Works by Libera, Rajkowska, Sasnal and Żmijewski will be exhibited in Warsaw along with Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin and Gillian Wearing at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (CSW), in a showcase of the most important achievements in Polish and British critical art from the past two decades.
The curators Marek Goździewski and Tom Morton have previously worked on over 140 productions with more than 60 artists from the U.K. and Poland. For British British Polish Polish, their aim is to compare critical Polish art to the famed achievements created by the Young British Artists movement.
Representatives from both groups have chosen socially controversial issues to focus their material: death, sex, violence, ethics and politics. Individually they have provoked scandal in their own nations - and have contributed to a rising mass interest in art and its subjects. In addition, the work they produce is highly revealing of economic and political transformations that occurred in their countries. For instance, in the U.K. there was the Big Bang when financial markets were deregulated in the mid 1980s under the administration of Margaret Thatcher, while in Poland the fall of communism was followed by essential sociopolitical transformations after 1989.
This exhibition of the most important art created in the 1990s by British and Polish artists will be complemented by work created by the younger generation debuting in the era of the global financial crisis beginning in 2007. The curators are posing a few questions with their juxtaposition of time and place. One is an inquiry into whether there are any analogous qualities between today’s situation in the art world and the one that existed in the 1990s. Another is that perhaps young artists take an opposing point of view, where art from the '90s is perceived as disparate and old as art made in the 1970s. Fabio Cavallucci, director of the CSW, says:
However, the show is about more than just comparison. It is an occasion for the public to view the youngest generation of British and Polish artists and see any remaining themes or tensions that may have been passed down from previous generations. As well, it is a chance to look at both historical movements and understand how their determination and energy transformed them into their current standing as protagonists of international art.
British British Polish Polish is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue edited by Agnieszka Pindera with texts from the curators and pieces by J.J. Charlesworth, Isobel Harbison, Jakub Bąk, Izabela Kowalczyk and Paweł Możdżyński. Oliver Basciano and Maryla Sitkowska have also created a rich calender of British and Polish cultural and political events.
Featured Polish artists (1990s) - Paweł Althamer, Mirosław Bałka, C.U.K.T., Katarzyna Górna, Marek Kijewski, Grzegorz Klaman, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zofia Kulik, Zbigniew Libera, Jacek Markiewicz, Dorota Nieznalska, Mariola Przyjemska, Joanna Rajkowska, Robert Rumas, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jadwiga Sawicka, Roman Stańczak, Piotr Uklański, Julita Wójcik, Piotr Wyrzykowski, Alicja Żebrowska, Artur Żmijewski
Featured British artists (1990s) - Henry Bond & Liam Gillick, Angela Bulloch, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Paul Noble, Chris Ofili, Georgina Starr, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gillian Wearing, Rachel Whiteread
Featured Polish artists (present period) - Wojciech Bąkowski, Michał Budny, Grzegorz Drozd, Michał Jankowski, Tomasz Kowalski, Katarzyna Krakowiak, Norman Leto, Anna Molska, Franciszek Orłowski, Agnieszka Polska, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Konrad Smoleński, Radek Szlaga, Jakub Julian Ziółkowski
Featured British artists (present period) - Rupert Ackroyd, Aaron Angell, Ed Atkins, Matthew Darbyshire, Nicolas Deshayes, Jess Flood-Paddock, Haroon Mirza, Eddie Peake, Mick Peter, Elizabeth Price, Phoebe Unwin, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
British British Polish Polish: Art From Europe's Edges in the Long 90s and Today is a part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the British Council's activities in Poland.
More can be found at csw.art.pl
Sources: press materials, wprost.pl, author: JN, 02/09/2013
Translation: SMG 03/09/2013