Passage by Jerzy Kalina is among the 25 Most Interesting Statues in the World
The magazine Arch2O has published their list of the most creative sculptures in the world. Among them is a piece by Polish artist Jerzy Kalina in Wrocław.
At the end of May 2015, the architecture and design magazine Arch2O published their list of 25 most creative statues on their Facebook page. The pictures of the photos available on the page have gained unprecedented success among users, even though the viewers do not know who the artists are. Each picture has been liked or shared by at least a thousand people.
Among the monuments was an outstanding piece by Kalina. His famous sculpture Passage, which is commonly called Monument to the Anonymous Passerby, stood in Warsaw temporarily in 1977, and was moved to an intersection in Wrocław in 2005. The installation consists of 14 figures. The main character is a woman, and the other figures are her family, half of whom fall to the ground in front of her, and the other half of whom are climbing up behind her.
The piece has been celebrated since its creation. It was covered widely by the media, and critics considered it to be the most important artistic event of 1977. Many years later in 2011, Newsweek said that Passage was one of the 15 most beautiful places in Poland. In addition, the magazine Budget Travel declared Kalina’s statues to be one of the most unique places in the world.
The idea to place the installment at the intersection of Świętokrzyska and Mazowiecka in Warsaw was born from a television program, Vox Populi, which was created by art curators Antoni Dzieduszycki and Jan Zielecki.
In 2005 Jerzy Kalina was invited by Wrocław to install the sculpture, which still stands at the intersection of Piłsudski and Świdnicka.
The unveiling of Passage coincided with the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the introduction of martial law in Poland. Some people have interpreted it as a celebration of the period, but this is a mistake given that the piece was created in 1977, four years before martial law was implemented.
In addition to Kalina’s work, the 24 other pieces listed by the magazine were spectacular examples from around the world. Among these were the Monument to the Unkown Official/Bureaucrat by Magnus Tomasson, created in 1994 in Reykjavik, and a sculpture of a shark piecing the roof of a house in Oxford called The Headington Shark. Its creator, John Buckley, installed his piece on 9 August 1986, 41 years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, as an expression of helplessness, anger, and despair.
Other pieces that were noted were the sculptures by David Cerny, whose quirky statues adorn almost the entirety of Prague. In particular, Arch2O has chosen his work Hanging Out from 1997, which shows a man hanging from a beam. This man happens to be Sigmund Freud, who characteristically has his hand in his pocket. It is a small sculpture (and to see it you have to look up) that begs the question of what role intellectuals will play in the new millennium.
Major installations depicting events from the 20th century are also featured on the list, such as the monument created by Pauer Gyula consisting of dozens of pairs of shoes left on the bank of the Danube. The Shoes on the Danube Bank commemorates the Jewish community in Budapest that perished during WWII. Another composition is the steel depiction of the face of Nelson Mandela where he was arrested fifty years prior to the sculpture’s creation in 2012. This piece was made by artist Marco Cianfanelli and architect Jeremy Rose.
There are also well-known tourist attractions. One of these is the scultpture Watcher by Slovak painter Viktor Hulík, which depicts a worker tilting a manhole and watching passers-by. The work was created in 1997 during the revitalization of the Old Town in Bratislava.