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Jadwiga Sawicka, “HONOURABLE / disloyal”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions. Gender play is an additional device to manipulate meanings. The same adjective has different connotations depending on whether it is feminine or masculine.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “MADE IN POLAND / foreign”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “NATIONAL / exclusive”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “Ojczysty / Macierzysta”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “ETHNICALLY PURE / national”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “IMPIOUS / infamous”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Tomasz Baran, untitled

The works made by Tomasz Baran seem to challenge the famous phrase emancipating the picture as an independent formal unit – they are a challenge to the flatness of the image and the order of colours that Denis recognized as one of the key properties. In his work, Baran analyses the issues of surface and colour, which are some of the basic elements building the form of the painting. By contradicting the traditional flatness of pictures, he brings painting closer to three-dimensional objects, he bends the loom, modifies the way it is attached to the canvas, trims painting edges in an irregular way, and creates spatial organisms by using them. In the work held in the Bunkier Sztuki collection, a sub-frame was created in a non-standard manner, which – apart from the place where canvas is stretched on a rectangular frame – was attached to two additional diagonally extending slats and to a cardboard layer covering the reverse of the painting, the elements inaccessible to the viewer’s eye. The outcome of this process is an uneven, spatial structure, consisting of convex and concave spots, usually absent from a smooth canvas plane.

“Camera/Mr Daguerre’s invention” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

Kantor observed some analogy between photography and shooting, between a group posing for a photograph and a group of recruits lined up in a row. This field of association was used in one of the images from Wielopole, Wielopole, a performance that continued the themes/motifs from Umarła klasa [The Dead Class].

Tomasz Bajer, “Minimalism of Guantanamo”

The work is an accurate replica of Yasser Talal al Zahrani’s prison cell at the American detention camp for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Saudi prisoner died in 2006. The official cause of death was given as suicide. However, an examination by an independent pathologist showed traces of repeated beating, which could be indicative of torture. The work can be interpreted as a commentary on the abuse of human rights by imperialist powers, and the individual’s helplessness in the face of such behavior.

“Window” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

The role of this object is in the play is double. On the one hand, a window opens Room of Childhood on the outside, allows the penetration of other spaces. Just as it was in the play The Dead Class (1975). The window is an unusual object that separates us from the world the other side, from» unknown «... of Death ...

Strupek Group, “Rocket”

The starting point for the performance Rocket, was the text of a futuristic poem by Anatol Stern, Europe, published in 1929. It was processed by the members of the Strupek Group, using a modern internet tool — Google translate — to obtain an absurd, mechanized form of language. However, what survived is the essence of the original poem and its embedded story of the brutality of the 20th century history, the traps of totalitarianism, and the triumph of violence, whose horror was highlighted by ghostly sounds extracted from a theremin (an electroacoustic musical instrument constructed in the 1920s by a Soviet physicist Lev Termen). The oppressiveness of the situation increased the audience’s involvement in the space of the show itself and confronted them with characters shouting out consecutive lines: Priest, Altar Boy, Mother, Rocket, and the Sacrificial Lamb, conducting the action. The play, which was recreated three times, was an adequate conclusion of the public activity of the Strupek Group — from then on, the fates of its members were to go down their individual paths.

Piotr Lutyński, “Bird column”

The work The Bird Column was created in 2003 in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery and functioned as an exhibition in the process. The titular Bird Column, called by Lutyński “an animated sculpture” and “a large nest full of birds”, took the form of an installation: it was a developed construction, inside which there were paintings and objects made of wood and the birds, whose singing was heard throughout the Gallery from microphones placed nearby. In the next room, there was a goat with its kids. The whole exhibition was accompanied by texts referring to the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals, ornithologists, and bird breeders.

“Sink” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.

Piotr Lutyński, “Due to Usucaption”

One of Lutyński’s works using the motif of a nest and an egg – a symbol of birth, of new life, a beginning and a sense of security. A witty attempt to combine usucaption and brooding.

Paweł Susid, untitled [“Ladies and you girls, in bathroom and the lavatory you touch places that are dear to us”]

Template texts contrast with simple, geometric forms. Apparently banal statements, with ironically erotic undertones, are an invitation to attempt their in-depth analysis so as to expose the social and cultural contexts.

Laura Pawela, “we.jpg 17%”

The convention of computer commands and terms transferred to an existential area. A clash of computer language with real-world problems. An amusing, but at the same time unpleasant, discrepancy between the two worlds.

“Rat trap” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return​] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.

“Trolley” — prototype (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

Wózeczek stał się w spektaklu symbolem wspomnienia dzieciństwa. Czytamy w Przewodniku po spektaklu: „Idziemy ku przodowi w przyszłość, / równocześnie zagłębiając się w rejony / PRZESZŁOŚCI, czyli ŚMIERCI. (...) / Siedzę na scenie, / JA — rzeczywisty, lat 70... / nigdy już nie stanę się na nowo / chłopcem, gdy miałem 6 lat... / wiem o tym, ale pragnienie jest / nieprzeparte, / nieustanne, / napełnia całe moje istnienie... / W drzwiach zjawia się / MAŁY ŻOŁNIERZYK — dziecko / JA — GDY MIAŁEM 6 LAT, / na dziecinnym wózeczku / (na moim wózeczku!)”.

“Pillories of characters” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

The “pillories” are extremely characteristic objects from the Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The play had its premiere in Alte Giesserei in Nürnberg on 2 June 1985. The “pillories” appear in act III of the play and become the key objects with which the later stage plot, right to the epilogue in act V, is associated.

“The Cross” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

The “Cross” is a stage element from the Wielopole, Wielopole performance at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The premiere took place in Florence in June 1980 in a building that was formerly a monastery at 25 via Santa Maria. What is symptomatic here is that, apart from the discussed cross, the Wielopole, Wielopole play featured 15 other crosses, and in his entire theatrical oeuvre Tadeusz Kantor created more than 30 crosses.