Since November 18, 2022, the Museum of Art in Łódź MS1 presents the exhibition “Tectonic Movements. On the artistic symptoms of the Transition”. The exhibition explores artistic reactions to the phenomenon of political transformation and how it has changed the face of the national economy, art and culture. The curator looks at this despite appearances, slow and heterogeneous process of transformation. He brings out their lights and shadows, arranging in the halls of the building at 36 Więckowskiego Street a story of what artistic realities looked like just before and after 1989. The exhibition discards the myth of the magical caesura of a single year, after which everything suddenly changed. The tectonic movements of the title are the very metaphor of gradual transformations with hard-to-predict consequences and non-obvious beginnings. However, these movements, although inconspicuous, completely change the existing ground, landscape and sometimes the lives of the organisms that inhabit it.
The exhibition features four works by Pawel Kowalewski from the time around the political transformation. They all come from a series of sculptural glass cabinets and are a commentary upon these inconspicuous times.
Curator about the exhibition:
This tectonic metaphor allows us to go beyond our narrow understanding of the Polish Transition as having been an unequivocal breakthrough that took place in 1989, transforming the political and economic landscapes. The Tectonic Movements exhibition looks at the transition as a process: the persistent clash and penetration of two systems, the destruction of the old order and the emergence of a new one. In the 1980s and 90s, the tectonic plates of the East and West pressed against each other to create a new rock formation, being the periphery of global capitalism. Before this came to pass, however, a movement was underway: ambiguous, delirious, sometimes violent, and always full of latent tension.
In 1991, Zbigniew Sajnóg declared that “Art is a sensitive barometer of the state of humankind, a preconceptual probe.” And indeed this exhibition perceives art in a similar way, as a symptom of change, a visual testimony, and an expression of our time. As an exhibition, Tectonic Movements pursues two planes of inquiry. The first concerns changes in the sphere of the spirit, whereas the second pertains to matter itself. The exhibition endeavors to encapsulate this duality through several dozen works, many of them shown here for the first time, accompanied by archives and documents of social life. From these pieces, the main trajectory of the Transition emerges: marked by a movement from hope to disappointment, from diversity to unification, and from activity to stagnation.
Artists: Jacek Adamas, Paweł Althamer, Andrzej Awsiej, Rafał Bujnowski, Faustyn Chełmecki, Ewa Ciepielewska, Jerzy Czuraj, Andrzej Dudek-Dürer, Edward Dwurnik, Egon Fietke (właśc. Andrzej Miastkowski), Jarosław Fliciński, Galeria Działań Maniakalnych, Władysław Hasior, Paweł Jarodzki, Joanna Kabala, Marek Kijewski, Kijewski/Kocur (Marek Kijewski, Małgorzata Malinowska), Grzegorz Klaman, Leszek Knaflewski, Paweł Konjo Konnak, Paweł Kowalewski, Jarosław Kozakiewicz, Janina Kraupe-Świderska, Jacek Kryszkowski, Zofia Kulik, Paweł Kwiek, Przemysław Kwiek, Zbigniew Libera, Marcin Maciejowski, Piotr Młodożeniec, Jarosław Modzelewski, Teresa Murak, Yach Paszkiewicz, Praffdata, Mariola Przyjemska, Krzysztof Raczyński, Marek Rogulski, Wilhelm Sasnal, Michał Sidorczyk, Marek Sobczyk, Jacek Staniszewski, Roman Stańczak, Kazik Staszewski, Lech Emfazy Stefański, Karol Suka (właśc. Karol Kazimierski), Eugeniusz Szczudło, Jerzy Truszkowski, Piotr Uklański, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Wspólnota Leeeżeć, Piotr Wyrzykowski, Yo Als Jetzt, Marcelo Zammenhoff (właśc. Piotr Wygachiewicz), Ziemia Mindel Würm, Alicja Żebrowska, Artur Żmijewski
Curator: Jakub Banasiak
Exhibition coordination: Monika Wesołowska, Katarzyna Mróz