The 20th edition of the SURVIVAL Art Review is about to begin. The jubilee presentation of the unique event featuring contemporary art will be held on 24–28 June 2022 under the slogan “Pills.”

Over 40 artists from Poland and abroad will show their works in the buildings of the former Bethany hospital in Wrocław, one of the most interesting monuments of hospital architecture in Poland. Apart from the main exhibition, the programme includes curator-led tours and meetings organised as part of the Public Forum. Accessibility is an important feature of this year’s programme, which includes sign language tours and “silent hours” for highly sensitive people. Admission to SURVIVAL is free. Registration is required for the tours.

20 years of exploring the city 

For 20 years, SURVIVAL has challenged itself to introduce contemporary art to unusual urban spaces. The venues for the previous editions of this Art Review include the Central Railway Station in Wrocław, the abandoned Pharmacy Institute of the Medical Academy, the Four Domes Pavilion (now a branch of the National Museum) or the former Pafawag National Rail Carriage Factory. This year, artists and viewers will have an opportunity to confront an otherwise inaccessible location in Przedmieście Oławskie – a district once known as the “Bermuda Triangle,” which has today become an attractive part of the city, associated with interesting architecture and numerous centres of local activity.

The complex of hospital buildings at ul. Traugutta 118 was built in 1852–1916. It is almost complete – out of ten buildings originally constructed, nine have survived to our times. It is Wrocław’s only institution of that size that was established by women and run by them until 1945. The entire complex was called “Bethany.” Patients were admitted regardless of religion and treated in the departments of internal diseases, surgery, laryngology and gynaecology. The complex also comprised wards for infectious and chronically ill patients. After 1945, the hospital was given the name of Tadeusz Marciniak, and one of its facilities was designated as a children’s ward.

“Pills” in art and debate

This year’s festival motto refers to the multiple meanings associated with the term “pills.” Among them is the metaphor of the blue and red pills from the cult movie The Matrix and a reference to psychoactive substances causing altered states of consciousness. It is not only the commonness, but also the systematic growth in the numbers of people taking psychoactive substances that is sometimes recognised as a symptom and result of socio-political, technological and systemic changes, says Michał Bieniek, director of the SURVIVAL Art Review.

The capacious slogan of this year’s edition will be approached through the works of SURVIVAL artists. The former Bethany hospital will become the venue for presenting several dozen works from areas such as painting, sculpture, installation, video and sound projects. We will examine the 20th-century musical tradition of the avant-garde, which, unlike the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s, searched for ideas in eastern awareness-raising practices, says Daniel Brożek, curator of sound projects. An inseparable element of the Review is the Audience Award, this year funded by OKRE Development. We encourage you to vote for your favourite work of art during the festival.

As every year, the Public Forum will become a place for meeting and exchanging views. With representatives of the Visegrad Group and Ukraine, we will discuss the role of art in social transformations in the context of the invasion of Ukraine. This is part of the “Unlearning” project, in which we consider the relationship between artistic activities and social change from the perspective of Central and Eastern Europe, says Karolina Bieniek of the Art Transparent foundation, which organises the Review. In partnership with the SWPS University, we will talk about the psychological aspects of this year’s slogan. We will also take up the topic of the twentieth anniversary of Poland’s oldest continuously functioning art review, she adds. The invited guests include: Kateryna Botanova, Franz Tisk, Simon Balázs, Yuriy Biley, Zuzana Kupcova, Beata Kwiatkowska, Katarzyna Kulwicka and Agata Gąsiorowska.

As part of the project “Unlearning – 20 Years of Art for Social Change in the V4 Region” we will also see works by artists from Ukraine. It will be accompanied by a publication containing texts mapping out the social contexts of artistic and institutional practices in the Visegrad Group countries.

Art accessible to everyone

During the jubilee edition of SURVIVAL, accessibility is an important feature, as evidenced by a rich programme of events intended to bring art closer to the audience and invite various social groups to participate in the review. We want to be loud and clear that contemporary art is accessible, says Ewa Pluta, art historian and one of the curators of the Review. The SURVIVAL programme includes guided tours of the exhibition and hospital premises for seniors (Senior Art Walk series), parents of very young children (Baby Art Walk) and parents of children aged 5–10 (Kid Art Walk). There will also be guided tours with audio description and Polish Sign Language interpretation prepared together with the Katarynka Foundation. On Tuesday, 28 June, from 10.00 to 11.30 a.m., the exhibition will be silent for 1.5 hours – all audio and video works that may adversely affect the well-being of highly sensitive people will be turned off.

During the festival, there will also be a Festival Club – on Friday and Saturday, 29 and 30 June, evening dance events with DJs from Wrocław’s Studio Nurty and African Techno Karate will be held. Admission to all SURVIVAL events is free. Prior registration is required for the tours: It will be launched on 14 June at 10 a.m.

Accompanying exhibitions: Szewska and Przedmieście Oławskie

From 17 June to 10 July, Katarzyna Ćwikła’s exhibition The Hospital Project will be on display at Centrum na Przedmieściu, ul. Prądzyńskiego 39A. Almost 60 colour photographs accompanied by stories of former employees and patients will create the intimate and unique history of T. Marciniak Specialist Hospital. Meanwhile, until 30 June, Szewska street gallery will be presenting a selection of details of artistic works shown during SURVIVAL’s jubilee edition. The featured artists take different perspectives and follow unapparent paths; it is a story leading through the mysterious basements, floors and attics of the monumental Bethany hospital.

The 20th edition of SURVIVAL under the slogan “Pills” will be held from 24 to 28 June in the former Bethany hospital at ul. Traugutta 118. The Review is organised by the Art Transparent Foundation, and OKRE Development is a strategic partner of the event. More details are available at and

Organiser of the Review: Art Transparent Foundation

Director of the Review: Michał Bieniek

Curators: Michał Bieniek, Anna Kołodziejczyk, Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz, Daniel Brożek, Ewa PlutaFeatured

artists: Laia Abril, Krystian Truth Czaplicki, Volkan Diyaroglu, Pablo Ramírez González, Maja Janczar, Kamil Kak, Monika Karczmarczyk, Dana Kavelina, Maksym Khodak, Alina Kleytman, Adam Kozicki, Agata Lankamer, Katarzyna Malejka, Magdalena Mądra, Martyna Modzelewska, Horacy Muszyński, Małgorzata Mycek, Adam Nehring, Iwona Ogrodzka, Zofia Pałucha, Valentina Petrova, Przemysław Piniak, Katarzyna Podpora, Martyna Poznańska, Aleksandra Przybysz, Jakub Rokita, Anna Scherbyna, Jarosław Słomski, Aleksander Sovtysik, Kuba Stępień, Kamil Subzda, Tytus Szabelski, Sofia Topi, Daniela Weiss, Katarzyna Wyszkowska, xyckshyt, Rafał Żarski.


24.06 FRIDAY

opening hours: noon – midnight

7 PM Official opening of the 20th SURVIVAL Art Review in front of the main entrance to the hospital

10 PM Studio Nurty Takeover – afterparty, entrance from Żabia Ścieżka street


opening hours: noon – midnight

12 PM Guided tour with interpretation into Polish Sign Language, led by Ewa Pluta (registration coordinated by the Katarynka Foundation), start: tram stop pl. Zgody (Ethnographic Museum)

3 PM KAW! Kid Art Walk – guided tour for children aged 6-12, led by Ewa Pluta (registration required), start: Infopoint

5 PM Tour led by curator Daniel Brożek (registration required), start: Infopoint

6 PM The Public Forum: Unlearning – On Future Relations Between Art and Social Change – debate in English and Polish, open event, Festival Club

10 PM African Techno Karate – afterparty, entrance from Żabia Ścieżka street

26.06 SUNDAY

opening hours: noon – midnight

12 PM Guided tour with audio description, led by Ewa Pluta (registration coordinated by the Katarynka Foundation), start: tram stop pl. Zgody (Ethnographic Museum)

1 PM The Public Forum: Twenty!, jubilee meeting, moderatedby Beata Kwiatkowska, open event, Festival Club

3 PM Workshop for children, open event, Festival Club

5 PM Tour led by curator Michał Bieniek (registration required), start: Infopoint

5 PM Queerstory-herstory guided tour, led by Ewa Pluta (registration required), start: Trzonolinowiec, ul. Tadeusza Kościuszki 72

9 PM Tour led by curator Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz (registration required), start: Infopoint

27.06 MONDAY

opening hours: noon – 10 PM

3 PM The Public Forum:Is This Me or My Meds– lecture by Katarzyna Kulwicka, open event, Festival Club, partner: University of Social Sciences and Humanities

4 PM SAW! Senior Art Walk – guided tour for seniors, led by Ewa Pluta (registration required), start: Infopoint

5 PM Tour in English led by curator Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz (registration required), start: Infopoint

6 PM The Public Forum: The Market and Human Relations – lecture by Agata Gąsiorowska, open event, Festival Clubpartner: University of Social Sciences and Humanities


opening hours: noon – 10 PM

1 PM BAW! Baby Art Walk – guided tour for parents with small children, led by Aleksandra Jach (registration required), start: Infopoint

5 PM Tour with interpretation into Ukrainian, led by curator Anna Kołodziejczyk (registration required), start: Infopoint


On Tuesday from 10 to 11:30 AM, sound installations and other light and acoustic stimuli will be turned down. If you have any questions please send an email to or call: 601 35 99 23.

Registration at is required for the tours and walks.

Please leave the exhibition before the official closing time at the latest.

Unless stated otherwise, the event is held in Polish.