Konrad Smoleński

Konrad Smoleński

Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Konrad Smoleński during the production of the exhibition Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, 2013. Photo by Bartosz Górka, CC BY-SA.

April 30, 2013

Konrad Smoleński
Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More

1 June–24 November 2013

Opening: May 30th, noon
Later in the day, a performance to accompany the exhibition by Mats Gustafsson.


Polish Pavilion Commissioner: Hanna Wróblewska
Exhibition Curators: Daniel Muzyczuk and Agnieszka Pindera
Assistant Commissioner: Joanna Waśko

Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More by Konrad Smoleński is a continuation of the previous explorations of this artist, who, being active for over a decade in the domain of visual arts, focusses his interest on sound. His works in the Polish Pavilion combine punk rock aesthetics with the precision and elegance typical for minimalism. Smoleński, through the use of sound objects found in the culture as well as of his own construction, examines the flow and effect of energy. By exploring the possibilities of electricity, sound waves and PA systems, the artist manipulates the meanings that we usually attribute to objects connected with the culture of rock music.

The monumental installation authored by Smoleński, in the image of a symphony, will regularly repeat a piece composed for traditional bronze bells, full-range speakers and other sonorous objects placed in the space of the Polish Pavilion. All the elements will play an equal part in this composition meant as both a visual and audio construction, where the delaying and modifying of the initial sound of the bell is of critical importance. The curators engage in a discussion of the treatment, to which the artist subjects the sound of a traditional instrument through the perspective of contemporary literary texts and scientific theories, which concur in their conviction of the inaccuracy or atrophy of the concept of time. Among them we find the hypotheses that challenge the classical understanding of these problems in physics, science-fiction stories, as well as in scientific elaborations on experiments and sound illusion. By this means, the dialogue of the artist with the curators of the exhibition will result in a vision of the dissolution of language and the end of time and history as we know it, without placing a value judgement on this phenomenon.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication featuring texts by Craig Dworkin, Alexandra Hui, Andrey Smirnov, as well as Daniel Muzyczuk and Agnieszka Pindera, who, in their previous projects undertaken together or individually, have already commented on the problems pertaining to the field of the history of science and sound. Supplementing this interdisciplinary book are interviews with a physicist Julian Barbour, philosopher Simon Critchley, a legend of electro acoustic music Eugeniusz Rudnik, and the curator Thibaut de Ruyter.

The full version of the exhibition’s title taken from the book of Alexei Yurchak: Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More. The Last Soviet Generation.

Konrad Smoleński (b. 1977) graduated from the Poznań Academy of Fine Arts (2002). He has shown his work in numerous exhibitions at the following venues, among others: Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Pinchuk Art Center, Kyiv; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen; Waterside Contemporary, London; Offen auf AEG, Nuremberg; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Zachęta — National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. Holder of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage fellowship (2000). Winner of the Deutsche Bank Foundation Award — Views 2011. He lives and works in Warsaw (PL) and Bern (CH). 

Organizer of the exhibition: Zachęta — National Gallery of Art, Warsaw

Polish participation in the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice was made possible through the financial support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

For images and press information please contact Olga Gawerska: press [​at​] zacheta.art.pl or Joanna Waśko: j.wasko [​at​] zacheta.art.pl.

Konrad Smoleński at the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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April 30, 2013

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