The wall: Art Face to Face with Borders is an itinerant project curated by Stanislaw Ruksza, conceived as a research on the theme of frontiers in the visual arts, from the political, sociological, economic and historical point of view, through the work of polish and international artists.
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
banging your heart against some mad buggers
(Pink Floyd, Outside the Wall)
Developed in collaboration with Careof and born from the polish institutions Imago Mundi and Kronika Foundation in Bytom, The Wall project refers to the Berlin Wall, today an “Ost-algic” tourist souvenir, but it has been for decades, during the Cold War, the construct of the foreign policy of the countires on both sides of the iron curtain to define the “we” from “them”, the ally from the enemy, the freedom from the slavery.
Starting from this first suggestion, this project reflects – through video, photographs and installations – on the creation of demarcation lines. Although geographical boundaries have become more fluid, new frontiers continue to arise in relation to cultural or religious heritage, often based on a permanent conflict, as Samuel Huntington recalls in his Clash of Civilizations. Some originated from the fear of a new “other”, ad a derivation of a colonial heritage, manifested in the clamor of populist xenophobia or anti-immigration laws. Others arose from the technocratic political framework of the Schengen agreement. The recent events in Ukraine or the construction of the wall between Israel and the occupied territories in Palestine are just two of the possible examples. In a broader sense, the wall then becomes a metaphor for resistance, a dominating presence and generator of fear, but at the same time, a prerequisite for creation.
The italian edition of the project realized in collaboration with Careof, preceded by a research period by the curator StanisLaw Ruksza in the context of the FDV Residency Program (december 2014), allows us to start a dialogue with the selection of international artists with the works of Giuseppe Fanizza, Nina Fiocco and Giovanni Morbin.
As part of The Wall and starting from the contents of the project, Wednesday 4 Febryary, Careof presents Where I Was Not, a discussion table on strategies to redifine the imagery of the border. During the meeting, the curator of the exhibition Stanislaw Ruksza and artist Lukasz Trzcinski will discuss the key themes of the project to confront themselves with the audience gathered around the work of Magda Fabianczyk, conceived as a work table between the Bobrek Rom community in Poland and the local government representatives.
From this first suggestion, the meeting then intends to retrace some of the themes solicited by the works on display, to dwell on criticality, potential and strategies of the artistic creation tied together by an interest in the redefinition of border imagery, in the most common sense.
Stanislaw Ruksza therefore presents his curatorial approach through the narration of some projects and the investigation methodology implemented in the artistic direction of the Kronika Contemporary Art Center in Bytom, Poland. Here he carries out a program of activities dedicated to the exploration of interconnections between the theory of contemporary art, activism, music, politics, social sciences, education, cinema, theater, alternative tourism, design and architecture.
Next, Lukasz Trzcinski introduces the New Europe photographs series that began in 1999 with the aim of capturing the signs of political, economic and cultural transformations in a "New Europe" characterized by imagination and a stereotyped perception.
In dialogue with the two Polish guests, Careof presents a first series of Italian experiences characterized by the same interest in redefining imagery through long-term artistic strategies, including Dencity presented by project coordinator and anthropologist Erika Lazzarino and by curator Silvia Simoncelli, Foresta Bianca by the curator Matteo Balduzzi and the work of the artists Leone Contini and Giuseppe Fanizza.
These experiences will converge in the publication and in the upcoming exhibition of The Wall.
Thus to increase the dialogue between the two institutions - Kronika and Careof - started in 2013 and marked by exchanges of artist residency, screening, exhibitions.
The exhibition, accompanied by a publication with critical texts and documentation of the work, is made with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Milan. The Wall is an integral part of Ja lubje Polske, a multi-year project by Careof that investigates the protagonists of the Polish art scene through exhibitions, workshops and residencies for artists and curators.
With the support of Ministero della Cultura e del patrimonio nazionale polacco, Consolato Generale della Repubblica di Polonia in Milano, Instytut Adama Mickiewicza and with the patronage of Comune di Milano.