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Lublin: 10th Open City Festival Of Art In Public Space 2018 ǀ Reciprocity

September 7, 2018 - October 5, 2018

10th Open City Festival Of Art In Public Space 2018


Artists: Monika Zadurska-Bielak, Tomasz Bielak, Magdalena Franczak, Mirosław (Nordyk) Jurczuk, Kolektyw kilku.com, Jarosław Koziara, Robert Kuśmirowski, Sofie Mȕller (Belgium), Henk Visch (The Netherlands), Pavel Doskočil (Czech Republic), Krzysztof Sołowiej, Kamil Stańczak, Katarzyna Szczypior


This year, the guiding idea of the festival is reciprocity. Mutuality, reciprocation, retaliation, bilaterality are just a few synonyms of the word. These immediately evoke yet another variety of ideas: co-feeling, empathy, altruism, co-existence, solidarity, community. Reciprocity is driven by both profuse unselfish love, as well as hatred, resentment and hidden complexes, materialistic exchange and daily courtesies, but also by rankling revenge, rancour and betrayal.

We are going to tell stories about difficult reciprocity, about interdependencies leading to non-obvious configurations of the “natives” and “aliens”, “locals” and “tourists”, “visitors” and “residents”. Hospitality struggles with dislike of foreigners. Urban arena for reciprocity is governed equally by the philosophy of competition and combat, fears and traumas, as well as by unselfishness, solidarity and gift. The reciprocity experience is enhanced by theatrification if not carnivalesque behaviour in the public space, waiving any social hierarchies and liberating uncontrollable Bakhtin’s laughter. Everyday life and celebration in a city gives rise to ephemeral as well as long-lasting communities.

Art in the urban space unveils space for agreement and dispute, it gives meaning and values and releases new social energies, it provokes exchange and revives the logic of reciprocity. By introducing “foreign bodies” into the public space, the artists will upset municipal routine and balance, they will trigger reflection, consequently leading to a figurative change; not actually do they form a component of the public space, but rather they create it with their works, opening it to exchange of views, ideological perspectives, social paradigms and expression of freedom.

Unlike in previous years, works for the tenth jubilee Open City Festival will be primarily prepared by artists having strong identity associations with Lublin. Their artistic intent and their approach to the city will be complemented by confidentiality, familiarity, domestication, the perspective of a responsible citizen and good neighbour, by intimate closeness and nostalgia, local patriotism and Eastern sentiments. The artists will make their personal contributions to the polyphonic texture of the city. They will also introduce distance, reflective mood and perceptiveness stemming from intimate relationship of the citizens with the public space.

By inviting artists to bring their installations to life, we assumed that the main focus of reflection will dwell on a walking man looking around. We will replace pathos with lightness, normality and vitality. We will explore different places, caring for their identity. Will anyone respond to our openness? Is the ancient do ut des (I give that you may give) possible at all? We hope that locations chosen by the artists and their works will make the passersby slow down, stop, think and ask questions. We are looking forward to their inquiries with hope and concern.