„Art with the Past” 2010 – debates / November and December 2010 in the Mieszkanie Gepperta Gallery

Soon in the Mieszkanie Gepperta Art Gallery the second edition of the “Art with the Past” festival which is organized by the ART Transparent Foundation. Again we are having a look into works created by artists coming from countries of the former Eastern Block. We are curious about the socio-political changes which are constantly taking place in the countries of our region. We remember that culture is a field where we can find interesting commentaries regarding these issues.

But the visitors of our gallery are not left on their own with the exhibited works. Also this year we have prepared a programme full of various cultural events. Within the Festival the audience will be given the opportunity to listen to four lectures and take part in two debates. Speeches will be held by experts and enthusiasts of the urban space and of the art’s presence on a city’s greatest squares and in its all nooks and crannies.

On19th November a Czech artist Adam Vackar (his works will be shown during the Festival), will present a sketch of the history of the art’s entrance into cities’ public space in the case of our Southern neighbours. He will juxtapose the lack of imagination and courage of urban planners with similar practices which have been present for decades in Western European countries. Is the artistic intervention into the fixed and static space of Central European cities a phenomenon that will finally become socially accepted? These and other questions will be elaborated on in the lecture by Adam Vackar. („Forms of engagement – art in public space in times of transformation”, 19/11. at 18.00).

These issues will be further discussed on 29th of November as Joanna Erbel – sociologist and member of Warsaw „Krytyka Polityczna” – points to a couple of art projects in public space which have changed the way reality can be perceived. She will also explain how the cooperation between artists and urban planners could possibly contribute to a better understanding of social processes which are taking place in cities and lead to the creation of a better, more egalitarian, widely accessible public space. („Do urban planners need art?”, 29/11 at 18.00)

On the Santa Claus Day, 6th December, we invite to the lecture by Małgorzata Lisiewicz, historian and art critic, in 2003-2005 director of the Centre for Contemporary Art “Łaźnia” in Gdańsk, curator of, among others, an exhibition devoted to selected representations of body-related issues in the latest Estonian art. Her lecture will discuss these problems. (“To overcome the distance: reflecting around the Estonian body art”, 6/12 at 18.00)

All those interested the contemporary Balkan art should come to the lecture of Goran Injanc, art historian and philologist, lecturer at the Slavic Studies at the University of Opole. The title and date of the meeting with Goran will be known soon.

Yet another event around the „Art with the Past” Festival will be the discussion on the issues of presence/absence and (in)visibility of sexuality in the public space. Are Polish and Central European cities’ public spaces equally open to the manifestations and representatives of various sexualities? Dreams and wishes, “sexual nationalities”? Does – and if so – how does the (homo)sexuality issue becomes visible in the cityscape? It will be also an opportunity to tell about differences between the creation of enclaves of the free sexual expression (gay city districts in Western countries, red lights districts) and the so called “queering” of urban space. The debate is conducted by Maja Sokal, sociologist and PhD candidate at the Jagiellonian University; panel discussions led by Julie Land, American artist living in Poland, Zvonko Dimoski, philologist (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Mecedonian who will present the Balkan perspective, and Bartek Lis, sociologist (Universtity of Wrocław) who investigates the issues of manliness, body and sexuality. (3/12 at 18.00)

All those interested in urban planning, sociology of cities and architecture should visit us on 15th December to participate in the debate conducted by Kasia Kajdanek. The discussion attended by Agata Gabiś, Jacek Gądecki and Elżbieta Sekuła will be an attempt to ruminate on the city’s duality: social struggle for the public space while social groups simultaneously become more heterogeneous which privatize – literally or simply become owners of certain fragments of a city. The major question about the direction of the socio-space development of the city will be posed. Feel invited to participate in the discussion! (debate “Half-private or half-public – contemporary urban spaces in Eastern and Central Europe”, 15/12 at 17:30)

Batek Lis – coordinator of lectures and debates within the “Art with the Past” Festival

Free entrance