The Forgetting of Proper Names

The Forgetting of Proper Names

Calvert 22 Gallery

Agnieszka Polska, “Sensitisation to Colour,” 2010.
Video HD, 5:02 min.
© the artist, courtesy ŻAK|BRANICKA.

January 10, 2012

Wojciech Bąkowski, Anna Molska, Agnieszka Polska
The Forgetting of Proper Names
25 January–18 March 2012

Calvert 22
22 Calvert Avenue
London E2 7JP
Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High St/ Old St / Liverpool St 
Wednesday–Sunday, 12am–6pm
As part of Time Out First Thursdays we will be open until 9pm on the first Thursday of every month
Admission: Free

+44 (0) 20 7613 2141
info [​at​]

The Forgetting of Proper Names is a two-month season exploring ways in which the past is reshaped over time and transformed across cultural boundaries. Centred around the London-premiere of the work of Wojciech Bąkowski (b. 1979), Anna Molska (b. 1983) and Agnieszka Polska (b. 1985), the season explores the artists’ varied approaches to re-imagining historical events. Here investigations into the relationships between live events and objects, the use of the body as subject in performance, and the use of sound as a narrative tool form recurring threads.

Now in their late twenties and early thirties, the three artists grew up in post-communist Poland. Although close in age and often employing similar media and materials, each artist interacts with their area of focus in individualised and diverse ways. The season brings together performances, screenings, a reading group and discussions that explore, through a wide range of approaches, the history of the avant-garde, and the nature of forgetting in the context of present-day Poland.

Wojciech Bąkowski’s animated films record acute observations of his most immediate and intimate surroundings. Bąkowski, who is perhaps the most prolific and visible member of Poznań’s vibrant art and music community, weaves together video, audio performance, sound-based installation. In his diverse practice, reflections on everyday rituals, as well as the realm of the artist’s own consciousness form a narrative and contextual framework. His works offer a crude, existential and subjective expression of the world, and highlights the relationships between performance and video, body and space.

Anna Molska’s video works are filmed performances. She invites ordinary people, instead of professional actors, to be protagonists, thus allowing for an authenticity, uncertainty even, and natural spontaneity that is an integral part of the work. She reconsiders revolutionary thought’s power to cause social change through investigations of avant-garde visual and political idioms.

Agnieszka Polska’s visually powerful explorations of lost times or half-forgotten figures of the Polish avant-garde, turn to how the past is fictionalised and re-worked. Her animated videos juxtapose black-and-white photographs of performances, and illustrations from old textbooks and magazines, evoke a sense of melancholia, and a longing for something that perhaps never was.

The Forgetting of Proper Names is curated by Lina Džuverović and Dominik Czechowski and is accompanied by an in-depth publication and digital resources, including a diverse events programme featuring curator and artist talks, symposia, a weekly reading group and special performances by Wojciech Bąkowski and Agnieszka Polska.

Event highlights include:
Private View, plus a special performance by Wojciech Bąkowski, Tuesday 24 January, 7.30pm, Free


Reading Group: On (Un)translatability
Every other Wednesday from 25 January until 7 March inclusive, 7pm, Free
Join us for friendly, informal book readings and discussions that will explore and contextualise key themes that run throughout the exhibition.


Archive As Strategy
Calvert 22’s core research strand, ‘Archive as Strategy: Conversations about Self-historisation Across the East’ continues with two major events during the exhibition:

OKTOBAR XXX – The Workshop on Self-Managed Art
A reading weekend with Jelena Vesić and Lutz Becker
Saturday 28 / Sunday 29 January 2012, Free

Archiving the Past Tense Seminar
Saturday 3 March, 2–6pm
Speakers include writer Eva Hoffman, artist Marysia Lewandowska, academic Luiza Nader, and others.


Studio Visit – Joanna Rajkowska
Sunday 12 February, 3pm, Free
Internationally acclaimed artist Joanna Rajkowska gives a talk on her practice connecting to the themes of memory, trauma and their residue in body and language.


International Women’s Day: Electra Presents Works from the Archive of Polish Experimental Film
Thursday 8 March, 7pm, Free
Pioneering explorations of female self-representation under state socialism—a selection of films from the Archive of Polish Experimental Film, curated by Electra.

Performative Lecture: Agnieszka Polska
Sunday 11 March, 4pm, Free

Details of all events can be found on our website.

About Calvert 22
CALVERT 22 is the UK’s only not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art and culture from Russia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe and presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and cross-disciplinary events.

Founded by Nonna Materkova, a Russian born, London based economist in May 2009 in Shoreditch, East London, Calvert 22 has subsequently achieved widespread critical and public acclaim. Its mission is to create a unique platform, through imaginative and active presentations, for the very best in current art and culture from the former ‘Eastern Bloc’, whilst being a catalyst for new possibilities of cross-cultural understanding and exchange.

The Forgetting of Proper Names at Calvert 22
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Calvert 22 Gallery
January 10, 2012

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