Warsaw: “What Can Still Happen” exhibition
May 23 - June 22
“WHAT CAN STILL HAPPEN”
Józef Robakowski’s multimedia project deals with the contemporary, with what is happening, how it is shown and communicated. It is a look at reality-in-the-making from a perspective characteristic of its creator – a documentarist, registrant and collector of images of the cultural, social and political reality – in whom those media images find their insightful analyst as well as manipulator.
Most of the footage used has been sourced from social media. In a constellation of dynamically changing images, we watch parades, marches and demonstrations of various political groupings, artistic actions, awareness campaigns about various aspects of life – all that is happening in the streets and public spaces these days, what is recorded, shared and distributed.
The Facebook effect, with millions in Poland and billions worldwide using the service, is, Robakowski argues, mainly about the distribution and redistribution of visual messages, about the opening up of a stage of uncontrolled information flow where everyone can be an author, producer or distributor of information. This open stage provides images of reality vis-à-vis which contemporary art has become increasingly helpless. What matters in the visual activism mobilised for various social and political causes are not the images themselves, but the ways in which they are used and abused.
In a mediatised network society the commonly available communication channels allowing people to broadcast their own news and express their opinions are, according to the artist, the places where the images of reality are most hotly contested.
The project is co-financed by the Capital City of Warsaw.