calendario eventi  :: 


Three exhibitions

Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu - CoCA, Torun

Flowers of Our Lives / The Way Things Are.../ Iceberg

comunicato stampa

Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu (CoCA) in Torun is Poland's first completely newly built venue dedicated to contemporary art since 1939. Located away from the largest urban agglomerations in a city famed for its unique gothic architecture, CoCA intends to influence the understanding of the artistic periphery and dynamically join the European contemporary art circuit. With its inter-media and interdisciplinary formula, a multi-format program and international cooperation, CoCA will present the most interesting facets of contemporary art and related discourse. The modern building and over 4 000 m² of exhibition facilities provide expansive opportunities for experimentation and technologically advanced projects. CoCA's cutting-edge web offer, with its virtual gallery, community service and art database, opens doors to creative artistic and informational activities and fulfills one of its fundamental aims – to link local and global phenomena.

Through exhibitions, artist talks, seminars, artist-in-residence, publications, education programs as well as establishing a permanent collection, CoCA has committed itself to supporting contemporary art in Poland.

CoCA Torun was opened on June 14, with three art events:

Flowers of Our Lives

Jesper Alvaer, Kutlug Ataman, Walerian Borowczyk, Oskar Dawicki, Wojtek Doroszuk, Lilla Khoór and Will Potter, Robert Kusmirowski, Goshka Macuga, Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucia Tkcácová, Janina Turek, Lukasz Skapski, Andrzej Urbanowicz

Curated by: Joanna Zielicska

Exhibition Designer: Robert Rumas

Exhibition Flowers of Our Lives is devoted to the phenomenon of collecting and its image in the contemporary artistic practice.

Looking at the notion in the context of psychological, sociological and cultural considerations the project examines people's motivations to collect. Behind the collecting practices there are often attempts to organize the world and gain control over reality by creating one's own safe worlds. To what extend are they hobby fascination, obsessions with collecting, fetishism, or inner compulsion? The artists invited to the project ask about collectors motivations, reflecting at the same time on the border separating life from art.

Analysing private stories as well as collectors and artists' struggles with the infinity of matter, the project focuses on amateur collections which are not related to art, but created often without the intention of ever coming to light. What do exactly the collectors show us, when they decide to expose gathered objects? "The world of a collector is a proof of the existence of other worlds, energies, domains, epochs, which are different from the one in which a collector lives" Susan Sontag wrote in The Volcano Lover. The works of art presented in the exhibition research the image of those "worlds" and the symbolic value of collection.

The exhibition also analyses some contemporary artistic practices related to collecting which concentrate on 'abandoned', common, and visually unattractive objects. Diversity of plots undertaken by the artists and variety of applied strategies emphasize infinity of the topic. It turns out that you can collect everything: precious but also valueless things, as well as experiences and emotions. In this perspective human's life is also a collection. Therefore the exhibition examines the definitions of collection itself.

The book entitled A Subjective Guide to Collections constitutes an integral part of the exhibition. The book brings together and describes private collections from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region. The collections included in the guide cannot be seen in museums; they belong to private owners, societies, or social groups. They are often personal and hardly accessible - the guide is the first occasion to show them to the public.


The Way Things Are...

Works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection

Julian Rosefeldt, Allan Sekula, Los Carpinteros, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová and Andreas Siekmann

Daniela Zyman (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary)
Barbara Horvath, curator film program (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary)

To celebrate its institutional opening as Poland's first newly erected venue dedicated to contemporary art since 1939, the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun invited Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary to present works from the foundation's collection as part of the inauguration exhibition.

The selection of artworks drawn from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation (T-B A21) explores the question of artistic representation of today's ever more precarious work spheres within advanced economies. The dramatic but also multi-voiced "work histories", as narrated or presented by Julian Rosefeldt, Allan Sekula, Los Carpinteros, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová and Andreas Siekmann result from radical shifts in production and work processes, such as the outsourcing of services to migrant workers, often "sans papiers", and from larger social re-stratifications reflecting the changing orders of social representation. These histories are the symptoms of transitional states, where larger, planetary readjustments create localized distortions and conditions of morbidity and entire sectors of skilled labor are at risk of displacement or disappearance.

Julian Rosefeldt's 9-screen-film installation asylum (2001/02), presented in the main hall of the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu, focuses on the unacknowledged practices of everyday work routines performed by migrant workers. In these tableaux groups of men and women are cast as players in scenes in which they perform in a Sisyphean manner cycles of menial work that are never to be fulfilled.

Allan Sekula's Middle Passage (Chapter 3 from Fish Story) (1994) has been characterized as a hybrid, "paraliterary" revision of social documentary photography. Working with industrial subjects over a long period of time Sekula has tried to dissolve the boundaries between essay writing, a "poetics" of sequenced descriptive photographs, and the practices of research in cultural, economic, and social history.

The Cuban duo Los Carpinteros have reappropriated and parodied the image of the preindustrial artisan and his idealized relationship with materials (wood, drawings), nature, and society to develop an artistic practice that draws largely on investigations and readings of objects of everyday life.

In After the Order (2006), Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová tackle the issues of hierarchical distinctions among individuals and groups within societies or cultures. The artists transpose the concept of a class society onto Slovakia by creating a living sculpture classified by criteria such as occupation, education, income, power, and social prestige.

In his drawings and sculptures Andreas Siekmann investigates current structures of power within the paradigmatic shifts of neoliberal economies and conceptualizes alternative social models. In 2002 he installed on the Place Royal in Brussels a merry- go-round that revolved around the equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, the medieval leader of the First Crusade. Under the title The Exclusive, it was reinterpreted in 2007 at documenta 12 in Kassel, where it circled the statue of Frederick II, the duke of Hesse.

The exhibition is complemented by a daily film program True [Hi]stories of Work, consisting of works drawn from the holdings of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and a vast range of international fiction, documentary, animation, and artistic films and videos from the beginning of cinema history (1895) until today with a curatorial focus on Polish film.

Exhibition catalogue: The Way Things Are... Jak sie rzeczy maja... With texts by Stefan Mucha, Francesca von Habsburg, Daniela Zyman, Daniel Muzyczuk, Saskia Sassen, Andrzej Stasiuk, Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, Joachim Jäger, Konstantin Akinsha, Brigitte Huck, Andreas Siekmann Available at CoCA bookshop, T-B A21 shop ( or Buchandlung Walter König (www.buchhandlung-walter-; bilingual English/Polish, ISBN 978-3-86560-485-9


Installation by Angelika Markul
Angelika Markul's installation, presented during CoCA Torun's inaugural exhibition, focuses on isolated icebergs adrift near arctic circles. The artist draws equally important inspiration from the fantasies and dreams of her childhood ideal world. The poetic installation graces the black marble basin in CoCA's lobby. The 'time encapsulated' white form contrasts with the new building's architecture and the surrounding 'hard' black stones – it is monumental but will disappear within several hours. Its natural destruction is an inherent part of the work's process and performative nature.

Image: Los Carpinteros, Espejos de Agua, 2001, Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco Art Institute

Media relations
Kaska Bittner tel. +48 56 6109712 -

Press Conference: Friday, 13th June 2008, 3 pm
with Stefan Mucha (Director CoCA Torun)
Joanna Zielinska (Chief Curator CoCA Torun)
Francesca von Habsburg (Founder and Chairman, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary)
Daniela Zyman (Chief Curator, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary)
Robert Rumas (Exhibition Designer, Flowers of Our Lives)

Opening: Saturday, 14th June, 2008, 4 pm

Open-air concert: Saturday, 14th June, 2008, 8 pm
3 moonboys (PL), Potty Umbrella (PL), Kalabrese (CH), FlyKKiller (GB)

Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu
ul. Waly gen. Sikorskiego 13
87 – 100 Torun Poland
Monday closed
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thurdsay 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 20:00
Saturday 10:00 - 20:00
Sunday 10:00 - 18:00

Gustav Metzger
dal 26/3/2015 al 29/8/2015

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