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Wrocław: The SURVIVAL Art Review
June 23, 2017 - June 27, 2017
15th edition of SURVIVAL Art Review – Stratification
curators: Anna Kołodziejczyk, Anna Stec, Michał Bieniek
The SURVIVAL Art Review – one of the largest reviews of art in public space in Poland – will be held in Wrocław for the 15th time. The Art Transparent Foundation invites visual artists of all disciplines to take part in the competition of artworks to be presented during the 15th edition of the Review.
This year’s edition of the SURVIVAL Art Review will be held in the modernist building of the former Chemistry Auditorium of Wrocław University (see: Chemistry Auditorium), which closed down in 2007.
The motto of this year’s edition is “Stratification”. In art history, this term is applied to analysing the structure of a given architectural object by breaking it down into strata to illustrate the functions of individual rooms, identify different technologies and constructions used in selected epochs, and show the stages of building the object.
During the jubilee edition of the SURVIVAL Art Review, we would like to borrow this term in order to conduct a study of “stratification of the city” and cast a closer look at its architecture. This will lead to identifying a number of architectural, social and economic transformations that have occurred in the city throughout decades.
After all, the history of Wrocław’s expansion is not an easy one. By tracing examples of changes that have taken place in the city we can witness not only its development and expansion, but also its destruction, disintegration and collapse.
The starting point for the study undertaken by SURVIVAL is the architectural tissue of the city. The history of architecture very accurately reflects the changes occurring in the social, economic and cultural spheres of an urban organism.
The exhibition presented during the 15th edition of the Review will therefore be intended to not only examine and trace the subsequent trends and tendencies in art/architecture/urbanism, but primarily to analyse a number of mutations, events, anomalies, degenerations and growths that emerged at points of transition between the abovementioned trends and tendencies.
While constructing the narrative of the 15th edition of SURVIVAL, the notions of tectonics and atectonics also play a major role. In regard to works of art (or architecture), they pertain to the congruity and uniformity of a construction, or their absence. These terms are particularly important in the context of the venue: the Chemistry Auditorium, which retains its original state with hardly any alterations (from the body of the building to the smallest details: chairs, desks, lighting, etc.), and its twin Mathematics Auditorium, which has lost its architectural and artistic cohesion due to a renovation.
The notion of tectonics in its geological sense endows the idea of SURVIVAL with a number of important meanings and associations that could be applied to the phenomenon of changes occurring in different sphere of the city’s existence. When understood metaphorically, tectonic movements such as uplifts, frictions, rifts and faults, or even catastrophes such as earthquakes, can be very relevant and inspiring for broadly-defined arts.
The very notion of “strata” can be interpreted by means of art on many levels, especially with regard to social issues, e.g. in the context of migration (mixing and overlapping of identities), the process of identity building (including national identity), or the mind as a structure consisting of accumulating layers.
Among other threads that are relevant to the 15th edition of the Review are those connected with the very notion of modernism as well as chemistry and chemical reactions, understood in a strictly scientific sense as well as with reference to interpersonal relationships or the connections between science (chemistry) and art.