300608: Standstill and motion

Zacheta National Gallery of Art: Another city, another life Standstill and motion “You can make more out of yourself!” This message by the artist Lukas Gronowski’s is projected onto a video wall at the shopping centre “Sezam” in the middle of Warsaw. Short videos, featured between ads, show people in action, mostly doing push-ups or handstands until complete exhaustion. Gronowski’s message to the people of Warsaw is closely tied to the new economic boom. For the 29-year old artist, Poland’s capital represents a city in which everyone must be active; the city’s fast pace inspires all those who live here. And even if Gronowski’s figures are standing still, they are in motion. The artist Truth’s installation “Stoisko” (the stall) in Saski Park and has a less optimistic message and fantasises about the perfect sales-venue. It is a geometrical construction made of four black beams, and its minimalist style and modern design are aimed at disconcerting the onlooker. By positioning this extremely modern piece of art into a park and exposing it to nature, which can be just as unpredictable as passers-by, who could destroy the installation, Truth – in contrast to his colleague Gronowski - questions large modernisation projects. More pieces of art are installed throughout Warsaw’s public space and there are more to come. Under the motto “Another city, another life” the Gallery Zacheta initiated the project by calling upon artists to express how they see the changes going on in the Polish capital. The main idea was to question what effect the ‘system change’ had on various inner city transformations, not only in Warsaw. Besides showing pieces in Warsaw’s public space, the Gallery Zacheta is also displaying video-works by international artists, dealing with transitions in Bucharest, Budapest, Prague, Zagreb, Skopje, and many other cities. Among them are works by Nada Prija, born in Sarajevo, concentrating on social changes brought on by the capitalistic system. Her work focuses on a glass factory in which 800 employees lost their jobs in 1994. The artist reads the numbers of employees out loud – not by giving them names, but by assigning a number to each one. Viewing the city from a post-socialist perspective is possibly justifiable even if some question this, and even if many inhabitants of Warsaw prefer to consider their city as a western metropolis. For some the city is only an agglomerate, for others it is one of new Europe’s fastest growing capitals. Zacheta National Gallery of Art 00-916 Warsaw, Pl. Malachowskiego 3, until 31.07.2008 www.zacheta.art.pl

Zacheta National Gallery of Art
00-916 Warsaw, Pl. Malachowskiego 3
Tel: +48 22 827 58 54
Email: rzecznik@zacheta.art.pl
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So 12:00 - 18:00

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