Policija by Górowski

“Górowski specializes in posters for cultural events (but not the cinema, which was always the domain of his colleagues in Warsaw where many of the studios were located). Communism in Poland was fairly strict – though less so than in Czechoslovakia – but in the realm of culture, the possibility still remained for political jobs. In 1982, a year after martial law was imposed in an attempt to snuff out the Solidarity opposition movement, Górowski made little secret of where he stood. He composed a dramatic poster in shades of sepia for a play called Policija (Police) by Slawomir Morzek, in which the face of an anguished man is looped in rope. The rope sticks in his eyes, in his ears, in his mouth and around his neck. Górowski’s message of a people in captivity and deprived of their ability to see, hear, and speak was there for all to see.

In those days, every poster had to be given prior approval by the Communist Party’s censor. Górowski recalls taking the draft to the censor’s office, and rather unusually, being asked to wait 15 minutes. ‘The official came back and said they would give me the [approval] stamp on one condition: that the poster be shown inside the theater only, and not outside. Then the official told me that when the poster was printed he’d like a few.’ By that stage, even the censors were beginning to waiver.”

— Excerpted from a Graphis profile on Mieczysław Górowski