Display (the Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, February/March 2016)
"18 Basztowa Street. The crowd gathered in the gallery discourages me from getting in. The door opens – I am attacked by the warmth and the strong smell of resin and conifer needles. I see two thick groves of entangled trees. A few dozens of trees! There is a narrow passage left among them. After a while, I see that the whole space is occupied by coniferous trees – Christmas trees which a few days ago could be seen in numerous places in Krakow junked after Christmas. Drying out, turning grey and partly stripped bare of their needles, some still bearing the remains of Christmas decorations. On one of the walls, a film is being displayed, showing a monumental pine tree fall to the ground after being cut down. I remember the invitation I received from Natalia a few days before – an amateur photograph of “Mister Jerzy”, presenting his own, I suppose, decorated Christmas tree, placed in a “snug corner” of the room (between a TV set and a computer). I am beginning to see the connections between the individual elements of the “Display”. It is crowded, it is hard to find a convenient place for oneself, the view is overwhelming, but the atmosphere is somewhat “festive”, solemn…" Helizanowicz, B. (2016)
As an artist, I got invited to the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) in Krakow in Basztowa Street. As we can read on the ASP website: After many years of endeavour, the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow has its own beautiful and modern Art Gallery (…) The new gallery is situated at 18 Basztowa Street. It is a peculiar link between the urban space and the interiors of the main building of the Academy with the galleries of the Faculties, promotional galleries and the ASP Museum it houses. It is an interesting, interdisciplinary exhibition space and a new meeting place for art and its creators. When I appeared at the gallery, it had been functioning for over a year, yet it has not hosted any exhibitions that would have gone beyond the tradition of hanging paintings on transparent plastic strings. Thanks to “Display”, it was converted into a “dumping site” of Christmas trees, and the accompanying text dealt with tradition and material objects which emerge from it as they are a basic testament of the culture of a given human community.