Exercises on Imagination | Kasia Kmita

17.03 - 31.05.2021

Due to the new governmental order, Museum of Architecture will be closed from 20th of March till 9th of April, 2021.

17.03-14.04 – project in progress

14.04-31.05 – exhibition

Curator: Kuba Żary

Exhibition design: Hubert Kielan

Art Symposium Wroclaw ‘70 was an extraordinary meeting of artists, art critics and theorists, which took place in Wroclaw in the first months of 1970. It became a platform for exchanging ideas and forging new directions of development for the Polish contemporary art community. Despite, or perhaps precisely because its turbulent deliberations, the event led to the creation of only a few projects but gained legendary fame in the 1970s and has provoked discussions to this day. Since, in hindsight, proposals submitted during the Symposium turned out to be important works of Polish conceptualism (such as Zbigniew Gostomski’s “It Begins in Wroclaw”, Jerzy Fedorowicz’s “Point” or Włodzimierz Borowski’s “Dialog”), it quickly became known as “the first Polish manifestation of conceptual art”. Even though it has been de-mythicized in the analyzes of contemporary academics and critics, and its conclusions are nowadays presented in a more complex, nuanced way, the Symposium still maintains the status of the “impossible space” surrounded by an uncanny halo. The year of its 50th anniversary proved that legends, myths and ideas revolving around the Symposium still stimulate imagination and encourage reflection on the condition of Polish art and the artistic community, and can become an inspiration for the next generations of artists.

“Exercises on Imagination” is a reinterpretation of the “legendary” and “fantastically incredible” feature inscribed in the memory of the Wroclaw ‘70 Art Symposium. Starting from source and archival materials and documentation, it is supposed to exceed its content and expand the existing narrative. The basic point of reference for the artistic and curatorial team were personal stories presenting individual ways of experiencing the event. How is the Symposium remembered by its participants: artists, organizers and viewers? Subjective views on this historical event, discovered during conversations, reading journals and browsing old albums, contributed to the project framework.

Illustrative works based on the above were created by Kasia Kmita - a painter from Wroclaw, using a meticulously refined cutout inspired by traditional folk codra. Her paper images are often the first visual representations of undocumented, less official, but no less important moments of the Symposium. The spatial compositions that make up the exhibition (bringing to mind complex architectural models, scenography or pop-up books) are accompanied by commentaries that process information found in statements, archival texts and photographs. The visual-sound installation is an attempt to make the history of the Symposium fit into a plot, create a conscious contribution to the mythical fame of the 1970 event and the folklore of the Polish art community.

The project will be presented in chapters. Their progress can be viewed between 17 March and 14 April - every week the exhibition will be expanded with another episode of the Symposium story. From 14 April to the end of May it will be available in its entirety, consisting of 6 “exercises on imagination”, referring to specific moments that determined the shape of the event’s artistic heritage.

CHAPTER PREMIERES

17 March: Exercise 1 – Site inspection, Exercise 2 - Discussion in Piwnica Świdnicka

24 March: Exercise 3 – Flight over Wroclaw

31 March: Exercise 4 – Exhibition at the Museum of Architecture and Reconstruction

7 April: Exercise 5 – Presentations at the Mona Lisa Gallery

14 April: Exercise 6 – Victory Day

Organizers:

Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw

TIFF Center

Organizational partner:

Krupa Gallery

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