- This event has passed.
Budapest: Czułość Gallery
June 11, 2014 - August 19, 2014
The exhibition of the artists from Czułość Gallery from Warsaw.
Nampei Akaki, Franciszek Buchner, Lena Dobrowolska, Paweł Eibel, Stanisław Legus, Weronika Ławniczak, Witek Orski, Janek Zamoyski
Curator: Tomasz Piars
11. June – 19. August 2014
“Czułość is an independent, grassroots, avant-garde movement in contemporary photography. A self-organising group of young artists and freethinkers from other, surrounding areas of art and culture. We carry daring exhibition projects, publish zines, uncompromisingly voice our opinions in discussions regarding contemporary art.
Our activities so far include: 13 individual and 7 group photography exhibitions; expert, curatorial and exhibition cooperation with Cracow’s Photomonth; Poland’s first complex local self-publishing exhibition “Sam się publikuj” (“Publish yourself”); an exhibition of Czułość’s artists in Tokyo and a visit of Japanese artists in Warsaw (an exhibition opened by an event with concerts); taking part in the “Learning from Warsaw” project in Zurich. In 2013 Czułość won the best presentation award at Viennafair The New Contemporary.
Czułość plans to expand its operation outside Poland. In the years to come we are organising a series of international expeditions, during which we shall present our works in the most interesting art centres associated with contemporary photography. We want to cooperate with artists similar to us, contributing to contemporary photography all over the world. In Poland, we will organise international exhibitions of the most interesting of them, filling the niche in exposing what’s the most fresh in contemporary art and culture. We are also developing a programme of photography publications.
Our goal, outside of promoting Czułość’s artists, is the promotion of contemporary photography both by acquisition of artists, curators, institutions, critics and audience in Poland and promoting it worldwide.
Czułość was founded on July 29th, 2010 by Janek Zamoyski and Witek Orski in the “5-10-15” that was an independent house at Mokotowska 73 in Warsaw. In December 2010, it moved to a villa in Saska Kępa, at Dąbrowiecka 1A. Since March 2013, thanks to Griffin Art Space, it resides in the west gate of the historic Hala Koszyki at Koszykowa 63.
Represented artists: Nampei Akaki, Franciszek Buchner, Lena Dobrowolska, Paweł Eibel, Stanisław Legus, Weronika Ławniczak, Witek Orski, Janek Zamoyski.
Cooperating artists: Kuba Mount, Kamil Zacharski
Czułość was a communitas. An in-between space. Neither here nor there. Common and belonging to nobody. Not so much cut out in the architecture, as based on people. Unruly, ruffled, confused, chaotic, always drunk or hangover, beautifully and courageously naive, full of faith, using big words without irony, with an open heart and open head and the ashtray always full of butts.
Neither a group, nor a collective or a commune. Simply a group of friends connected by a revolutionary will – instead of waiting until someone makes room for art, let’s make room ourselves. But they didn’t want to act politely, calmly and predictably. They wanted to behave like complete madmen, unhinging anyone who tried to limit them in any way.
As if beyond being categorised by age – somewhat like children, somewhat like adults, flippant yet earnest. To cut a long story short: clowns, but not in the colloquial sense, but in the anthropological one. Clowns, or rather tricksters, turning the established order upside down, going yah boo sucks to high society while living with the low life as happy as pigs in shit.
Tricksters refuse any hierarchy, never define themselves completely, laugh at everything, question everything, challenge everything, are stupidly clever and cleverly stupid, malicious, but kind- hearted at the same time, independent and rebellious. Eternal outsiders, abhorred by all normality, structure and routine.
Tricksters don’t want to slowly climb the ladder, they want to be the ladder. Blessed and damned, clean and stained, always escaping, even from themselves. Ethnographically speaking: some think of them as monsters, others as saints. To transfer this metaphor to the example of Czułość: Czułość
was supposed to be a box of tricksters between the ‘divine’ world of art and the ‘earthly’ world of its audience. It would show its arse to the establishment, proving that the establishment’s superiority is but an appearance, that sanctions are just structures which can be destroyed step by
step. Proving that old definitions can be written anew, that you can deplore the world’s systems – the big ones and the petty ones – and create a community based on honesty and friendship.
Czułość meant working hard until late at night on the next exhibition, drinking and dancing until early in the morning, being hungover in the sun. A group of people entrusting each other with their biggest secrets and their biggest absurdities without thinking how they could be used against them.
No one thought about a career. No one knew how, why or where; all they knew was that they felt good together and that without mutual help they would not be. As per Turner’s description of communitas, Czułość was a combination of the sacred and the profane, of the homogenous and of brotherhood. Such relations provoked inebriation, they seemed more real than anything else – and those excluded from the mysterium would cling to Czułość, understanding nothing, but enthused not only by the photos, but above other things by this crazy group, who, with no money, lived like a rock band. Turner: Communitas penetrates through the slits in the structure in liminality, through the edges in marginality, and from beneath in inferiority. Czułość was born somewhere to the side of the mainstream, on the edge of profitability or even way beyond it, often on the edge of closing down; at the beginning inferior, small and sociable, it has become the beloved enfant terrible of Warsaw’s mainstream. It has just become a foundation, it is selling works, and is slowly becoming as official as other Warsaw galleries, which came to be in more traditional circumstances.
But communitas cannot exist forever – sooner or later a leader always emerges. Functions, tasks and a structured division of labour come into being. Differences between believers appear, egoism replaces altruism, thinking about I replaces thinking about we. This is natural. As the structure cannot exist without communitas, communitas cannot exist without structure. Turner: the wise find the correct relationships between the structure and the communitas in any given time and place, giving their assent to superior modality, but without rejecting any other, not clinging on to one, even when the original momentum is gone.
Now, after two years, Czułość is not a communitas any more, it has strengthened, has become an institution, its members are focused on their own achievements. They are now monads rather than a collective that cares about being seen as a whole. Czułość has become an ordinary gallery, but with an extraordinary history – with a magic background. I have no doubt that on this rocket fuel it will soon go supersonic.”