AFTER THE RALLY
Ewa Axelrad, Artúr van Balen/Tools for Action, Przemysław Branas, Karolina Breguła, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Minerva Cuevas, Gluklya/Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya, Eva Grubinger, KwieKulik, Dominik Lejman, Csaba Nemes, Anna Niesterowicz, Marta Popivoda, Tomáš Rafa, R.E.P., Jadwiga Sawicka, Piotr Uklański, Marta Wódz, Zuza Ziółkowska/Hercberg, Artur Żmijewski
After the Rally shows how contemporary artists approach the problem of mass participation. The exhibition includes artists from Mexico City, Berlin, Kyiv, London, Budapest, New York and Warsaw. It features documentations of mass events, as well as works that treat the idea of the masses in a more detached or abstract way. The show title, After the Rally, refers to the anniversary of the thaw. On October 24, 1956, the newly appointed First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party, Władysław Gomułka, standing at the tribune on the Warsaw’s Defilad Square, proclaimed a more liberal political direction for the country. This crucial event of the thaw was at the same time the beginning of its end: the time of revolt was over, and the hopes inspired by the Polish October quickly faded after the suppression of the Hungarian revolution by Soviet troops. Today, the masses flood the streets to attend marches and demonstrations, creating a new performative code of political participation. First, in 2010 it was The Arab Spring. Then the European squares of Syntagma and Puerta del Sol filled with people, and soon after so did Zuccotti Park in New York. Slavoj Žižek called the year 2011, when the Occupy movement began, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously. The awakening of radical emancipatory politics raised hopes for change, but at the same time undermined the shape of democracy. The crowd consists of individuals – each one vulnerable, but as a group they can act with an unpredictable force. Judith Butler calls this collectivity the body politic, which, even if “it does not speak in a single voice – even when it does not speak at all or make any claims – it still forms, asserting its presence as a plural and obdurate bodily life”. Resistant and subject to unknown scenarios, the crowd demands freedom and rights, but at any given moment and without a warning it can flare up into violence.
Curated by Dorota Jarecka and Barbara Piwowarska
Opening: 24 September 2016, 6 – 9 pm
R.E.P. group intervention: 24 September 2016, 6 – 8 pm
Exhibition: 24 September – 25 November 2016