Open City  /  Otwarte Miasto

Festival    of art    in public    spaces

Lublin 2010    Kurator: Krzysztof Żwirblis

/ Concept

Open city / Otwarte miasto

The city is open to a newcomer, to new ideas, reinterpretations of old ideas and open to art, which the inhabitants of Lublin can meet in the open public space. Art which often annexes places or  social behavior and rituals in an unorthodox way. We would also like to ask a question about art’s place in the modern world. The world flooded by a stream of images, full of feverish production and circulation of goods, with its mass culture and politics that apparently fulfils the need for activity. We want to show that art can relate in different ways, serious and light, to important issues, including those associated with the cult of religion, patriotism and the economy. The works and actions that are presented here are multidimensional, even if it seems they measure against problems such as “moral intensification” or memory of the once multicultural city, which is no longer created together with its former Jewish citizens.

On the Litewski Square, which is marked with various celebrations, political events and full of national memorials, we present Kamila Szejnoch’s work that transforms a flagpole. It measures against the use of national feelings as a handy truncheon on the Other (political opponent, moral weirdo, foreigner…) with its whimsical fluorish. “Holy machine”, of the same author, is a machine such as an ATM with a special software that was consulted with a Catholic priest. It deals with our religious life in a slightly  humorous way, performs various operations and issues receipts. Roch Forowicz, in his work „Detekcja” (Detection), also affects the religious ritual performing a simple gesture, filming the facade of the cathedral with a thermographic camera. By detecting heat the camera transmits an image with contrasted colours on which the gathered faithful are intensively red figures. Komuna Warszawa’s performance “Lublin-Warszawa-Lublin” (Lublin-Warsaw-Lublin) is a guest of abandoned Arcades. This work is about travel created by the group that uses strong accents of social content in their activities. Near Lublin’s main walk is Karolina Breguła’s lightbox with a photo of a man. He is absorbed with the book titled “Modern art” which he is holding upside down. This work’s message is that art can be fascinating even if one doesn’t read it or understand its instructions. Just nearby Akademia Ruchu will perform an action “Pole cudów” (Field of miracles), which symbolically relates to common sowing, creation and finding joy in it. “Obrona” (Defense) is the Akademia Ruchu’s other action of indicating the defense of individuality and relating to the distinguished services guarding us. Volunteers participate in this action. Nearby are two works of an equally humanist message. Bohdan Ruciński’s work “Przejście” (Passage) allows one to go through a human figure cut out from a steel board that is making an universal gesture of an opening.  On a fragment of lawn is Myroslav Vaydy’s “Źródła” (Sources) where a colourful light is driping from under turf, telling us to look at the planet as a source of positive energy. Peter Russell with his “Archaeologia Lubelska” (Lubelska Archeologia) treats Earth, that is a hidden record of often dramatic history, with a similar reverence. He carries out quasi-excavations in a randomly selected place. Some work refer to an often unaware problem, ignoring the human and moral dimension of a catastrophe, one third of the population can’t be removed from any city without damaging its cultural and even economic continuity. We should also remember that our Polish identity was determined by and for the Other – Jewish fellow citizens who are gone. Ronen Eidelman touches this topic by calling to “Coming out”, to discover ones roots. He proposed a poster action, with images of Lublin’s Jews: businessmen, picturesque types, scouts and community activists. Jarosław Koziara’s shining “Eye of the Tzadik” changes the topographic perspective and refers to the idea of Lublin built on the plan of a human. The eye that shines, closely observes the high areas. According to the urban legend, it is situated in the place of the house of Jacob Isaac Horowitz – “the Seer of Lublin”. Nearby you can also see the edge of a distant country through Karolina Breguła’s “Luneta” (Telescope). The inhabitants of this country greet us pleasantly from a distance and use a different alphabet than we do. Close to this is an installation made by Akademia Ruchu „Rzut poziomy. Pokój dzienny. Pokój czyniący” (Ground plan. Living room. Peacemaker) that looks like a developers’ drawing put on fragments of ruins of the Parish Church. It contrasts the idea of sacred community with contemporary practices that make it instrumental. Paweł Hajncel also uses the symbols of architecture in „Mysterious garden”, a work on and towards the wall with the familiar H.W.D.P (Dick in The Police’s Ass). This work, which is to be read only at night, suggests a space that hides the spiritual reality full of promises. Piotr Wysocki invites us to his cinema “Czuwaj” (Be prepared – a salute of the scouts) where he presents a film about an amateur filmmaker and also an aged scout on a pilgrimage to places of social movements and celebrations. It shows a person with original opinions on art, for whom the food for life is national exaltation and symbolism. Daniel Rumiancew presents a record of the heroic performance “Spacer w zieleni” (Walk in the green) and an action in a trolley bus “Śniadanie na trasie” (Breakfast on the route) where he tries to create an intimate place of private gestures. Jadwiga Sawicka in „Cytaty za darmo” (Free Quotes – from Guy Debord’s film “The Society of The Spectacle”) expresses her criticism over the social organism, whose main function is to exchange and achieve material goods. She warns not to extend this to other human relationships and stop it the reality we move in a dark place. The topic of the excess of production is a part of Jarosław Lipszyc’s lecture “Kultura remiksu czyli po prostu kultura” (Culture of remix that is just culture). He will present a method of creating poetry texts by recycling.

I hope that artists who met at the festival, by performing simple gestures sometimes refer to the most important issues of life, which we often don’t think about because the lack of time, energy or courage. I expect that the work presented here will be a component of Lublin’s  authentic cultural life, which will be increasingly based on innovative and full of significant content forms of art.

Krzysztof Żwirblis