„Simona Kossak wrote: “It only takes a little effort for these two worlds – human and animal – to understand each other. The first voice that is absolutely understandable to all living beings is the sound of fear and pain”[1].

Kamil Śleszyński reminds us of this in his Terminal Ballistics series. He shows us what has been repressed – the flesh, the same as ours, and the fear in the animal’s eyes which – just as Kossak wrote – is the same for all of us, and which we recognize in the blink of an eye. The series is for the artist a way of accounting for a difficult childhood experience when he witnessed hunting. Now he breaks through and returns to accompany his father – a nature lover – and his hunting passion.

Being a hunter is a complicated thing. Hunting for the first time may seem like a harmonious act that has a deeper meaning; contact with nature, a sense of power, togetherness… All the mentioned factors contribute to the apparent attraction of this activity. But these are only appearances. Pulling the trigger is not the hardest part; anyone can do it. The worst is what happens afterwards” says the artist.

Śleszyński analyzes the moment of the shot, he looks at the bullets taken out of the animals’ bodies. Not every shot is lethal, there are some that lead to the death of an animal by starvation, a painful death, unnecessary, and of no benefit to anyone. Śleszyński asks about human responsibility for the pain and suffering of other creatures”.

(text: Kamila Bondar/TIFF Festival)

[1] Simona Kossak, Opowieści. Wydawnictwo Fundacja Sąsiedzi, Białystok 2016.