press release

This is the third visit of the Warsaw’s Art Museum to the Open’er Festival. This time, instead of video art and experimental film projects, participants will have a chance to get acquainted with 16 works of the leading Polish and foreign artists from the Museum’s expanding collection. Plenty of presented works have already gained the status of modern art icons that continue to shape its history. This year’s Museum’s presentation at the Open’er Festival is at the same time the first truly museum-like exhibition of artworks at a large summer festival. The organizers treat the meeting of these two culture formats – a music festival and a visual arts exhibition – as an experiment, a mutual testing of representative areas closely tied to artists’ sensitivity and intuition, however separated by institutional conventions and receivers’ habits. The festival’s area emphasizes art's social contexts. The artworks presented at the exhibition are embedded in the tradition of dissent and exemplify contemporary forms of socially engaged art. Such selection captures the essence of the Museum’s expanding collection, which concentrates itself on the aesthetics and ethics of social changes, particularly those taking place after 1989. The artists, whose works are presented during this year’s Open’er Festival, refer to the social imagination and common historical experiences by means of recognizable symbols. At the same time, they are using them in a perverse and often frivolous way, which all the more provokes reflection and imposes critical and confrontational reception. By evoking ambiguity, they are able to ironically comment on politics and history. The exhibition presents diversity of strategies through which visual arts deal with social aspects of life. The special character of this year’s exhibition is highlighted by the venue – a hall located at the main stage’s axis that provides appropriate conditions for the presentation of artworks from the Museum’s collection. The hallmark – already assimilated by the festival audience – hasn’t changed a bit: a characteristic ‘MUSEUM’ glowing inscription designed by Paulina Ołowska continues to point the way to the Museum after dark. Additionally, “The Prognosis,” a piece by Cezary Bodzianowski, which is brilliantly compatible with the hall’s aesthetics due to its language of visual propaganda, invites participants to the temporary museum’s area. The architectural arrangement of the exhibition and the hall was designed by Karol Żurawski, a young architect from Warsaw who’s gained three and a half-year experience at the Pritzker Prize winner, Swiss artist Peter Zumthor’s atelier. Artists: Paweł Athamer, Mirosław Bałka, Yael Bartana, Cezary Bodzianowski, Mirosław Filonik, Yona Friedman, Daniel Knorr, Sanja Iveković, Zbigniew Libera, Witek Orski, Paulina Ołowska, Pratchaya Phinthong, Agnieszka Polska, Józef Robakowski, Slavs&Tatars, David Ter Oganjan, Piotr Uklański, Artur Żmijewski