika Drozdowska