Bunker – Julita Wójcik
Bunker, the artist claims, is a metaphor for the danger faced by creators of modern art, as well as its viewers. The installation was located in Gdańsk.
The work Bunker was presented in a park in Gdańsk-Oliwa as a part of the 2014 edition of the artistic project Parkowanie / Parking, organized under the keyword ‘house’.
Bunker is similar in its appearance the fortified object in the title – the artist used photographs of authentic bunkers from Gdynia to create the inflated object. Julita Wójcik describes her object in this manner:
One can hide in this Bunker to feel safe, but also has the possibility to attack, since they can shoot from the windows inside. It’s like everyone’s personal free space.
As she explained, her bunker is filled with:
a feeling of danger which exists mostly in people’s heads – that is why it’s inflated; it carries the threat of two sides of a conflict which shouldn’t really exist.
Julita Wójcik admitted that although the idea for the installation was born in April 2014, an important context for this work appeared during the discussion about the Golgota Picnic performances. Rodrigo Garcia’s play was supposed to be presented at the Malta festival in Poznań, but because of right-wing and catholic protests, it was cancelled. In a few cities in Poland public readings of the play were organized or video recordings were shown. That’s what the artist says about her feelings about the situation:
When I came to the reading of the play in Gdańsk, I felt like I was in a bunker, like during a siege. Both sides felt threatened: those who were inside, those reading Golgota Picnic, and those outside, who in theory started the occupation, but felt even more offended and threatened.
According to Wójcik, the Bunker is a reference to the artists’ situation in modern-day Poland and their creative freedom:
Artists start to be besieged. Polititians – because it’s them who usually do this – accuse them of offending religious feelings. Somewhere this barrier lays that we have to stand against. Artists are limited from the outside but self-censorship also starts, because they are afraid of trials. Scandal is never the goal of an artist.
Bunker stands in front of the Abbot’s Palace, where the contemporary art branch of the National Museum in Gdańsk has its abode. According to the curator of the Parkowanie project, Emilia Orzechowska, it was the best place because of the discussion about contemporary art that started in Poland.
Julita Wójcik, a sculptor, performer, author of artistic actions, was born in Gdańsk in 1971. Between 1991 and 1997 she studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Academy in Gdańsk. Among other things, she was honoured with a Polityka Passport award.
The artist took part in many actions and exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Her most famous works are, among others, Peeling Potatoes (2001), Revitalize the Schopenhauer Park (2002), Feed the Heavenly birds (2005), Figure Skating (2005), Waver ( 2005-2006), If You See Something Say Something (2007) and Rainbow.
Rainbow appeared on Plac Zbawiciela in Warsaw in June 2012. A year before, during the time of the Polish presidency of the EU, it decorated the square in front of the European Parliament. The colourful installation made with flowers was burned on 11th November 2013 by people who took part in the Independence Day march, organised by the nationalist milieu. A reconstructed Rainbow was placed on Plac Zbawiciela again on 1st May 2014 – on the 10th anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union.
Source: PAP, edited by: KM, July 2014.Culture.pl