February 12, 2010 - Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art - MORALITY
February 12, 2010


Witte de With
Center for Contemporary Art

Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
+31 (0)10 411 0144


MORALITY is Witte de With’s leitmotiv for an assemblage of interconnected projects that have been divided into several acts. This year-long project includes group exhibitions, a web-platform, interventions on Witte de With’s façade, a film cycle, a performance program, a symposium and a book. The upcoming acts present two exhibitions and an intervention on Witte de With’s façade.

ACT IV: I Could Live In Africa
20 Feb – 25 Apr 2010

Opening on Friday 19 February 2010, 6-9 p.m.
6.30 p.m.: public conversation with Paweł Jarodzki, Jacques de Koning and Piotr Rypson.
7.30 p.m.: restaging of the active opening ‘ Neue Bieriemiennost for Jean Bedel Bokassa’ held in Warsaw (1987), in the presence of the artists Mirosław Bałka and Mirosław Filonik.

I Could Live in Africa is the only exhibition of Morality that looks at an historical period. This show highlights a moment of resistance against an hermetic, authoritarian social and political system in Poland. The exhibition presents a variety of practices emblematic of a hidden movement that was driven by the need to act collectively and to open a different space from the moral and aesthetic cultural standards prevailing in Poland under and after martial law.

Borrowing its title from Dutch filmmaker Jacques de Koning’s documentary on the Polish post-punk and reggae band Izrael, I Could Live in Africa explores the mood shared by the “new wild” artists and the music subcultures in 1980s communist Poland. Determined by a gloomy political and economic context, this mood translated into an eruption of subcultures that managed to circumvent both the limited means of production and the monopoly the ruling regime over publishing and recording. These subcultures thrived against a background of police brutality, closed borders, empty shops, and frequent power shortages.

Featured artists: Mirosław Bałka, Krzysztof Bednarski, Miroslaw Filonik, Wiktor Gutt & Waldemar Raniszewski, Jacques de Koning, Zbigniew Libera, Luxus, Włodzimierz Pawlak, Józef Robakowski, Darek Skubiel & Zdzislaw Zinczuk, Marek Sobczyk, Jerzy Truszkowski and many more, represented through archival matter.

Curated by Michal Wolinski in collaboration with Nicolaus Schafhausen and Anne-Claire Schmitz.

ACT V: Power Alone
20 Feb – 25 Apr 2010

Opening on Friday 19 February 2010, 6-9 p.m.

Power, as we understand it today, is the moment in which the individual recognizes or “feels” the process of becoming a subject, a part of society, through encounters with others and with the law. Power is also something that is experienced, has no aesthetic value in the traditional sense. With this discourse on power in mind, Power Alone proposes a fictive narrative, linked to the myth of Narcissus, a myth that perhaps represents the desire inherent in the discourses on power. Like Narcissus, the Greek hero renowned for his beauty and for his cruelty towards those who love him, the abstract notion we call power would be condemned to become infatuated with itself, perishing by love with its own semblance. Taking Narcissus as the personification of power, this exhibition presents a series of hypothetical scenarios on power’s withdrawal from class, gender, race and its inscription in two opposing forms: the individuated body and the mythological world.

Featured artists: Adel Abidin; Ziad Antar; Mark Boulos; Piero Golia; Jaebum Kim; Miki Kratsman; Erik van Lieshout; Goshka Macuga; Randa Mirza; Willem de Rooij; Canan Şenol; Andreas Slominski; Corin Sworn; Ron Terada; Luc Tuymans.

Curated by Juan A. Gaitan and Nicolaus Schafhausen; assisted by Amira Gad.

Intervention 2: Wind by Isa Genzken
20 February – 16 May 2010

Between You and I is a joint project by SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space) and Witte de With. For this project, 4 international artists are commissioned to intervene on Witte de With’s façade in order to create a critical interface dealing directly with the urban fabric of the city of Rotterdam. Between You and I strives to open a space to reflect about morality today, inviting an active response by the public concerning the presence of contemporary art in public spaces.

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Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art
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