Summer in the City

July 26  –  September 10, 2019

Summer in the City exhibition features works by Jan Dziaczkowski, Wojciech Gilewicz, Jerzy Goliszewski, Zofia Gramz, Bartosz Kokosiński, Józef Robakowski, Daniel Rumiancew, and Grupa Twożywo.

At first glance, spending summer in the city is a dreadful ordeal. Days are dedicated to the search for at least a patch of shade, and nights, with heated-up concrete and elevations of buildings, do not bring relief either. Taking non-air-conditioned public transport and holding a railing, still hot after being touched by other people, can even result in a passenger fainting. Days are long, arduous, lazy, and impossible to distinguish. Theatres are closed, museums present the same exhibitions as before, while visits to cinemas can only leave you with a cold. So what actually makes a town, even in summer, so appealing?

It cannot be denied unpredictability. The unpredictability of urban life, full of everyday absurdities and paradoxes, provides artists with a fertile source of inspiration. Gathered together, such situations form a sitcom script, full of ups and downs. The exhibition Summer in the City shows different attitudes to urban spaces, being an effect of filtering the experience of urbanity by artists, often in a humorous and ironic way. The above-mentioned absurd occurrences are immortalized on paper as a keepsake of original preposterous episodes (Zofia Gramz), or the other way round – they can be provoked by the artist himself, confusing casual witnesses (Daniel Rumiancew). A seemingly ordinary view from a room becomes a setting for funny series of events, scandals, unusual incidents, or even political transformations (Józef Robakowski). Elements of the urban landscape, usually unnoticeable or simply ugly, can become paintings (Bartosz Kokosiński, Wojciech Gilewicz). City dwellers’ need to co-decide on their town can lead to art entering urban space (Twożywo Group), development of fantastic visions of getting close to nature (Jan Dziaczkowski), or creation of an alternative plane defined by several abstract shapes (Jerzy Goliszewski).

Summer in the city, even if capricious and unbearable, has its charms. Let’s try to make a joke of its shortcomings. After all, it is better to laugh than cry.

Franciszek Smoręda