March 5 – May 8, 2016
Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków
Opening: Friday, March 4, 5 pm
“All Mounds Can Be Seen From My Window” is an international group exhibition that brings together paintings, objects, scenes and quotations to tell a story of an institution – the present Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art.
Some half a century ago Krakow’s daily newspapers have announced: “The exhibition pavilion by the Planty Park is finally open!” The previous evening, on September 11, 1965, a noisy crowd of distinguished guests have honoured with their presence the opening of the Municipal Exhibition Pavilion. After nearly a decade of struggles related to issues of architecture and construction, Krakow could finally enjoy a modern exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art – this phrase could work as an opening of a story about the beginnings of the present Bunkier Sztuki gallery. Certainly, this would not be the only narrative, but merely one of many.
The sentence appearing in the exhibition title was seductively and teasingly expressed by Marek Arens, the protagonist of “Jowita” (dir. Janusz Morgenstern, 1967). This illusory promise of fulfilling all the desires and needs of his lover (played by Barbara Kwiatkowska) becomes a metaphor of inaccessible ideal and a projection of dreams. Imagining the impossible marks a moment of demonstration of opposition against the ordinariness of the world. From this perspective, the gallery becomes a promise of an impossible yet tempting space.
The history of the Gallery, established in 1949 as the Krakow branch of the Central Office for Art Exhibitions (BWA), together with the subsequent changes of its mission and goals, reflects more general and broader processes of political, social and artistic transitions, including the understanding of their public significance. The institution’s attempts to find its place both in its own local history, in the microclimate of Krakow’s artistic milieu, as well as on the national and international scene provide the main narrative lines of the exhibition. What was the impact of the Communist chain of BWA galleries on the Gallery’s present form and its social reception? In what sense was its contemporary character shaped by neo-avant-garde artists who moved outside established artistic models and expanded their practice including ephemeral and intermedia elements? Those are just some of the questions related to mechanisms of looking, relations of power, directions of dependence between the observer and the observed, as well as changes in the modes of reception and definition of a work of art. “All Mounds Can Be Seen From My Window” is also a story about the Gallery’s architecture designed by Krystyna Tołłoczko-Różyska, who defined it as Exhibition Pavilion, that is, a place for exhibiting and viewing. Her working process on the development of the building’s architecture, as well as the coherent and innovative concept of functionality of all its spaces will be visualised by original drawings and designs made by the remarkable architect. Reference points for the historical narrative will be provided by specially commissioned works by Polish and international artists – installations by Andris Eglītis, Yane Calovski, Katarzyna Krakowiak, Monika Niwelińska and Mateusz Kula – that address fragility and transience of time, the decline of matter (including the architecture of the Gallery on the eve of the announcement of the competition for its reconstruction and expansion) and what is left after such erosion.
Featured artists: AWACS (Peter Grzybowski, Maciej Toporowicz), Azorro (Oskar Dawicki, Igor Krenz, Wojciech Niedzielko, Łukasz Skąpski), Agata Biskup and Przemysław Czepurko, Janusz Byszewski, Yane Calovski, Marek Chlanda, Wincenty Dunikowski-Duniko, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Andris Eglītis, Peter Grzybowski, Maciej Jerzmanowski, Janusz Kaczorowski, Konger (Marian Figiel, Władysław Kaźmierczak, Marcin Krzyżanowski, Artur Tajber), Katarzyna Krakowiak, Mateusz Kula, Monika Niwelińska, Stefan Papp, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Michael Portnoy, Laure Prouvost, Artur Tajber, Raša Todosijević, Krystyna Tołłoczko-Różyska, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Mieczysław Wejman oraz Anna Zaradny.
Exhibition opening will coincide with the official opening of the new space – the Exhibition Pavilion situated between two main exhibition rooms. Its name refers directly to the one given to the Gallery by its architect Krystyna Tołłoczko-Różyska on the day of its opening. The Pavilion will provide venue for workshops, discussion panels, seminars and meetings of open reading groups dedicated to reflection on curating models and strategies, the history of exhibition practice, theory and practice of constructing narratives in exhibition space, as well as intellectual property rights. We dedicate the Pavilion to both professionals as well as students of various fields and all those interested in exploring and analysing mechanisms behind the work of institutions, collaboration between curator, artist and critic both historically as well as in the present. Guests invited for 2016 include Aneta Szyłak, Alexander Koch, Maria Hlavajova, Ann Demeester, Binna Choi and others.
Curators: Anna Bargiel, Paulina Hyła, Magdalena Kownacka, Lidia, Krawczyk, Anna Lebensztejn, Kinga Olesiejuk, Aneta Rostkowska, Krzysztof Siatka, Karolina Vyšata, Magdalena Ziółkowska
Location: Dolna Gallery, Ground floor, 1st floor
Exhibition architecture: Agata Biskup, Przemysław Czepurko (collaboration: Michał Borecki)
Graphic identity: Agata Biskup