Paweł Kowalewski

Totalitarianism Simulator

In Totalitarianism Simulator the viewer is closed inside in an enormous dark cabin in which he watches a multimedia projection which places him face to face with the dark heritage of XXth century history. The installation is an allusion to well known simulators of various kinds which test human behaviour, such as ones dedicated to flight, ice or weightlessness.


Images of genocide, death and various other forms of evil that occur every day in the world, reach us using the same channels and the same ways as all other media messages. The only question is – how do we react? Paweł Kowalewski places us face to face with a terrifying system. By taking part in an experiment which we undergo in isolation in a closed cabin, the artist wishes to awaken our awareness of our unplanned but nevertheless present complicity.


This work was first presented in 2012 in Galeria Propaganda in Warsaw, as part of a solo exhibition which dealt with the subject of the totalitarian paradigm, which contrary to appearances is still responsible for shaping modern society. The exposition was concentrated around an interactive installation which was accompanied by light boxes from the NOT ALLOWED! series.


The Totalitarianism Simulator was activated for a second time a year later as an installation in a public space in Radom by Plac Konstytucji 3 May. This event was organised together with the Mazowsze Region Centre for Contemporary Art “Elektrownia”.