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A Photo of the City

Warsaw photography and related forms of art from the end of WWII until now.


Nowy Teatr, Hala Warsztatowa


Exhibition opening: September 20, 2013
The exhibition will be open until November 24, 2013

Adam Mazur

Curators of the „Synchronization” part:
Bogna Świątkowska, Piotr Drewko

Małgorzata Szczęśniak

Akademia Ruchu school of dance, Stefan Arczyński, Kazimierz Bendkowski, Zofia Chomętowska, Maria Chrząszczowa, Kuba Dąbrowski, Zbigniew Dłubak, Mikołaj Długosz, Maurycy Gomulicki, Nicolas Grospierre, Łukasz Gorczyca/Michał Kaczyński, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Mariusz Hermanowicz, Elżbieta Janicka, Jacek Kołodziejski, Kobas Laksa, Dominik Lewiński, Zbigniew Libera, Ewa Partum, Krzysztof Pijarski, Błażej Pindor, Krystyna Piotrowska, Konrad Pustoła, Joanna Rajkowska, Szymon Rogiński, Tomasz Saciłowski, Leonard Sempoliński, Tomasz Sikorski, Jan Smaga, Juliusz Sokołowski, Maciej Stępiński, Tomasz Szerszeń, Zbigniew Tomaszczuk, Wojciech Wilczyk, Monika Zawadzki

Olga Mokrzycka-Grospierre

Over the past decade, the image of Warsaw has undergone a transformation: once harrowed by history and quite hideous city has now become a metropolis - not yet beautiful but, certainly, an interesting one. It is difficult to assess, to what extent it is so thanks to the authorities initiating a top-down image-shaping campaigns and how much it was the result of grassroots activities of its inhabitants. Certainly, an important role in the process of changing has been played by the growing group of urban activists, social-workers related to non-governmental institutions, but also artists and Varsovians. The exhibition organized for the Nowy Teatr theatre presents visionary views of the city by several generations of artists. And, although its emphasis is on well-known contemporary artists, such as Mikołaj Długosz, Maurycy Gomulicki, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Nicolas Grospierre, Zbigniew Libera, Konrad Pustoła, Joanna Rajkowska, this Warsaw-focused exhibition could not miss out the classics like Leonard Sempoliński, Zbigniew Dłubak, Mariusz Hermanowicz or Zofia Chomętowska. In this way, the latest works, conceived especially for the exhibition, are embedded in a historical context, which allows for a better capture of the changes that took place in the city's image.
Ironically, the destruction of Warsaw during the war – the September Campaign, the Ghetto Uprising and the Warsaw Uprising – put the new people's government in a favorable position to create, almost from scratch, in the symbolic rubble that remained, a new city, a new Warsaw. "The whole nation is building its capital" was more than just a lofty slogan. If not literally then certainly figuratively, the creation of Warsaw, the Polish capital, engaged the entire population of the country. And it quickly turned out that, as development progressed, through new institutions, migration, huge funds involved in the reconstruction project, Warsaw has become Poland’s only genuine metropolis. The exhibition displays iconic images, starting from those of the ruins and ashes, through rebirthing and rebuilding to the creation of social realist and social-modernist urban planning schemes. The images important for understanding the dynamics of the creation of the new definition of metropolis. At the same time, the exhibition is reconstructing the contemporary process of discovering "that" city, and the fascination with socialist modernism and even socialist realism that grew in artists and Varsavianists. Since the second half of the 1990s, the perception of Warsaw has been changing. At the same time, although there have been exhibitions related to participation, performance, politics, urban planning, the river and its surrounding area, social exclusion and inclusion, as well as the future and past of Warsaw architecture, so far, there has been no exhibition focusing on the city itself.
Hosted in a unique venue of the Nowy Teatr theatre, this exhibition showcases not only photographs, but also films made by the Akademia Ruchu school of dance, Tomasz Sikorski , Krzysztof Bendkowski and Krystyna Piotrowska. It also presents the latest work by Mikołaj Dlugosz. Visions of Warsaw, created with the use of a film camera, are complemented with a neon by Maurycy Gomulicki and a mural by Monika Zawadzki.
The works oresented at the exhibition show the visionary, vigorous panoramas of the city but also many images of ruins and disaster. It is not just a reference to the war ruins known from the photographs by Sempoliński, Chomętowska or Chrząszczowa. The catastrophic visions are also there in the contemporary work of Zbigniew Libera, Thomasz Hornet, Mariusz Hermanowicz and Kobas Laksa. Temporariness, dereliction and demolition, but also the continuous construction, reconstruction and unceasing transformation are all elements of Warsaw’s identity, an unusual identity when compared to other European capitals. The exhibition is an attempt of transcribing that perpetually new state of things into images. The exhibition showcases a number of possible artistic interpretations, it confronts the residents of Warsaw with their subjective visions, while providing basic information about the city - images, panoramas, portraits of Warsaw dweller types. Warsaw may not have icons or symbols recognized all over the world, but it has many PLACES well understood as events and situations.

September 20, 2013 20:00 opening night
September 28, 2013 12:00 workshops for youth – conducted by: Monika Zawadzki
October 5, 2013 12:00 tour of the exhibition guided by one of the Artists: Konrad Pustoła
October 17, 2013 17:00 tour of the exhibition guided by Curator: Bogna Świątkowska
18.30 - lecture by Matthew Gandy
October 26, 2013 12:00 meeting with Nicolas Grospierre
November 24, 2013 12:00 Closing of the exhibition – a tour guided by Curator: Adam Mazur


 The "Photo of the city" part of the exhibition is an element of this year's edition of "Syncronicity_Warsaw. Architecture as a tool for programming the senses"

Sfinansowano ze środków: