It has been 55 years since the first publication of Stanisław Lem's Bajki robotów (“Fables for Robots”). During this time, the world has changed significantly, and many writers' visions of the future came to fruition. How does Lem inspire the contemporary viewer, who is surrounded by artificial intelligence almost every day? Can Lem's diagnosis of the future still make the youngest generation of readers reflect? These questions are answered by an exhibition of illustrations accompanying the premiere of the first Estonian translation of Fables for Robots, which has been on display at the Tallinn Children's Literature Centre since February 12.
Stanisław Lem's books have been translated into 41 languages. Today, the Estonian edition of Fables for Robots joins this group. The book was translated by the eminent translator and a winner of the Transatlantyk Book Award, Hendrik Lindepuu, and published by the Päike ja Pilv publishing house and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Leading Polish and Estonian illustrators were invited to illustrate the 16 stories, including Dawid Ryski, Edgar Bąk, Katarzyna Bogucka, Małgorzata Herba, Anne Pikkov, Katrin Ehrlich, Prita Pärna, and Viive Noor.
"When we reach for Fables for Robots, it is Daniel Mróz's drawings that come to mind first and foremost. His distinctive line, so much associated with Lem, has permanently entered the canon of Polish illustration. I am extremely happy that today, we are working with the next generation of the best Polish illustrators," - says the director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Barbara Schabowska.
The book launch is accompanied by an exhibition. "Just as Lem never followed the beaten path, we are following in his footsteps and showing the illustrations in a different and unusual way. We expose their fragments, hide them in space, create new meanings. We create such conditions so that it is the participant of the exhibition who can change the boundaries of its world and create its rules anew," explains the curator, Magdalena Kłos-Podsiadło. The boundaries of this exposition are indefinite, just as are the possibilities for its interpretation. It invites young viewers to interact and join in the discovery of meaning, but most of all to have creative fun.
Marta and Lech Rowiński are in charge of the arrangement of the exhibition, which will be displayed in four Estonian cities - Tartu, Haapsalu, Narva, and Pärnu. In autumn, the exhibition will be presented in Lithuania.
Below, courtesy of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, are illustrations by Anne Pikkov and David Rylski: