In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. This George Orwell’s words still sound very current and truthful, especially if related to the last two decades. From the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the crash of the World Trade Center up to the Global Financial Crisis, life is becoming increasingly more subjected to the influence of the politics on a planetary scale. Art is both driving and documenting this upheaval. It is looking for new models of social transformation, but it is also creating space for reflection and discussion. Exactly on this premises is based Arena – a project which intends to function not just as an exhibition, but also as a set for dynamic programme of screenings of video works, which today diffuse and channel artistic messages in the most massive way, as well as a platform for lectures, meetings and discussions which will involve international curators as well as participating artists and guest-lecturers from Poland.
Exhibitive project Arena takes the work and the artistic persona of Joseph Beuys as the point of departure. Being a personification of the artist in a role of a demiurge, a teacher, an activist as well as ‘public worker’ in the broadest sense of the term, Beuys is referential figure whose legacy still matters when question of political and social engagement of art is raised. The title of the exhibition refers to his piece Arena (Where Would I Have Got if I Had Been Intelligent!) which marks a shift in his own work as an artist and an activist. It indicates the thematic frame which this project takes, as a starting point in order to pose the questions: in what way art deals with social contingencies and current political conflicts and how it reflect moments of crisis.
CURATORS OF THE SCREENING PROGRAMMES
CURATOR OF THE ANNEX
THE SILENCE OF MARCEL DUCHAMP IS OVERRATED
Grzegorz Laszuk, K+S
Anna Hegman, K+S
EXHIBITION SET UP CONSULTING
Jonas Nobel, Uglycute
AUDIOPROJEKT Tomasz Baranowski
The School of Narrative Dance, 2013
video still, video, 18’41”
courtesy of the artist
© Authors of the texts
© 2014 Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu
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