Poczet / Eat the Museum

Poczet / Eat the Museum

Gebert Stiftung für Kultur — KURATOR

September 21, 2020
Poczet / Eat the Museum
Gebert Stiftung für Kultur — KURATOR
Klaus-Gebert-Strasse 5
Gebert Stiftung für Kultur/ Alte Fabrik
8640 Rapperswil
Hours: Wednesday 12–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11–5am

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Poczet / Eat the Museum
Curated by Fanny Hauser and Viktor Neumann

The two interrelated exhibitions Poczet at the Kunst(Zeug)Haus and Eat the Museum in the Alte Fabrik Rapperswil take the exceptional and complex history of the adjacent Polenmuseum (Polish Museum, founded in 1870) and its soon expected closure as a starting point to examine the logics and politics of exhibiting and collecting, and to call into question the conception of the museum as a neutral, apolitical, and non-violent space.

Solo exhibition by Karol Radziszewski

Poczet is the first solo exhibition of Warsaw-based multidisciplinary artist Karol Radziszewski in Switzerland. Reminiscent of the former portrait collection of the Polenmuseum, the exhibition presents the eponymously titled monumental portrait series, a bold retake on the idea of the formation of national identity as demonstrated by pictures that testify to (or rather construct) the continuity of patriarchal power. Forming a gallery of twenty-two ancestral portraits of non-heteronormative Polish figures of the past millennium from various fields, Poczet deliberately reaffirms the protagonists’ expression of queerness that has been predominantly suppressed or erased from their historiography. Additionally, Radziszewski was invited to examine the holdings of the Polenmuseum and search for traces of some of these figures in the museum’s archives and presents a selection of further works that include both an interview and painting of physicist, transgender activist and former Solidarity-movement member Ewa Hołuszko, a bare-chested portrait by statesman Józef Piłsudski, and, in reaction to recent developments, a portrait by non-binary activist Margot. Acknowledging the politics and ambivalences of representation beyond the known and worn narratives, Radziszewski opens up a space that calls for new, transnational and transhistorical forms of alliances and kinships, against the heteronormative stability of construction of history–and the present.

Eat the Museum
Group exhibition with works by Thirza Cuthand, Zuzanna Czebatul, Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, Vika Kirchenbauer, Taus Makhacheva, Anna Molska, Raúl de Nieves, Karol Radziszewski, Bea Schlingelhoff, Mikołaj Sobczak, Ramaya Tegegne, Viron Erol Vert, Evelyn Taocheng Wang and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa

Inspired by this local history and current debate and looking into the still-alive and still-hierarchical tropes of traditional art or folk-art, the group exhibition Eat the Museum addresses the transnational significance of a constant re-evaluation of the normalizing, classifying, excluding, controlling, and governing violence of visualizing practices perpetuated or constructed by museums and other (art) institutions: Founded in 1870 by Polish émigré Count Władysław Broel-Plater, the Polenmuseum came to epitomize the ambivalences of cultural belonging and representation within the framework of the modern nation-state ever since: initially conceived as an important cultural hub for the Polish emigrant community, the museum evolved during a Polish era shaped by foreign rule, partitions and insurrections, and was modelled in the tradition of the 19th century national museum revolving around the construction of national identity, the rule of the sovereign and the formation of citizenship within emerging liberal democracies. The different phases the museum underwent since must be understood as a mirroring of and partaking within a larger political framework of significant historical turns, including the establishment of the Second Polish Republic, the Second World War, the rise and fall of communism, and the installation of neoliberal, neocolonial, and authoritarian rule. After residing in the Swiss castle for 150 years, the museum’s residence is anticipated to be terminated by end of 2021. Consumed by the interests of the now merged municipality Rapperswil-Jona to re-stage the castle, the future of the museum and its collection remains uncertain. Highlighting situated knowledges and embodied practices and decidedly opposing the neoliberal condition and its impact on cultural institutions as much as the growing xenophobia, the exhibition unites local and international positions who find their commonalities in the re-negotiation and re-imagination of transnational alliances that serve a collective anti-fascist agency within and beyond institutions.

Poczet and Eat the Museum are the second and third exhibitions curated by Fanny Hauser and Viktor Neumann as part of the 2019/20 Curatorial Fellowship of the Gebert Stiuftung für Kultur.

With the kind support of:
Stadt Rapperswil-Jona, Kulturförderung Kanton St.Gallen | Swisslos
Ortsgemeinde Rapperswil-Jona, Asuera Stiftung

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Gebert Stiftung für Kultur — KURATOR
September 21, 2020

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