The exhibition title "They lie, We lie" comes from a book of the same title by American anthropologist Peter Metcalf, professor at Harvard University.
Early on in the book, the scientist questions the validity of the story which his interviewee Bilo Kasi, an aristocrat from the northern lands of the island of Borneo, tells about her ancestors.
The scholar notes that the woman, in telling the story, is only passing on the knowledge which she received from her ancestors while stressing out that if they lied about it, completely unknowingly and unintentionally, then she might be lying as well.
Or, if they were telling the truth, then so was she.
The woman acted as the researcher's main source, and, as Metcalf himself points out, Bilo Kasi did as much to prevent him as to help him get him closer to the truth.
The difficult role of an anthropologist is to rely on verbal evidence, and as we find in practice, it’s extremely subjective, which means that it cannot always be treated as a reliable source of information.
"They lie, We lie" can also be freely used as an English exercise, after all, it is a part of the language declension. For the purpose of an exercise, we usually conjugate the irregular verb "to be", but when changing the verb to "lie", it turns out that we all lie in an almost identical way.
I lie you lie.... he/she/it lies....we lie....you lie....they lie
Finally, "They lie, We lie" can also be used as an excuse: they lie, we lie, everyone lies, so why shouldn't I.
The white and black lies, deceptions, half-truths, untruths, understatements, illusions, and so-called useful lies that we use every day, allow us to function in this world and sometimes enable us to safely hide from reality.
Lies build up easily, one can master lying, and it’s difficult to find out why we lie at all, and as a result, it is difficult to stop doing it.
They Lie, We Lie
curated by Magdalena Milewska
at Punkt Odbioru Sztuki Gallery in Łódź, Poland
dokumentation: Maciej Łuczak