Greta Thunberg under fire

Adam_Adach_Greta-Thunnberg Versus Imperatore
Greta Versus Imperatores, 2020, series of photos.

When Margaret Atwood compared Greta Thunberg to Joan of Arc, some people wondered whether she should be burned. The painting Greta Thunberg under fire represents the television set where such a statement could be verbalized, with the close-up of the legendary teenager in the background.

The famous phrase “NOLITE TE BASTARDES CORBORUNDORUM” (don’t let these bastards destroy you) was adapted to the French context by Sylviane Rue as “NOLITE TE SALOPARDES EXTERMINATORUM”. Having in mind the politically turbulent and intolerant Polish context, Adam Adach turned it into “NOLI TE HUYES IMPERATORES EXTERMINATORUŃ”. He uses this version in several works.

“Noli illegitimis non carborundorum” was also used by the British Army Intelligence in WWII.

Greta, 2020, fotos, 30 x 40cm.

“In 1486, [Heinrich] Institoris published the Malleus Malleficarum (the Hammer against the Witches ) with the Pope’s approval and with the bull of 1484 as preface. Well-organized, impassioned, and enjoying papal approval, the Malleus became one of the most influential of all early printed books. (…) The great majority of witches were women, and the reason for this is, Institoris declared, that women are more stupid, fickl, lighter-headed, weaker, and more carnal than men. (…) The very weakness of the social position of women, particularly widows or unmarried women, made it safer to accuse them than to accuse men, whose political, financial, legal, and even physical strength rendered the accuser more liable to reprisals. A physically weak, socially isolated, financially destitute, and legally powerless old women could offer only the deferrent of her spells.”

Jeffrey B. Russell, A History of Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans, London, 1980

Other paintings by Adach – The Crack, Fluo Pink Bear, Iceberg – deal with global warming and remind us that scientific and technological sophistication coexists, today as in the time of Galileo and Copernicus, with archaic ideas.

The Crack, 2019, oil on canvas, 180x160cm.

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