Poland is guest of honour at Havana's Festival del Cartel 2013, presenting the Polish Poster School's most intriguing and tongue-in-cheek designs
The Polish Poster, Hereafter is one of the featured exhibitions at Cuba's biggest festival dedicated to the art of the poster. The event is organised by the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Plásticas (National Council for the Arts) and the Comité Prográfica Cubana artist association. Poland joins Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica and more in celebrating international achievements in the field, while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ICOGRADA international congress of graphic artist associations.
The Polish showcase takes place in the landmark building of the Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura, drawing upon the classic masters of the genre, while introducing the youngest talents to that region of the world - Grzegorz Laszuk, Fontarte, Małgorzata Gurowska and the Jezierski brothers. Curator Agata Szydłowska explains that the exhibition takes a subversive look at the 'life after life of the Polish poster'. Rather than paying tribute to tradition or pretending it never existed, the exhibition demonstrates how the younger generation has approached this legacy of poster art, whether it's more or less admirable for them.
This ambiguous approach to tradition is a product of Poland's troubled communist past and the battle between Polish artists and government censors in establishing forms of expression. Poland's ability to take down and rise above socialism provides a valuable link with the current situation in Cuba, giving the collaboration between the two nations a particular significance. Szydłowska explains that the exhibition's aim is to
break through the stereotypes and to present the ambiguous stance of Polish designers to the local tradition of design. The showcase and accompanying discussions will show the passage from generic fascination with an international aesthetic characteristic for the early years of our century to inspirations drawn from the local and the vernacular, which characterises the youngest generation of designers.
Festival attendees can see works that go against the Polish poster tradition, such as those of Grzegorz Laszuk, set against illustrations of Ola Niepsuj and Tymek Jezierski, who both draw upon the store of traditional drawing techniques. Karolina Kotowska and Homework present a retro aesthetic with a twist, while Nioska takes an ironic approach to interpreting the past. The fulcrum of the exhibition is the 'false poster of Kuba Sowiński, replicating the style of the masters of the previous century, and visions of the "cinema that never was", drawn from the book Historia niebyła kina PRL, made by the Fontarte design studio. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of workshops and a conference with the participation of Justyna Burzyńska and Maciej Lebiedowicz, design bloggers and owners of the design boutique Pan tu nie stał (You weren't in line, sir).
Agata Szydłowska is cofounder of the Pracownia Krytyki Dizajnu / Design Critique Workshop, together with Rene Wawrzkiewicz, which deals with the production, promotion and critique of information on contemporary design and visual culture across Central and Eastern Europe. Its activities go beyond cultural traditions of high and low, official and vernacular, and into the realm of design as cultural practice, as a manifestation of social tendencies and phenomena, as well as of the economy and politics. The workshop organises exhibitions, conferences and discussions, along with the publication of articles and books.
El cartel polaco, de ahora en adelante / The Polish Poster, Hereafter takes place at the Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura in Havana between the 20th of April - 19th of May as part of the Festival del Cartel 2013. The opening takes place at 4 pm on the 19th of April. The project has been realised thanks to the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Polish Institute in Havana.
Artists in the exhibition: Arobal, Jan Bajtlik , Emilia Bartkowska, Edgar Bąk, Tymek Borowski, Dominik Cymer, Robert Czerniawski, Agata Dudek, Fontarte, Kaja Gliwa, Gravika, Małgorzata Gurowska, Hakobo, Homework, Tymek Jezierski, Jakub Jezierski, Michał Jońca, Marcel Kaczmarek, Izabela Kaczmarek-Szurek, Kamila Kanclerz, Karolina Kotowska, Krecha, Kaja Kusztra, Grzegorz Laszuk, Magdalena Łapińska, Piotr Młodożeniec, Aleksander Modzelewski, Aleksandra Niepsuj, Nioska, Damian Nowak, Magdalena Pilaczyńska, Dawid Ryski, Kuba Sowiński, Maurycy Tryuk-Moczulski, Twożywo, Rene Wawrzkiewicz, Filip Zagórski
Author: Agnieszka Sural, translated (with edits) by Agnieszka Le Nart
Źródła: Pracownia Krytyki Dizajnu, own sources