Pawel Althamer

Pawel Althamer

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

February 21, 2005

Pawel Althamer
26 Feb – 28 Mar 2005

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
pl. Malachowskiego 3
00-916 Warszawa

This Pawel Althamer exhibition, associated with the prestigious award he received in 2004 – The Vincent van Gogh Bi-annual Award for Contemporary Art in Europe, sponsored by the Broere Charitable Foundation – was on display from September 2004 until January 2005 at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht.

Zacheta is happy to make this presentation – according to the Vincent Award jury verdict: “showing the artists as a traditional sculptor and radical performance artist, who manages to bring these two divergent disciplines together” available to the Polish public. The show comprises all Althamer’s most important figural sculptures to date, set against eight new films – made in cooperation with Artur Zmijewski under the common title So-called Waves and Other Phenomena of the Mind. The films are something like spiritual road movies, a record of experiments exploring the possibilities of expanding the limits of consciousness. They also serve as a commentary on the artist’s position globally. A special part of the exhibition is a room in which a group of youngsters from the Brodno district of Warsaw with whom the artist has already worked before – will channel their expression filtered through the context of an art gallery and the company of Althamer’s works. The participants called these meetings Winter in the City. We are also preparing a special project in the city space, entitled Film. First, cinema goers will see the “trailer” of a new movie starring Polish stars. This will also be an invitation to participate in the project, because the “film” is a street event played out in front of the Wilenska shopping gallery in the Praga district, where actors – some famous, others little-known – will perform as common passers-by, some passers-by will take part in the event unawares, and the spectators will look at a “piece of ordinary life” with greater interest than normally. “Film” continues the idea initiated by Althamer at the Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana (2000) and later developed at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh (2004).

Pawel Althamer – a graduate of the famous experimental studio run by Grzegorz Kowalski at the Department of Sculpture of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts since the beginning of the 90s – has become known to the public in Poland and abroad as a sculptor, author of the installations, film maker and director of ephemeral events that involve the local community and casual passers-by. Althamer’s work has evolved from sculpture to a stage where it has taken the form of sociological research, becoming an expression of his interest in the social dimension of art and its role and place in the life of the average person. One of the artist’s best-known projects was the BRODNO 2000 event that involved the local community, by requiring the collaboration of the residents of the block of flats where he lives. The result was a huge sign “2000″ made out of windows lit up in the appropriate order.

The Zacheta exhibition will bring with it the first ‘guide-book on Pawel Althamer’s work’ edited in Polish, including a documentation of all the most important projects.

The curator of the exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht was Paula van den Bosch and at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw is Magda Kardasz assisted by Joanna Sokolowska (exhibition) and Julia Leopold (“Film”).

The exhibition has been organised in cooperation with the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. The catalogue is prepared with the help of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw and the neugerriemschneider gallery in Berlin and co-financed by the Centre for National Culture as part of the “Znaki Czasu” (“Signs of the Times”) National Culture Programme.

Photographs are available by courtesy of Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw.

Official Carrier of the Gallery: PLL LOT
Sponsors of the Gallery: Netia, Lidex, Altkom Akademia, Empathy Internet
Sponsors of the vernissage: Freixenet, A. Blikle
Media Sponsors of the Gallery: Gazeta Wyborcza, Polskie Radio, Polityka,, TVP, The Warsaw Voice, WiK, Silver Screen

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Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
February 21, 2005

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