The Collection of the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Toruń
The art collection of the Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Toruń, originally established in 2004, is impressive and ambiguous at the same time. Impressive since it has amassed some great pieces of art by some very fine artists – and ambiguous because it lacks a homogeneous and uniform profile, which is something to match our – Polish – state of mind a quarter of a century after the old regime broke down. And so there are: nostalgia, defiant wrestling with the current situation, timeless elegance, patronizing attitude of the authorities defending the long established order and everlasting principles, but there is also the anti-art peppered with little nihilism and a pinch of mockery on the top. Today in this melting pot, which we also call a transitional period, we finally have to admit we were stitched together in a patchwork sort of manner, and assembled together from various ill-fitted elements. This collection has become a mirror we may look into searching for the answers to the questions: Who are we? Where are we coming from? Where are we going to? There is this big-city spleen and irony – the result of coming to terms with the fact that searching for new artistic conventions becomes like scraping the bottom of the barrel, but on the other hand there is optimism and keeping faith in a better world, the grass-roots work enthusiasm that bears fruit in the form of so-called provincial art, where provincial means off-the-main stream, reinventing the old forgotten art rituals, art that slips away from the dominant, autocratic discourse and is therefore capable of new discoveries. If it wasn’t for this diverse, irregular platform of CoCA’s collection, Zenon Korytkowski of Tuchola, the disciple of the Kapists (Polish Colourists from Paris – translator’s note) wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet Heinz Cibulka, Viennese and a member of Hermann Nitsch’s orgiastic and ritualistic theatre. It does keep the spirit up to know that, in those spacious depots and storerooms in Toruń, there is still such remarkable potential to draw up many extraordinary affairs, unusual events and unpredictable arrangements.
Ewelina Jarosz, Paweł Łubowski, Anna Markowska, Tomasz de Rosset, Natalia Cieślak, Anna Dzierżyc-Horniak, Marta Ipczyńska-Budziak, Małgorzata Krzyżanowska, Piotr Lisowski, Filip Pręgowski
Katarzyna Dorocińska, Aleksandra Jakubczak, Hanna Piątkiewicz, Maciej Pokornowski, Remigiusz Tkacz, Zofia Smith, Monika Ujma, Katarzyna Więckowska
Natalia Cieślak, Ian Corkill, Paweł Falkowski, Katarzyna Radomska
Photographs and documenation
Wojciech Kuberski, Jacek Kasprzycki, Anna Markowska, Kazimierz F. Napiórkowski, Wojciech Olech
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© 2013 Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu
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ARTiS Poligrafia s.c.