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Budapest: A History of Wrocław’s Avant-Garde
September 30, 2016 - November 27, 2016
The Wild West. A History of Wrocław’s Avant-Garde
October 01, 2016 – November 27, 2016.
Opening on September 30th at 6pm
AN EXHIBITION ORGANISED BY WROCŁAW CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM (Muzeum Współczesne Wrocław)
held as a part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 program.
Wrocław is a city in western Poland. Before the end of World War II the city, with a population of one million, was called Breslau and belonged to the Third Reich. In 1945 the Red Army approached the city, which was turned into Festung Breslau; by the end of the siege of three months, it was nearly razed to the ground. Wrocław became part of the so-called Recovered Territories, regions of Poland that previously were populated by Germans; rebuilding the city took decades.
Out in these fascinating wild fields situated at the edge of a communist country where various cultures met, in a spirit of freedom and independence, artists have created their own original microcosm with bold experiments and international cooperation with partners from both sides of the Iron Curtain at its heart.
The exhibition presents works of art, films, documentary photographs, objects d’art, and recordings—nearly 500 works of visual arts, architecture, urbanism, theatre, film, design, and everyday life of Wrocław since the 1960s until the present.
The exhibition’s narration starts in the mid-1960s and it is connected with two great art visionaries moving to Wrocław: Jerzy Grotowski, the founder of the Laboratory Theatre (Teatru Laboratorium), and Jerzy Ludwiński, the author of models of cultural institutions like the Museum of Current Art (Muzeum Sztuki Aktualnej) and the founder of Mona Lisa Gallery (Galerii pod Moną Lisą). Wrocław is a city where Polish conceptualism and concrete poetry—under Stanisław Dróżdż’s leadership—started. Artists like Jerzy Rosołowicz, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Jan Chwałczyk, Wanda Gołkowska, Natalia LL and Andrzej Lachowicz, Romuald and Anna Kutera worked here. In Wrocław, next to the Laboratory Theatre, Helmut Kajzar and Kazimierz Braun, who worked with Tadeusz Różewicz, experimented with dramatic form. In the 1970s, the Museum of Architecture (Muzeum Architektury) held exhibitions of utopia projects Terra where works of young artists like Arata Isozaki, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Tadao Ando, Rem Koolhaas—now world famous architects—were shown. Among the graduates of the Higher School of Fine Arts (Wyższej Szkoły Sztuk Plastycznych) in the city of Wrocław one can find the so-called generation of “Wrocław School of Posters,” with Jan Sawka, Jerzy Czerniawski, Jan Jaromir Aleksiun, and Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz. It is the Feature Film Studio in Wrocław (Wrocławskiej Wytwórni Filmowej) where Andrzej Wajda made Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament), Wojciech Jerzy Has filmed The Saragossa Manuscript (Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie), Agnieszka Holland shot Screen Tests (Zdjęcia próbne), and Andrzej Zulawski started working on On the Silver Globe (Na srebrnym globie). International meetings during Jazz nad Odrą Festival, the Festival of Open Theatre organized by Kalambur Theatre (Teatr Kalambur), or workshops ran by the Laboratory are but few of the events that contributed to the image of open Wrocław. In the 1980s, the tradition of street happenings took on a new character through the actions of the Orange Alternative (Pomarańczowej Alternatywy), the musical performances by Kormorany, as well as the artistic situations created by LUXUS.
The exhibition Wild West. A History of Wrocław’s Avant-Garde is not a story about the art of Wrocław. It is a story about this special city, seen through art created there. It is a story about a city with gothic church towers, buildings designed by Max Berg, Hans Poelzig, Erich Mendelsohn, or Hans Scharoun, where the newly arriving Poles have brought new values and most of all, new life.
Jan Jaromir Aleksiun, Stanisław Antosz and Katarzyna Chierowska (Antosz and Andzia), Gabor Attalai, Roel Backaert, Paolo Barrile, Krzysztof M. Bednarski, László Beke, Marianna Bocian, Włodzimierz Borowski, Dariusz Brygier, Olaf Brzeski, Cezary Chrzanowski, Jan Chwałczyk, Ewa Ciepielewska, Robin Crozier, Paweł Czepułkowski, Jerzy Czerniawski, Rineke Dijkstra, Michał Diament, Zbigniew Dłubak, Jean-Marie Drot, Stanisław Dróżdż, Antoni Dzieduszycki, Hervé Fischer, Karolina Freino, Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz, Artur „Gouy” Gołacki, Wanda Gołkowska, Zbigniew Gostomski, Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, Klaus Groh, Nicolas Grospierre, Bożena Grzyb-Jarodzka, Oskar Hansen, Władysław Hasior, Zdzisław Holuka, Rafał Jakubowicz, Jacek „Ponton” Jankowski, Paweł Jarodzki, Mariusz Jodko, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Koji Kamoji, Tadeusz Kantor, Małgorzata Kazimierczak, Mirosław Emil Koch, Krzysztof Konieczny, Bogdan Konopka, Tadeusz Konwicki, Jerzy Kosałka, Marzenna Kosińska, Barbara Kozłowska, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Marlena Kudlicka, Anna Kutera, Romuald Kutera, Natalia LL, Piotr Lachman, Andrzej Lachowicz, Suzy Lake, Jacek Lalak, Olga Lewicka, Zbigniew Libera, Witold Lipiński, Witold Liszkowski, Bogusław Litwiniec, Halina Litwiniec, Jerzy Ludwiński, Luxus Group, Zbigniew Makarewicz, Daniel Malone, Arkadiusz Marczyński, Dóra Maurer, Krzysztof Meissner, Maria Michałowska, Bogusław Michnik, Karel Miler, Lech Mrożek, Opal L. Nations, Roland Nicolaus, Ernest Niemczyk, Z. Nowak, Zbigniew Olchowik, Piotr Olszański, Zbigniew Paluszak, Stanisław Pater, Géza Perneczky, Anna Płotnicka, Małgorzata Potocka, Karol Radziszewski, Robert Rehfeldt, Andrzej Rogowski, Tadeusz Rolke, Wacław Ropiecki, Jerzy Rosołowicz, Robert Rumas, Andrzej Sapija, Wiesław Sąsiadek, Jan Sawka, Carolee Schneemann, Allan Sekula, Alexander Sikora, Skalpel, Krzysztof Skarbek, Eugeniusz Smoliński, Michael Snow, Kama Sokolnicka, Zdzisław Sosnowski, Henryk Stażewski, Petr Štembera, Tomasz „Mniamek” Stępień, Andrzej and Krystyna Stoga, Bronisław Szubzda, Tomasz Szwed, Miroljub Todorović, Endre Toth, VALIE EXPORT, Krzysztof Wałaszek, Adam Wawrzyniak, Torgeir Wethal, Piotr Wieczorek, Ryszard Wojtyłło, Paul Woodrow, Pierre Vandrepote, Krzysztof Zarębski.
The exhibition is organized under the patronage of Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland Prof. Piotr Gliński and President of the City of Wrocław Rafał Dutkiewicz.
Exhibition Commissioner: Dorota Monkiewicz, Head of Wrocław Contemporary Museum
Exhibition Arrangement: Robert Rumas
Curators: Michał Duda, Anka Herbut, Anna Mituś, Paweł Piotrowicz, Adriana Prodeus, Sylwia Serafinowicz, Piotr Stasiowski
Co-ordination: Jola Bielańska (Wrocław Contemporary Museum), Viktória Popovics (Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest)
Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Co-organizers: National Forum of Music, ECC 2016
The exhibition was first displayed in Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (Poland), and later in the Kunsthalle/Hala umenia Košice | K13 (Slovakia), the Kunstmuseum Bochum (Germany), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (Muzej suvremene umjetnosti) (Croatia).