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Poznań: Triple Bed, Double Scotch, One Pair of Shoes

May 25 - May 27

hotel polonez poznań

TRIPLE BED, DOUBLE SCOTCH, ONE PAIR OF SHOES

Artists: Wera Bet, Piotr Macha, Julie Chovin, Natalia Daszkiewicz, Michał Dobrucki, Grzegorz Bożek, Mateusz Sadowski, Karolina Babińska, Bartosz Zaskórski/Monika Grażyna Olszewska, Piniak, Zbigniew Taszycki, Markus Liehr, Piotr Sakowski, Azem Deliu, Martyna Hadyńska, Maciej Nowacki, Zuza Klein, Agnieszka Grodzińska, Magda Starska

 

The hotel tower– exclusive back in the day, and built with pioneering technologies, few years ago was converted into student housing. In the new Academic Centre there is everything one needs in the 21st century–a grocery with ready meals, gym, barber shop and a bar “Quick and Tasty”. Given such comfortable circumstances leaving the building becomes optional; one can enjoy unlimited pleasures, and throw their trash through the windows afterwords. The parallel with Ballard’s ‘High-Rise’ is not a coincidence. There, inhabitants did exactly the same, gradually consenting to an atavistic disintegration.

The former glory blends in with the provisional, junk space[1] of late capitalism, generating a heterogeneous amalgamate, in which layers of history overlap and intertwine.

The dusty object – work of Urszula Plewka-Schmidt suspended in the lobby was originally designed as an integral part of this formerly representative space. Today, it is both a relic of the past, a witness to changes, as well as a potentially foreign body, currently surrounded by colourful hammocks and cheesy photos of New York City. The object serves as a link between the past and the present– it represents the seemingly old-fashioned, hand-made and crafty, which at the same time is nowadays experiencing a major revival in contemporary art.

A hotel – a temporary living space is a concept of abstracting from everyday life. Transience and precariousness of the hotel space is linked to the perpetual movement and the state in-between. It allows for freeing oneself from duties of everyday life and from assigned places and relationships.  From a hotel room’s window, or a bar table, one can observe the flow of casual stories and people. Though, it is best known for those who spent here quite some time. Numerous guests of bad reputation, celebrities and artists made it into their temporary home and a lively meeting place; eventually the hotel became a hub of the counterculture environment of the time. What they left is not only their history, but also souvenirs; for instance, many artworks have been inserted on shabby walls instead of paying rent.

When leaving a hotel room, one often leaves behind unnecessary items and gets hold of other such as matches or cosmetics. Alongside this simple exchange, there are intentional gestures of leaving traces– both ephemeral and material. These more or less valuable left-overs may acquire symbolic meaning over time, become a sort of collection, building the history of the place. Nowadays artworks contribute to the prestige of hotels, as well as other commercial venues such as banks, offices, and even shopping centres. The splendour is no longer testified by the interventions left by creative guests, but rather by artworks bought and fitted into the space (just as Abakan did). Today, desirable as objects of prestige, tomorrow will become a dusty, trivial junk requiring expensive renovation. What is the potential of collections of this type? And what is the potential of the artist in the hotel itself– making records of their observations, creating texts, songs, drawings? How, at the present time and as an artist, critically manifest ones presence and subjectivity without merely accessorising and making somebody else’s capital more attractive and slicker? Is it even possible? Our goal is to ask these questions through an exhibition, which will examine potential answers in the field of art.

Hence, the show has a number of issues we would like to address. Hopefully, within a site-specific presentation we will conceive a reflexive ‘collection’ of works dialoguing with the space and contexts of the Polonez hotel. The collection’s aim is to critically redefine its meanings, at least for an instant.

 

Triple Bed, Double Scotch, One Pair of Shoes from Art&Innovation Space on Vimeo.
 


[1] We refer to the junk space idea proposed by Rem Koolhaas in the essay of the same name: Rem Koolhaas, Śmieciowa Przestrzeń, Centrum Architektury, Warszawa, 2017

 

Photo gallery (photo Damian Śmigielski):

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