24 October 2015, from 11.30 am
Muzeum Ziemi Otwockiej (Museum of the Otwock Land)
Gabriela Narutowicza 2
The Abram Gurewicz Sanatorium
Armii Krajowej 8
Participants: Habima Fuchs, Taus Makhacheva, Jarosław Książek and Sylwia Woś
Presentations: Sebastian Rakowski, Sylwia Woś
The fifth season of “Otwock” revolves around the town’s past as a former health resort and the unique character of the local nature.The crystal-clear groundwater, the dry air which – a result of the sandy soil on which the city lies – and the beneficial aura of the thick pine forests all made for perfect conditions that, the late-19th century, earned Otwock the status of Poland’s first health resort for tuberculosis patients situated in the lowlands. This paved the way for the emergence of several dozen guest houses, resorts offering therapeutic baths or inhalations, as well as elegant luxury sanatoriums. The nearby forests and wild beaches on the river Swider are still widely popular destinations in the summer season.
Among the artists working in “Otwock” this year is Habima Fuchs, whose sculptures of plants and clay reflect the artist’s nomadic lifestyle and deep connection to the environment. Taus Makhacheva also reflects on the local situation, drawing inspiration for her art from the epic Caucasian landscapes of her native Dagestan. Both artists celebrate the indigenous flora with works tucked away in the Otwock forest while Jarosław Książek, silvo- and hortitherapist who works with aromas, will take the visitors on a walk amidst its trees. For “Otwock” he collaborated with the local landscape designer Sylwia Woś who carried out meticulous research to re-create the design of the garden that surrounded the once-elegant Abram Gurewicz Sanatorium. The hospitality of its owners made it possible to reconstruct a fragment of the historical greenery and along with the aromas that were its integral part.
The works and concepts developed by the participants of the fifth season of “Otwock” will be presented during a meeting accompanying this year’s edition. The project’s curator, Kasia Redzisz, will hold a conversation with the artists working in Otwock while Sylwia Wos and Sebastian Rakowski, director of the Museum of the Otwock Land, will present the history of the city as a health resort and its key garden projects.
The event will take place on October 24, 11.30 am, at the Museum of the Otwock Land with a follow-up at the Abram Gurewicz Sanatorium. The visitors are warmly invited to use the complimentary round-tip bus service between Warsaw and Otwock (two buses, limited seats).
10:30 Departure to Otwock - Aleje Jerozolimskie 3 street - Parking in front of the main entrance to the National Museum in Warsaw
Museum of the Otwock Land:
11:30 Presentation of works by Habima Fuchs and Taus Makhachevy
Walk through the forest, local herbs brew tasting
13:30 Sebastian Rakowski presentation
14:20 Kasia Bojarska in conversation with Habima Fuchs and Taus Makhacheva
15:00 Transfer to the Abram Gurewicz Sanatorium
The Abram Gurewicz Sanatorium:
15:40 Guided walk with Sylwia Woś. Presentation of garden scents restored by Jarosław Książek
Hot soup and drinks will be served.
The return trip back to Warsaw is planned for 16:30 - 17. Buses will stop by the National Museum.
25 October 2014, 10:45
The National Museum in Warsaw
Aleje Jerozolimskie 3
Museum of Interiors at Otwock Wielki
ul. Zamkowa 49
The fourthe season of our programme was devoted to the group of twenty five thousand unique objects kept in Otwock Wielki. Rarely presented to the public, these items form the collection of the Centre of Modern Design of the National Museum in Warsaw, and are now stored in a warehouse arranged in the former stables of the baroque palace of the Beliński family. The extraordinary collection includes objects manufactured by the “Ład” Artists’ Cooperative, items from the showroom of the Institute of Industrial Design, works of Antoni Kenar and his students from the School of Timber Industry in Zakopane, or artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Władysław Hasior, Tadeusz Kantor, Henryk Albin Tomaszewski and Władysław Strzemiński; the furniture collection includes pieces designed by, among others, Maria Chomentowska, Teresa Kruszewska, Jan Kurzątkowski, as well as works of many other Polish designers. Thanks to the National Museum in Warsaw and its team, the artists we have invited, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Katharina Marszewski and Błażej Pindor were be able to spend time in the storage inaccessible to the broad public. It has been made available to them as a place of work and source of inspiration.
The resulting works and concepts will be presented during the public programme Duties and Pleasures held on the occasion of this year’s edition. Roger Cook, artist, lecturer and writer, will talk about the artistic practice of Marc Camille Chaimowicz in the context of his stay in Otwock. Anna Frąckiewicz, curator of the Centre of Modern Design of the National Museum in Warsaw will speak about the collection, its history and the objects contained there, and Krystyna Łuczak-Surówka, art historian specialising in design, will present some of the furniture displayed at the Beliński palace on the occasion of the event. The presentations will be accompanied by a film programme focusing on design, applied arts, as well as the role and status of everyday objects that surround us.
On the way to Otwock we plan to stop by Otwock Mały, where Mirosław Bałka will present his project titled INIMALISM.
National Museum in Warsaw:
11:00 Beauty on a Daily Basis and for Everyone.
Anna Frąckiewicz, curator at the Modern Design Centre, National Museum in Warsaw, will focus on the figure of Wanda Telakowska, the founder of the Institute of Industrial Design. What were the circumstances in which she amassed a group of design items that became the cornerstone of the collection of the National Museum? How, considering the complex post-war situation, did this graphic artist exert such an influence on the development of the Polish design? Did she manage to succeed in achieving any of her goals? The presentation will provide an overview of the collection of the Modern Design Centre at the National Museum in Warsaw and its history.
Film Programme: Paul Bush, Bruce Checefsky, Richard Hamilton, Mark Leckey, Grace Ndiritu, Elizabeth Price, Alain Resnais and films of Polish Film Chronicle
12:45 Trip to the Museum of Interiors in Otwock Wielki (2 coaches leaving from the National Museum in Warsaw, limited seats)
On the way to Otwock Wielki, the coaches will stop in Otwock Mały for a presentation of Mirosław Bałka’s project INIMALISM delivered by the artist.
14:00 Premiere of a soliloquy Ko-Realia by Katharina Marszewski (square in front of the Modern Design Centre storage hall)
Walk to the Museum of Interiors in Otwock Wielki
14:30 Mind What You Sit On
Krystyna Łuczak – Surówka, art historian specialising in design will discuss a number of selected chairs in the collection of the Modern Design Centre – presenting them not only as a functional piece furniture, source of comfort, sign of prestige, or work of art, but also, most notably, an object that remains closest to people of all design items. In no other furniture the social, cultural, and political aspects converge so strongly as in the chair – it testifies to the Polish proverb ‘what you see depends on where you sit’.
15:00 Marc Camille Chaimowicz. A Personal Grammar of Means. Ornament is not a Crime
The artist, art historian, author and lecturer Roger Cook about his presentation: "Marc Camille Chaimowicz breaks down the hierarchies between 'fine' and 'decorative’ notoriously expressed in Adolf Loos association of “ornament and crime". In a brief survey I will discuss his work which flows, folds and flies with pleasure and desire across so many territories: performance, text, painting, collage, drawing, photography, textile, carpet and theatre design, furniture and pottery. In 2011, he presented an exhibition entitled Appartement... Note, the ellipsis, the three suspension points, the figure of syntax by which words are left out or implied. For Chaimowicz the world has always been elliptical: sense destabilizing sense: sense sensing itself making sense (sense making a new sense or nuisance of itself); a world of implications, paradoxical plis, folds between self and other, intimacy and exteriority, between secret interior worlds and the shared exhibitionism and exposure of public display."
The return trip to Warsaw is scheduled for 4.30 pm. The route of the coaches will lead through Rondo Waszyngtona and end near the Museum of Modern Art.
Season 3: Nothing About That. Fictional narratives
Muzeum Ziemi Otwockiej
ul. Gabriela Narutowicza 2, Otwock
26 October 2013, 7.30 p.m.
Nothing About That. Fictional Narratives is an event summarising the third season of the “Otwock” project. Its first two editions of 2011 and 2012 were suspended between the public and private spheres. The works created drew on references to the studio, as well as to the urban tissue of Otwock, its history and present shape. The subjects touched by the artists have set a basis for further endeavours. Season 3 focuses on the town’s relations with literature.
The presence of writers in Otwock - or of Otwock in their works - serves as a springboard for deliberations about writing and about creating narratives. The invited artists and writers oscillate between fiction and reality. Szczepan Twardoch, the author of critically acclaimed novel “Morphine”, has been invited to write a short story inspired by the history of Otwock. It will be published in instalments in “Linia Otwocka” weekly, accompanied by reproductions of paintings by Aleksandra Waliszewska created after her visit to the town. Professor Joseph Rykwert, a prominent historian of architecture and author of “The Seduction of Place”, has written a personal reminiscence about his family home in Otwock before the war. Marek Pąkciński, literary critic and author of science fiction books, will write a fantasy short story that takes place in Otwock, where he wrote his first texts as a teenager. November, on the other hand, will see a contribution by Wojtek Bąkowski, artist working with text, sound and film, whose work will refelct the impossibility od referring personal narratives embedded in Otwock.
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, who have been collaborating since the mid 1980’s, have prepared a temporary intervention in Muzeum Ziemi Otwockiej. The villa, located in the forest and once occupied by the chief the Communist Security Service and his wife, will now be taken over by figures created by the two artists. Fictitious biographies will contain details of their lives and reasons for appearing in Otwock. Typically of the artists, this work too will be a strange combination of the world imagined and the actual reality.
The event will take place at 7.00 p.m. on the 26th of October at Muzeum Ziemi Otwockiej. The building and the surrounding forest will be the site of the new project of Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, accompanied by a screening of their films. An Otwock resident and a poet, Renata Senktas, will speak about the literary motives intertwining with the history of the town. Maciej Maryl, literary scholar and sociologist will, on the other hand, deliver a paper on the balance between fiction and reality in literature and everyday life. Finally, Krzysztof Czekajewski, actor and director in the S. Jaracz Theatre in Otwock, will read the sci-fi short stories by Marek Pąkciński from his book “Owadzia Planeta” (“The Insect Planet”), which were written in Otwock in the 1970’s.
This event is free
Magda Materna, the founder of Open Art Projects and Kasia Redzisz, the curator of „Otwock”
19:45 „At the beginning were the railway tracks.” Literary Otwock
Renata Senktas, an Otwock-based poet talks about the connection between the town and the literature. Numerous links she presents go beyond the most obvious ones, such as the presence of writers in Otwock and the town making an appearance in their writing. Her presentation refers to direct and indirect, durable, episodic associations, set in different historical moments ranging from book illustrations of Michał Elwiro Andriolli, a founder of the holiday and health resort to Piotr Paziński’s novel “The Boarding House” published in 2009. It’s an attempt at finding a common denominator for various experiences and literary forms they have spurred.
20.15 „An Evening in a Small Town” and „The Insect Planet” – reading stories by Marek Pąkciński
Marek Pąkciński, a writer, Polish literature historian, translator of fantasy literature. He was raised in Otwock where as a teenager he wrote his first science-fiction stories which were later published by Czytelnik publishing house in 1976 as a collection entitled “The Insect Planet”. Stanisław Lem said about him: Once, there was a young man who started writing at the age of sixteen, I don’t remember his name, probably Pąkciński, who wrote a story entitled „The Insect Planet.” I was worried about him because if you start writing so proficiently at this age, revealing the skill of imitating external signs of such superior prose, Borges in this very case, it bodes ill for the future.
Stories from the book will be read by Krzysztof Czekajewski, an actor and the director of Otwock-based S. Jaracz Theatre.
Marek Pąkciński is now working on a fantasy short story set in Otwock.
20.45. The reality of fiction: a step back, a step forward
Maciej Maryl, a sociologist and literary scientist, will present a lecture on operating on the verge of reality and fiction in literature and real life. Contemporary theories of fiction will be set against content we interact with every day, which impacts our perception of real places and space. The presentation will focus on what lays between the spectator and the object of perception – discourses affecting our perception of real objects and things. Quoting literary examples, assumptions of “Otwock” project and its recurring narrative about places which (no longer) exist, it will strive to provide an answer to the question how (or rather: if) experiencing fiction is different from experiencing real life events.
21.30 Jos de Gruyter in conversation with Harald Thys and screening of the artists’ films
- Deserter, 1997, 18’, English (available printouts with Polish translation)
- Parallelogram, 2000, 20'
- Das Loch (The Hole), 2010, 27’, German (English and Polish subtitles)
We invite you to participate in another event dedicated to fiction in visual arts, taking place during the same weekend. It is the symposium devoted to the novel as an art form organised at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw as part of "The Book Lovers" project.
A film programme featuring works by Ed Atkins, Wojciech Bruszewski, Sebastian Buerkner, Margaret Tait and Steina & Woody Vasulka.
At around the same time that Warhol was displacing the studio with the Factory, making explicit the changing models and metaphors of artistic production, another group of artists were moving in a different direction. In New York, London, Lodz and many other cities, artists working with film and video were forming collectives, co-operatives and workshops in order to pool the resources they needed to make their work. Such artists were rarely based in studios, either in the sense of a fine art studio or a film industrial one: they worked between shared communal spaces and their own homes as needed.
The fact that many artists’ films and videos were literally ‘homemade’ is visible in many of the productions of the 1960s and 1970s, and that tendency has only become more pronounced as the means of production (particularly editing software) have become increasingly ‘desktop’. The ambiguity of the ‘home studio’ – on the one hand, the space for those that can’t afford a separate studio space and, on the other, the site of increasingly sophisticated ‘prosumer’ prodution – is one that continues to shape our perception of artists working with film and video.
This programme presents six very different examples of artists’ works where the domestic conditions of their production are explicitly made visible in some way, ranging from Steina and Woody Vasulka’s use of their home as a canvas on which to test their new video equipment, to John Smith’s series of short works made in hotel rooms whilst on the film festival circuit.
Curated by Mike Sperlinger & Gil Leung (LUX)
Mike Sperlinger is Assistant Director of LUX in London, an agency for artists' moving image which holds the largest collection of films and videos by artists in Europe. He is also a freelance writer and has contributed to magazines and journals including frieze, Art Monthly, Radical Philosophy and Afterall, as well as numerous catalogue texts. He is the editor of two books: Afterthought: New Writing on Conceptual Art (Rachmaninoffs, 2005) and Kinomuseum: Towards An Artists' Cinema (Kuzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2008). He also recently curated a solo retrospective of the German artist Marianne Wex for the Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe (summer 2012).
Gil Leung is a writer and curator based in London. She is Distribution Manager at LUX and editor of Versuch journal. She writes for Afterall and other independent publications.
The project, which entailed the involvement of artists who have since 2011 been visiting Otwock and creating works in reference to the town, was psented by its organizers – Mirosław Bałka and Kasia Redzisz.
The British curator, Teresa Gleadowe, discussed the varied ways of working with art in reference to locality, drawing on her own example from Cornwall.
The presentations were followed by “Home Studio”, a film programme curated by Mike Speringer and Gil Leung (LUX), including the works of Ed Atkins, Wojciech Bruszewski, Sebastian Buerkner, John Smith, Margaret Tait, Steina & Woody Vasulka.
The event was accompanied by a publication titled “Otwock. The Vanishing Points” – a subjective guide to the town, including all information about the works realized as part of the project and the places, which had served as reference points.
On 20 October, Anna Molska’s “The Welcome Sign” was on show (Żołnierzy AK IV Rejonu „Fromczyn” roundabout), as well as the works by Luc Tuymans at 44 Łukasińskiego street and in the building of ”Zofiówka” mental hospital (10 Jana Kochanowskiego street), and by Tacita Dean in the former primary school No 4 (31 Szkolna street).
Free hardcopies available in:
21°15’00’’E 52°06’17’’N and environs
presentation by Mirosław Bałka and Kasia Redzisz