Opening: 06.06.2008 at 6 p.m.
Artists: Tomasz Ciecierski, Jarosław Kozłowski, Zofia Kulik, Aleksandra Polisiewicz, Zbigniew Libera i Darek  Foks
“A Story Differently Told” is a project disclosing threads of modern art practices, polemic to the vision of art history known from institutionalised discourse and spaces. It is not about a radical objection or any ideological antagonisms, rather it aims at more reserved but all the same mischievous strategies of verifying the canons encouraged by institutional authority.
Reading of art happening now, but also as perceived from the time passed perspective. The exhibiting artists, show different versions of history, they re-tell their relation to the past, they read themselves differently to the way they are usually read. The presented artworks bring from the shadow, what could not fit into the institutionalised norms, grew on margins, and in any way, beyond the absorbed and absorbing mainstream events.

Their narrations favour an individual memory against codified record of the institutionalised history of art. They provide a slightly different reading of modern times and its tradition. They raise doubts towards common hierarchies and divisions.

“Different” narration of the past decades is constructed in Zofia Kulik  “Archives KwieKulik”. Her collections of documentations mainly contain what is being marginalised in predominating discourse and overlooked in official archives. In her own archives the private merges with the public, and the institutionalised history of art emerges as the history of exclusion. The plot that comes forth from her archives of the neo-vanguard provenance is only seemingly non-personal, as seen from the participant and the art event creator standpoint. The place and the role of the author are brought out in juxtaposition with her self-portrait presentation artwork “ Ambassadors of Past “. Nominating herself a witness of history, Kulik reaches her experiences and memory, not hiding her particular interest and without pretence to objectivity. She uses the archives to correct the history of art, where she cannot find her own place.

    The private position in and towards history of art is a subject theme of Tomasz Ciecierski collection. A section of the collection of postcards and photographs, never displayed before, mainly concerns art and artists. Uncountable images of masters, those recognised at the first sight and those less famous, the interiors of workshops, scenes at museums, street painters, painters accessories, streets named by artists, pieces of art from different epochs, photographs from numerous journeys. Collected for over thirty years, the chaotic set, where consequently developed threads of artistic fascinations can be distinguished. Much as the pictures taken for years from museums windows, for long “ not important enough to show’’ seemed to the author. Ciecierski collection exhibit transpiercing perceptions of art and its history, from academic discourse to popular narrations “sold” at museum boutiques.

    We face the question of institutionalised memory on the side of Libera and Foks book “What does a liason do“ .
A narrative of The Warsaw Uprising, but rememberd differntly, through memory unlike the institutionalised and the repossesed for „political use“. The subject of the literary and the visual inquieries of the authors is the way pictures of memory are being created and redistributed. Both pictures and readings revolve around memory and remembering, returning images and sentences are sending us to remembering and forgetting, to overflow and lack of universal memory. By calling the memory different from the learnt, practiced and made remembered in public forms of expressing it, Libera and Foks turn our attention to the role of memory in constructing history and identity.

    Ambivalence in perceiving history takes shape in Aleksandra Polisiewicz piecework. Reaching the archives, she approaches the virtual reconstruction of the history undone and greatly unrecognised. Her visualisation of totalitarian metropolis, as Warsaw was supposed to be according to unfulfilled Nazi plans, is situated ” in the field of a critic art of post-memory and serialised remembering”. In her Wartopia, exhibited in the form of interactive projection, one can walk empty streets, along artificial, computer-generated architecture. This architectonic spectacle with its visual attraction puts a viewer in “an alarmingly equivocal position.”

    The canon of conceptual art (its tradition actually) is put in question, by Jaroslaw Kozlowski, a leading conceptual artist, whose work revoked some of the conceptual art stereotypes, making its reading easier. The author of installations raising doubts concerning authority of museums, with its ambiguous dialectics of “reification and reanimation”, in his last artwork places modernistic painters procedures questioned by conceptual art in similar dialectics.  In his work Recycled News ( 2007 ) consisting of hundreds of newspapers pages painted with aquarelle, in the collection of multilingual journalism and abstract painting, he uses the forms of modernistic art in context ( and in relation to) mass media politics. Doing this, he questions the choice between politics and autonomy of art piece, to purposely situate the problem in the context of politics and autonomy of the art not giving way to political persuasions.

Project Curator: Bozena Czubak
Cooperation of Laznia CCA: Agnieszka Wołodźko
Municipal Institution of Culture