calendario eventi  :: 


Six exhibitions

MOCAK - Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Krakow

"The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe Since 1945" features video works made over the last five decades by 47 authors from 17 European countries. Erwin Wurm presents his most-acclaimed works. Josef Dabernig's exhibition comprehends all his 14 films. Krystyna Piotrowska's show includes video, object and installation. Marta Deskur and Manju Pavadai reflect the complex, nonhierarchical relationship between West and East. Last, 6 students from the University of Arts in Poznan.

comunicato stampa

30th Council of Europe Exhibition
The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe Since 1945

The post-1945 works that will be presented at MOCAK show the social and political climate of contemporary Europe. Human rights, equality, democracy – such are the issues dealt with by the exhibition The Desire for Freedom, co-financed by the European Commission.

The exhibition The Desire for Freedom will present mainly video works made over the last five decades by 47 authors from 17 European countries. The exhibition is divided into 12 chapters that illustrate the multitude of artistic forms of expression and the topics covered: The Court of Reason, We Are the Revolution, A Journey to Wonderland, Darkness at Noon, The Reality of Politics, The Uncertainty of Freedom, 99 Cents, A Hundred Years, Inhabitable Worlds, A Different Space, Self-experience – Testing the Boundaries, The World in Our Minds.

The presented works combine into a social and political landscape of contemporary Europe and the problems it’s grappling with. The exhibitions pose questions such as: how do individuals want to live? In what way do they want to come to terms with history? How do they behave faced with authoritarian regimes? The show demonstrates the ways in which artists expose social taboos. It also takes on board government politics and governments’ duty to provide security for their societies.

The artists whose work will be on display will include Yves Klein, Marina Abramović, Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek. In spite of his short (1954–1962) career, Yves Klein was one of the most significant artists of the post-war avant-garde. At MOCAK, it will be possible to see a documentary showing his action from the series Anthropométries de l’Époque bleue, which took place on 9 March 1960 at the Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain in Paris. The full series comprises some 180 paintings, stamped with human bodies, painted blue. The artist had covered his naked models in blue paint, letting them imprint their silhouettes on paper. We will also be screening Thomas Lips (The Star), a documentary of the performative actions of Marina Abramović from 1975 until 1993. The Serbian artist deliberately pushed her body to the limit of its endurance to test her command of it and over her own psyche, which she also tortured. As for the Kwiekulik duo, the viewers will be able to see photographs from their protest series A Monument without a Passport in the Artistic Salons, conducted in the second half of the 1970s. In their work, Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek – who represent post-war avant-garde art – debunked the absurdities of political propaganda.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a Polish and English language catalogue, with texts by: Zygmunt Bauman – a sociologist and philosopher, , Monika Flacke – historian and art historian, Thorbjørn Jagland – a Norwegian politician, and Maria Anna Potocka – a critic and art curator, the Director of MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow.

The project was launched and is being co-ordinated by the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, which, in the autumn of 2012, presented the first edition of the exhibition. Subsequent exhibitions took place in Milan (Palazzo Reale) and Tallinn (Eesti Kunstimuuseum – Kumu Kunstimuuseum). In Krakow, a new version of the project will be shown. The project, co-financed by the European Commission has been organised under the auspices of the European Council to mark its 30th anniversary.

Adel Abdessemed
Marina Abramović
Pilar Albarracin
Paweł Althamer
Mirosław Bałka
Blue Soup Group
Vladimir Mitrev
Sergey Bratkov
Marcel Broodthaers
Jordi Colomer
Oskar Dawicki
Oskar Hansen
Sanja Iveković
Nikita Kadan
Yves Klein
György Kovásznai
Oleg Kulik
Lars Laumann
Victor Lind
Richard Long
Cristina Lucas
Vladimir Mitrev
Neša Paripović
Arturas Raila
Józef Robakowski & Tadeusz Junak & Ryszard Meissner
Ulrike Rosenbach
Vladimir Seleznyov & Alexander Sitnikov
Sabina Shikhlinskaya
Janek Simon
Wolf Vostell
Krzysztof Wodiczko
Erwin Wurm
Nil Yalter

Monika Kozioł
Delfina Jałowik
Maria Anna Potocka

Monika Flacke (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
Rania Sid Otmane
Jeanne Pagin


Erwin Wurm
Good Boy

Curated by Delfina Jałowik

In October, MOCAK will present the first comprehensive exhibition in Poland of the world-renowned artist Erwin Wurm.

The first comprehensive Polish exhibition of the Austrian artist (b. 1954).

We will exhibit his most-acclaimed works such as One Minute Sculptures, as well as sculptures, photographs, objects and video. Side by side with large-scale works, such as the life-sized Truck, or cucumbers cast in bronze, there will appear the man who ‘swallowed the world’. There will also be photographs from the session that the artist produced for the well-known clothes brand Palmers. The client considered the presentation too controversial and rejected it. We will also show works from the series Instructions How to Be Politically Incorrect. In turn videos will provide an ampler presentation of the themes presented at the exhibition.

What interests the artist is the mundane, which he approaches, however, in a contrary manner. Wurm’s trademark is the absurd, the surprising, the ephemeral, humour and an attempt to divert the viewer’s thought processes from the beaten track.

The part of the exhibition dedicated to the series One Minute Sculptures will be interactive. On the basis of instructions drawn up by the artist and the everyday objects that accompany them, viewers will, momentarily, become a work of art in an exhibition.

Erwin Wurm (b. 1954) – lives and works in Limberg (Austria). He studied art history and German literature at the University of Graz (1974–1977), fine art at the Mozarteum in Salzburg (1977–1979) and design (Gestaltungslehre) at the University of Applied Art and Academy of Fine Art in Vienna (1979–1982). In 2013 he received the Grand Austrian State Prize in recognition of being one of the most significant contemporary Austrian artists.

Wurm describes all his works as sculpture, regardless of whether they are photographs, objects, drawings or videos. His works are often produced as variants achieved by altering the mass and volume. Some of his best known works include One Minute Sculptures, Fat House and Fat Car. In the One Minute Sculptures which the artist has been creating since the 1990s, viewers, following verbal and drawn instructions and employing everyday objects provided by the artist, adopt unusual, absurd and amusing poses, thus making their own bodies into sculptures.

A characteristic of Wurm’s art is the ironic humour that the artist himself refers to as critical cynicism which relies on observing individuals in their multidimensional corporeity. Wurm’s works are frequently anthropomorphic; they are distorted, often overblown images taken from everyday life. Using simple devices, Wurm comments directly on our reality in images whose bluntness is related to the stylistics of the comic strip.


Josef Dabernig
14 Films

curated by Maria Anna Potocka

The exhibition in MOCAK’s Audiovisual Hall is a presentation of all the films made by Josef Dabernig so far (three films made in collaborations with G.R.A.M., Isabella Hollauf and Markus Scherer). The artist had for many years worked in the fields of sculpture, design and architecture but it was his films and photography that came to dominate his artistic expression. Dabernig’s projects and films are notable for their minimalism and sparseness, while being exceptionally attractive to the viewer thanks to the impression they give of being anthropological archaeology. Based on scenarios pared to the bone, these works are permeated with social and cultural connotations. In spite of their simplicity, his films are full of symbols, references and commentaries. The works, which oscillate between paradox and humour, demonstrate the artist’s ability to probe his topics and his tendency to switch the points of narration. At MOCAK, Josef Dabernig’s films will be presented on the large screen as a continuous three-hour long projection. Additionally, in a monitor setting conceived by the artist, the viewer will be able to select the films for viewing.

Films presented at the exhibition: Wisla (1996), Timau (1998; Josef Dabernig / Markus Scherer), Jogging (2000), WARS (2001), automatic (2002; Josef Dabernig / G.R.A.M.), Parking (2003), Rosa coeli (2003), Lancia Thema (2005), Aquarena (2007; Josef Dabernig / Isabella Hollauf), Hotel Roccalba (2008), excursus on fitness (2010), Herna (2010), Hypercrisis (2011), River Plate (2013).

Josef Dabernig (b. 1956)

Born in Kötschach-Mauthen in Austria. He lives and works in Vienna. From 1975–1981, the artist studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. After graduation, Dabernig became involved in sculpture and architectural projects as well as interior and exhibition design. In 1996, he began to make films, which soon became acclaimed at numerous festivals and international exhibitions. The first monograph about the artist, Dabernig Josef: Film, Foto, Text, Objekt, Bau (2005), published to accompany the exhibition of his works at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig, concentrated on conceptual interaction and the variety of media employed by the artist.


Krystyna Piotrowska
Her Hair

curated by Monika Kozioł

At Krystyna Piotrowska’s individual exhibition we will be presenting video, object and installation. In spite of the variety of the media used, the artist’s sole topic is hair. In her works, she demonstrates the cultural significance of hair. We associate hair with beauty; it is woman’s crowning glory, however, because of its sexual connotations, its image in art is ambiguous. One of the threads of the exhibition is related to the artist’s own heritage. In Judaic culture, female hair should be hidden under a scarf; the most extreme Orthodox Jewish women have their heads shaved and their hair replaced by a wig. In the two-part video Her Hair, we can see the artist plaiting hair of women, who then free themselves of their constraining locks, the symbol of the conventional and cultural restrictions placed on women. The object Carpet, made out of multi-coloured hair, completes the exhibition. It brings historical connotations – the Holocaust and images familiar from concentration camps. The sight of cut hair can be repulsive. A carpet as an object is part of our everyday life, as is a printed wall pattern, with a long plait of hair snaking against its background. The interior has been arranged as a living space. The artist placed her hair objects in a mundane environment as an attempt to drive home the connotations of death and oppression that hair acquired in the 20th century, in the context of the Holocaust.

Krystyna Piotrowska (b. 1949) – graduate in interior design in Krakow and graphic design in Poznań. She made her début with graphic art – portraits that appear to be symbolic rather than realistic representations. Self-portrait is a recurrent motif in her work. The artist displays a gamut of personalities that all appear authentic. In the 1980s, under Martial Law, together with her husband, she emigrated to Sweden where she continued to develop her graphic art. In 2001 she returned to Warsaw. Since 2005 she has been involved in the project that takes place each year in Próżna Street in Warsaw, in the preserved part of the ghetto. This has been a watershed in Piotrowska’s work – the artist has highlighted her Jewish heritage and has enhanced her perception of herself and her Jewish identity with the experiences and feelings of others. She has analysed the issue of the absence of Jews in Poland as well as the contemporary relations between both nations. She employs traditional media as well as making objects, installations and videos. In her works, she also deals with the theme of memory and passing away, using such items as the clothes of those who had died.


Marta Deskur, Manju Pavadai
If You Shoot One of Them

Author of the exhibition concept and arrangement: Ewa Opałka

The exhibition If You Shoot One of Them presented in the Beta Gallery is the corollary of a year-long project by Marta Deskur. Its high point was a feature documentary film, whose protagonist is Manju Padavai, whom the Polish artist met during her trip to India. Marta and Manju met in a library in Auroville, a city that had been created as an urban utopia, intended to combine the modernist drive of the Western world with the spiritual aspect of the complex culture of the Indian sub-continent. When they met for a second time, Manju asked Marta to take her to Poland with her.

The title of the exhibition has been taken from Manju’s notes. This sentence, taken out of context, lends itself to many possible interpretations, based on the ambiguity of what kind of ‘shooting’ it refers to: taking a snap or firing a shot? The reason that Deskur has used such an ambiguous title is a pointer to the contemporary Polish artist’s attempt to interpret and understand a woman from a different culture.

The exhibition space is based on the dyadic layout of the Gallery to reflect the complex, nonhierarchical relationship between West and East, represented by Marta and Manju. The exhibition focuses on various strategies for empathising – from trying to step into the other’s shoes, through attempts at imitating, to screening techniques such as frame repetition. The exhibition shows films shot by Deskur during her journey to India and during Manju’s stay in Poland, as well as objects, including both womens' notes, which emphasise the difficulties that arise when trying to translate and understand a foreign idiom.

Marta Deskur, born in 1962 in Krakow. A visual artist. Firstly a painter, since 1990s, she has worked with photography and video. She makes multimedia installations. She graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France (1983–1988). She lives and works in Paris and in Krakow. In her work, she focuses on the issue of closeness and affinity both in family and spiritual relationships. She examines the relations between those close to each other in various configurations of dependency: mother – child, siblings, friends, lovers.

Manju Pavadai, born in 1979 in the village of Kottakarai in the Tamil Nadu region of India as one of six siblings. Until the foundation of the experimental city of Auroville, her parents had been farmers. In the 1960s, Manju’s family sold its land to the new Auroville arrivals. Manju attended her primary school in her native village, where she studied in the early years in her native Tamil. When she was 20, she went to school in Auroville, where she learnt English – she probably completed two years. Next, she worked as a home help for a family in the Auroville community, where she met her future husband – a Hindu adopted by an American family. Her marriage did not last, as her husband left her. For a few years, she also worked painting fabrics in an Auroville batik factory, followed by employment in the Auroville Library, where she worked as a cleaner, dusting and binding books. In 2013, she left for Poland, where she is currently staying.


Hryniuk / Koszewnik / Łazarczyk / Olszewski / Polska / Rudzin University of Arts, Poznań

curated by Katarzyna Wąs

In May 2013, a new space opened at MOCAK for exhibiting the work of students of art colleges. Following our first exhibition at which we presented the experimental project of the Studio of Spatial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, we would now like to show the works of young artists from the University of Arts in Poznań.

What makes this institution stand out amongst Polish art colleges is its focus on the use of intermedia. At the exhibition, we will be presenting young artists using many different media. At the Re Gallery, there will be an opportunity to view photography, video, painting, objects and visual and sound installations.

Marta Hryniuk
Tomasz Koszewnik
Magdalena Łazarczyk
Maciej Olszewski
Ewa Polska
Maciej Rudzin

Image: Neša Paripović, N.P. 1977, 1977, video, 22 min 9 s, courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade

Press officer: Julita Kwaśniak
tel. + 48 12 263 40 55

Opening date: 17.10.2013 at 6 pm

MOCAK - Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Lipowa 4 - Krakow
Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm.
Tuesdays – admission free! Free passes can be collected until 6 pm.
You can buy tickets on the spot Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm.

Omer Fast
dal 11/2/2015 al 25/4/2015

Attiva la tua LINEA DIRETTA con questa sede