Rara Kamińska, “Berlin, November 2018”, 2018, newspaper, 130 x 90 x 11 cm

This work by Renata (Rara) Kaminska, a Polish artist living in Berlin, was shown at her solo exhibition “Phantom” at Galeria Studio in 2019. This was the first installment of her “Phantom Monument” project, inspired by the figure of Rosa Luxemburg. Subsequent iterations were shown in Zamosc, Zurich and Berlin. Luxemburg, a prominent activist of Polish and German social democracy who was secretly assassinated in Berlin on January 15, 1919, lived and worked in these three cities.

The structure of Kaminskaya’s work was inspired by the herbarium created by Luxemburg while she was in prison; she had studied botany in Zurich before becoming a well-known political activist. Berlin, November 18, is a sculptural relief braided from newspapers that the artist bought on November 11, 2018 in Berlin. On that day the centenary of Polish independence coincided with the 100th anniversary of Germany’s signing of the Act of Surrender after World War I. The second work of Kaminska’s in our collection was made from newspapers bought on that same day in Poland, and is titled Warschau, November 2018.

The theme of the Galeria Studio exhibition was two unequal memories. In Berlin, Rosa Luxemburg Square survives till today. In Poland, the last plaques commemorating Luxemburg were scraped from the walls in 2018.

Renata Kaminska was born in Hrubieszów, and studied in Leipzig and Lublin. She has exhibited at Gallery Monique Goldstrom in New York, at Galerie CHERT in Berlin, and as a guest in the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 55th Venice Art Biennale, and participated in the Aurora Biennial of Art in Public Space in Dallas.

Dorota Jarecka


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