Break My Art #5 PURO Hotels and Contemporary Lynx - let’s get together to discuss art!

Want to keep up to date with the world of contemporary art? @PURO Hotels and @ContemporaryLynx are joining forces again! On 24 November 2021, the fifth edition of Break My Art series will take place at PURO Hotel Warszawa Centrum. During the meeting, we will discuss the ways in which visual artists can use their work to take a stance in a broader discourse regarding current events happening on a domestic and global scale. 


“Art Activism”

Start at 18:00 

PURO Hotel, 9 Widok St, 00-023 Warsaw 

Pierre Bourdieu claimed that all creative activity is political – regardless of whether it involves the production, consumption of art, or even predominantly passive participation. In a similar vein, Krzysztof Wodiczko states: “[…] The artist can be a politician caught up in political discourse as someone who creates points where different kinds of statements meet. [The artist] is a catalyst that makes the public space more saturated with politics”.

When it comes to the visual sphere of contemporary activism, it takes many different forms. In the face of social, humanitarian and ecological crises, activist artists not only describe the events from a critical perspective, but also point out pressing problems, raise awareness of nuances little known from a distant observer’s position, and encourage people not to remain indifferent.  To this end, they activate both the physical and digital spheres, with an unwavering sense of mission. In our meeting we will therefore talk about what artistic activism is. What forms can it take? What is its purpose? Finally, following ideas of Artur Żmijewski’s  (manifesto “Applied Social Arts” 2007), we will consider whether art’s only legitimate purpose is for it to be a tool for social change.

The discussion will be attended by:

Karolina Gembara – photographer, author of participatory projects with refugees and migrant people. International Relations and Journalism graduate, she studied History of Art, Photography and Cultural Studies. Graduate of the Sputnik Photos Mentorship Programme, PhD student at the Kieslowski Film School. A member of Sputnik Photos and the Archive of Public Protests. Author of photographic publications and lecturer.

Karol Grygoruk – documentary photographer. Graduate of the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw and a doctoral student at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. Co-founder of the RATS agency. In his documentary projects and academic work, he focuses on social exclusion, socially engaged photography, ethics and the impact of new media on visual culture. He lives and works between Warsaw and the Middle East.

Jana Shostak is an artist who became an activist in 2020. A realist who demands the impossible. She uses feminatives on a daily basis. Believes in the effectiveness of art, solidarity, the power of cooperation in culture. A doctoral student at the UAP. Winner of, among others, the Spojrzenia Award, Młode Wilki ’16, ZAiKS Award at Coming Out 2017, Critics’ Award during the Best Diplomas of the Academy of Fine Arts exhibition. She has participated in exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including Top Museum (Tokyo), Kunsthalle (Tallin) or Arsenal (Kiev), MSN (Warsaw), Arsenal (Białystok), Labirynt (Lublin), MOCAK (Krakow), MOS (Gorzów Wielkopolski). 

Since 2016 she has been consciously using mass media as a platform to disseminate her activities from the sphere of art/activism. Every day at 18:00 (until the end of the revolution and one day more) she co-creates the time monument: minute of scream for Belarus. Co-director of the film “Miss Polonia” (produced by WFDiF, co-directed by Jakub Jasiukiewicz). She represents the civic initiative “Partyzanka”.

The meeting will be hosted by Aleksander Hudzik – a journalist at the Newsweek Poland weekly, and an art critic. He studied History of Art. Co-author of articles in the books “My Art Guide”, “Polish Street Art” and the guide “About Poland”. He has published in the magazines “Aktivist”, “Esquire” and “Przekrój”.

What is a hotel? According to PURO Hotels, it is a place open for everyone, gathering the creative tissue of the city. We organize events and participate in local life. Since the beginning of our existence, we value good designers and collect works of young artists. Art and good design are the core of the brand. By promoting this idea, we talk about what surrounds us.

Contemporary Lynx Magazine is an internationally distributed, online and paper magazine in English about art, visual culture, trends, creative travel, photography and design. Each issue of the biannual magazine features interviews with the most interesting Polish and international artists and articles on new phenomena in culture and trends in design. 

"Break My Art #5", photo by Piotr Czyż
“Break My Art #5”, photo by Piotr Czyż

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