A branch of the Bródno Sculpture Park, one of the most recognizable public art spaces in Europe, has been established at Warsaw Grochów Detention Centre. Among the artists to be exhibited there are Paweł Althamer, Artur Żmijewski, and the Reactor Sculpture Lab.
The Bródno Sculpture Park opened in June 2009 thanks to cooperation between Paweł Althamer, the Targówek district, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Every year a new artist is invited to create a sculpture that will be presented in this constantly evolving artistic environment. This space unique art gallery is open to visitors 24/7. Among the artists that exhibited their works in the Bródno Sculpture Park are Olafur Eliasson, Monika Sosnowska, Rikrit Tiravanija, and Ai Weiwei.
This year’s edition is composed of two events: the first is Honorata Martin’s Make Yourself At Home performance – the artist decided to live in the park for several days. The second is the inauguration of the Bródno park’s branch in Warsaw Grochów Detention Centre. This project organized by Dom Kultury Foundation presents a reverse situation when compared to the ideas of Bródno Sculpture Park. Art, instead of being exhibited in an open space, is presented in a closed institution with strict regulations concerning visitors.
Cooperation with the detention centre started in 2013, when Paweł Althamer, Paulina Pałka Antoniewicz, Artur Żmijewski, Rafał Żwirek, Jan Bajtlik, and the Reactor Sculpture Art organized a series of workshops for its inmates in which sculptures, installations, and plant arrangements were created at the premises of the centre.
One of the installations is a volleyball of peculiar size, with a net suspended between the poles that are in fact Paweł Althamer and Rafał Żwirek’s sculptures created with the help from the young Reactor artists. The female prisoners of the detention centre were the inspiration behind the form of the sculptures.
Besides this, a sculpture by young artist Paulina Pałka Antoniewicz and Reactor artists is also on display. What is more, Artur Żmijewski created an altar in the prison chapel with the prisoners’ help. The finishing touch of the project is reorganizing the plants and flowers alongside the prison walls. The female prisoners planted clematis grown by Polish Jesuit Stefan Franczak. The specimen are called ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Danuta’, ‘Polish Spirit’, ‘Warsaw Nike’ and ‘Stefan Franczak’.
The first official presentation of Siatkarze (Volleyballers) and a "bubble match" between the female prisoners and the artists took place on 27 June 2015. The following part of the project will be presented in the form of radio plays that will be transmitted through the prison's PA system.
Dom Kultury Foundation is an organization that engages in cultural education of those who, for various reasons, have limited access to culture: children from dysfunctional families or adult prisoners. The foundation has been cooperating with the Warsaw Grochów Detention Centre since 2013. Among the results of this work is a music video for Pustki’s ‘Się wydawało’ and the ‘E-WKRATKE’ blog.
Sources: PAP, artmuseum.pl, edit. AS, 6.07.2015
Translated by Paweł Trzaskowski, 8 June 2015