The Skeletons Must Rise
Place: Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk, Szeroka Street 37+ Gdańsk City Gallery 2, Powroźnicza street 13/15
Opening 4G, Szeroka: 7th of July, Saturday at 7.00 p.m.
Exhibition: 7th of July - 26th of August 2018
Artists: Paweł Althamer, Karolina Breguła, Olaf Brzeski, Elvin Flamingo, Jarosław Fliciński, Bartek Jarmoliński, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Alicja Karska + Aleksandra Went, Przemek Matecki, Dorota Nieznalska, Maciek Salamon, Dominika Skutnik + Marek Frankowski, Krzysztof Topolski, Andrzej Wasilewski, Ania Witkowska, Marcin Zawicki, Krzysztof Żwirblis and Pracownia Filmu Krytycznego, Akademia Sztuki w Szczecinie
Curators: Iwona Bigos, Marta Wróblewska
Opening GGM2, Powroźnicza: 14th od July, Saturday at 7.00 p.m.
...museums that would like to participate in this feast of aesthetics and nibble off something for themselves to grab the attention of the spectator, must renounce their affinity with cemeteries and mausoleums. Skeletons put there for safekeeping must rise.
Life in a speeding world, in fluid times as Zygmunt Bauman used to call our reality, often blurs the boundaries between what is elevated and what is common, what is permanent and what is fleeting, what is sophisticated and what is popular. Museums that were originally guardians of durability and permanence, started to resemble in this form – as Adorno would note – mausoleums, and their functions of keeping, preserving and presenting collections would often transform into their museumification (using Beaudrillard’s expression). Currently, institutions engaged in art are often faced with the dilemma concerning the revaluation and redefinition of their form of existence. Are they supposed to remain temples of art, isolated from the speeding reality, timeless oases of beauty and contemplation, or join in the marathon of postmodernity, adapting not only to the specificity of fleeting and fragmented times, but also to habits and expectations of the new audience, representing the new vision and new problems of the world?
Making use of the opportunity to present selected works in two separate galleries, we have arranged two museum situations. The one presented at the Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk, the house for the collection of the Nobel Prize Winner’s works, refers to the traditional form of presenting art works. Selected works constitute direct reference to the history of art and the museum per se, integrating conceptual and aesthetic thinking. These finished works, ready for presentation, play with the onlooker’s perception, with their knowledge and the ability to read contexts.
On the other hand, Gdańsk City Gallery 2 has been transformed into an open, experimental, laboratory space, close to the conception of the new museology which emphasises the political and ideological dimension of the museum work, promoting the ‘active’ museum connected with the involvement of the community in the processes of presentation and interpretation, emphasizing the relation between the museum and visitors, instead of the traditional museum-collection one. Within this space, we present works bordering on art and science, social, political, land, concept and sound art in the creative process of which artists make use of interdisciplinary methods of work, bordering on art, anthropology, ethnography, history, geology or biology. Within this space, we allow the existence of political and (art) historical criticism, and also look upon the creative process in its multidimensionality and experimentality.
Our intention consists not in providing answers, but in the simulation of certain situations that we can relate to. We form open questions, at the same time not expecting any straightforward answers or choices, but rather an involved discourse on art, artists and art institutions in the contemporary world. We leave it to our visitors to decide whether and to what extent “skeletons put in museums for safekeeping must rise.”