As the Polish-born artist Piotr Uklański explains, “The history of the Poles—a Slavic tribe—belongs to the East.” On a journey that took him to villages and towns along his country’s borders, Uklański’s conversations with natives hinged on the same question: “Do you feel more Eastern or Western?” The complexity of the answers became a fledgling idea. Back home, Uklański browsed through historical archives looking for more answers. Using ink, oil stick, and acrylic on velvet, burlap, and canvas, Uklański has depicted white Europeans incongruently clothed in Eastern jewels and Ottoman Empire robes and turbans. The result is a reconsideration of Orientalism, one that asks for thought rather than judgment. —E.C.
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