Day for Night

Maria Loboda

The Shelter in the Valley of the Five Ponds


Day for Night is a stained glass composition installed in one of the windows of the dining hall in the high mountain shelter in the Valley of Five Ponds, overseeing the magnificent landscape of the rocky peaks of the Tatras.


Cast in white glass are the shapes of a square, a sphere, a cone, a cylinder, a crystal, and a spiral, representing six out of the seven “biotechnical elements”. It was the theory of philosophical biologist Raoul Francé, and also the belief of artist and designer László Moholy-Nagy, who had followed in the footsteps of Francé, that these were the constitutive parts which, in their different combinations, were responsible for the make-up of all living systems. In the 1920s, Moholy-Nagy used the shapes during the foundation course he taught at the Bauhaus school in order to develop the imagination of his students.


Loboda’s composition forces us to look at the wild and majestic nature via these geometrical figures, which are imposed on the landscape, blurring it. The artist thus makes a reference to the modernist visions of Zakopane – a place which at the beginning of the 20th c. became of utopian construct of city intellectuals seeking sources of identity and inspiration. The incomplete set of elementary figures suggests an absence and imperfection, a disruption of harmony.


It is a long hike to the Valley of Five Ponds, hours spent in the nature of the Tatras. It was the ominous and mysterious beauty of the region (frequently used as a motif in paintings or literature) that was the foundation of the Zakopane myth. By distorting the picturesque view and replacing it with an abstract composition, the artist offers a subtle response to the idealizing, if not at times fantastic and hallucinogenic visions of nature presented in the works of the artists associated with this place.


The title of the work is a reference to camera operating techniques. By placing colour filters on the camera lens, the properties of the filmed image are changed and an illusion of a reality other than what is recorded on film is created. The neutral (white) colour used in the stained glass does not, however, evoke any illusions, nor does it demand a “suspension of disbelief” typical of film. It is only a proposal, an invitation to a reflection, a layer in a narrative placed on the transparent glass.



The project is a part of the Tatra Conference

The programme is organised by Open Art Projects and the Tatra Museum in Zakopane


Curator: Kasia Redzisz

Coordination: Magda Materna

Collaboration: Emma Knaflewska

Coordination on behalf of the Tatra Museum: Julita Dembowska


The artistic programme has been financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Małopolskie Voivoideship and the City of Zakopane in partnership with the Zakopane Promotion Office


Honorary patronage: Janusz Majcher – Mayor of the City of Zakopane


Partners in the organisation of the event: Schronisko Górskie PTTK w Dolinie Pięciu Stawów Polskich (Mountain Shelter in the Valley of the Five Ponds), Sokół Cinema, Dworzec Tatrzański


Additional support: Grand Hotel Stamary, Centralny Ośrodek Sportu Zakopane, Hotel Skalny, Restauracja Konstantynówka, Karpla Konsulting, Osman Djajadisastra, Future Tech Marcin Słodyczka, Maciej Stasiński, Kropla Krynicy, Sabała Karczma – 1879 – Hotel


Partners of Open Art Projects: Polpharma, The Starak Family Foundation, Spectra Art Space, European Compensation Center


Our thanks go to: Marie Klimešová, Marta Krzeptowska, Marychna Krzeptowska, Krzysztof Lewandowski, Michal Mánek, Anna Muszyńska, Błażej Pindor, Jerzy Starak, Kola Śliwińska, SVIT Praha, the owners of the works and the artists