Finissage of the „Art with the Past” Festival / Mieszkanie Gepperta Gallery

Comming Friday, 17th december, at 19:00 we would like to invite to the Mieszkanie Gepperta Gallery, ul. Ofiar Oświęcimskich 1/2 in Wrocław to participate in the finissage of the “Art with the past” Festival. During the event – presentation of the publication that sums up two years of the Festival’s existence.

We are approaching the end of the second edition of the „Art with the past” Festival. It consisted of the exhibition “Communism never happened” and a series of debates and lectures by artists, curators and architects. The exhibition showed works by Ciprian Muresan from Romania (video „Choose” and an object „Communism Never Happened”), Mare Tralla from Estonia (videos „The Postsoviet Hero” and „Feltboots”), Adam Vackar from the Czech Republic (video “Blurred Zebra”) and Piotr Kmita (paintings “Small talks” and video “Sisyphus”[Syzyf]).

On Friday 17th December, during the finnisage, the Festival audience will be shown one more art work: a project by Zilvinas Landzbergas, an artist from Lithuania – the work is entitled “7 p.m.”. Landzbergas’s work is a commentary on the presence of post-communist architecture in the former Eastern Block countries and constitutes an ironic look on the new use of its works by modern free market reality. A small model of a shop/kiosk – many of such kiosks can be still found in cities and villages in such countries like Lithuania or Poland – made with a great accuracy, was hung on a gallery wall at the height of more or less human arms – in the place where one can see the line between an old fashioned paneling (the artist’s concept) and the smooth surface of the wall. This pseudo-concrete box representing the minimalist architecture of communism, was „decorated” with contemporary miniature adverts and neon lamps with such brands as Coca-Cola or Marlboro. In the artist’s words, this work depicts the place where communism meets capitalism. The character of the meeting – which Landzbergas compares to the cocktail “vodka with Coca-Cola” – should pose questions about the real intensions of the powers that “democratize” the former Easter Block.

During the Finissage the publication which summarizes two years of the Festival’s existence will be presented. The book contains the results of our efforts which were aimed at looking for the sense and meaning of the Central European transformations. This problem is touched upon in the introduction by Karolina Bieniek. In this unusual guide book to the former Eastern Block Michał Bieniek writes about a complicated, but also marked by a peculiar sense of humour, search for the Eastern European “I” in the works of the artists that were invited to take part in two exhibitions (in 2009 and 2010) within the “Art with the Past” Festival. Bartek Lis points to some overheard random conversations – this way summing up the Festival’s cycle of debates and lectures. Adam Vackar in this turn tells about how living and working in Western Europe influences the attitude of an artist from Central Europe. Anna Rumińska presents an unusual event: unique interdisciplinary workshops which were dedicated to one Place that is quite typical of this part of Europe. And finally Małgorzata Lisiewicz invites the reader to the world of Estonian art, with its sensitivity towards the body.