Białystok: “Theft and Destruction” exhibition
February 21 - April 9
Ewa Partum, Hommage à Kazimierz Malewicz, 2004, obiekt (znak drogowy, słupek metalowy, beton), 60 x 60 cm, ø 4,2 x 230 cm. Praca pochodzi z Kolekcji II Galerii Arsenał w Białymstoku (fragment)
‘THEFT AND DESTRUCTION’
Artists: Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Rafał Bujnowski, Wanda Czełkowska, Dom Mody Limanka, Edward Dwurnik (z kolekcji MOCAK), Olga Dziubak, Jakub Gliński, Tomasz Machciński, Petr Pavlensky, Julia Poziomecka, Mariola Przyjemska, Karol Radziszewski, Daniel Rycharski, Dominika Święcicka, Julita Wójcik, Janek Zamoyski with selection of works from Collection II of the Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok: Mirosław Bałka, Oskar Dawicki, Maciej Kurak, Robert Kuśmirowski, Zbigniew Libera, Piotr Łakomy, Anna Molska, Odili Donald Odita, Ewa Partum, Aleksandra Polisiewicz, Rewizja, Jacek Sempoliński, Janek Simon, Marek Sobczyk.
The Theft and Destruction exhibition intends to analyse the status of a work of art: its force, aura, asset power, transformation, and destruction. Sophisticated thieves, ingenious copyists, mysterious millionaires purchasing masterpieces on the black market have all been heroes of tabloid scandals, and of Hollywood films and myths feeding off the symbolic and economic aura of artworks.
Works displayed at the exhibition showcase the transformation behind the concept of artwork theft itself. More can be stolen than a material item as such: ideas, concepts, actions, and symbolic meanings can all fall victim to theft – also in a potential act of emancipation, as images wield power.
The power of image may also be destroyed in acts of vandalism, terrorism, or madness, or by the element of psychotic force. Works have their own energy – political, sacral, iconoclastic, liberating – each attack or destruction an effort to deprive them of it. The destruction of an object is absorbed by the market, misplaced and attempting to find itself in an incessant transformation of the status of a work of art: potentially an ephemeral activity, an act of wounding the body, of taking over an archive, of seeking justice, of struggle.
English translation from the Polish language by Aleksandra Sobczak-Kövesi