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2020 in Muzeum Sztuki

The COVID-19 health crisis forced us to revise the program and modus operandi of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź until the end of this year, and probably even longer. It also resulted in the postponement of the CIMAM congress scheduled for November 2020. CIMAM is one of the largest organizations of museum staff and contemporary art museums, and the annual congress is an opportunity to meet and discuss the problems that institutions are facing today. The congress will take place in the following year.

The year 2020, despite a radically changed situation, will bring the planned continuation of the interdisciplinary series “Prototypes” initiated in 2019. The essence of this series is to explore and update the Museum’s collection using various “languages” and in the spirit of ecological “re-use”. As part of the exhibition “Prototypes 01: Limanka Fashion House. New Collection”, the Łódź-based art collective used the language of fashion, the artists responsible for “Prototypes 02: Codex Subpartum” used the language of music, while Carolina Caycedo in the third part of the series used the language of activism. This time, Agata Siniarska is invited to experiment with the collection. This acclaimed choreographer and performer will refer to the process of visiting the museum as an embodied experience, consisting of the ways in which the museum’s space influences the viewers’ movements and the trajectories of their gaze determined by the artworks.

Muzeum Sztuki will also engage with the work of the Polish pioneer of abstraction, Wacław Szpakowski. The starting point of this year’s “Lines of Inquiry: Wacław Szpakowski in context” project will be the city where the idea of rhythmic lines was born – Riga. The exhibition – organized in cooperation with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art – will juxtapose Szpakowski’s work with the works by artists of different generations taking up the threads present in the artist’s work.

The history of modern art still requires reconsideration and introducing characters that did not fit into any of the dominant trends. Such is the character of Teresa Tyszkiewicz’s work. The artist associated with experimental film was also the author of performances, objects and assemblages, which make up a whole exposing qualities related to the body and the sense of touch. Her radically subjective and intuitive works bring art closer to everyday practice. The monographic exhibition “Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day” is among the Muzeum’s exhibition projects that revise the canon and re-evaluate universally recognized artistic hierarchies. Due to COVID-19, the opening planned for March has been postponed until 29 June.

Another project realizing the Muzeum’s mission of expanding the canon will be the exhibition “Burning House”. The show evokes contemporary conflicts in the world, as well as tragedies and history of the twentieth century, exposing both the individual and supranational dimension of these experiences. This presentation is based on the collection of Antoine de Galbert, the creator of Maison Rouge – one of the most interesting places dedicated to contemporary art in Paris in the first decade of the twenty first century. This collection rejects the traditional view of what is important in art, and is based on the artist’s very personal attitude to artistic production. The project, implemented in cooperation with Fotofestiwal in Łódź, has also been postponed by three months.

Social distancing measures have prompted our institution to respond to the common experience of lockdown and a sense of vulnerability. As a result, we’ve created new formats, including artistic residencies on Instagram, as well as a collection of works of art on a dedicated online platform. Both projects are aimed at bringing together artists who are affected by the crisis in a “structural” way.

The purpose of the first of these cyclical projects, “Save as Draft”, is to use the Muzeum’s collection on Instagram in line with the idea of “prototypes”, according to which ms resources contain works that can serve as an inspiration for practical solutions that can help transform social reality. The artist invited to collaborate are testing this particular “database” using tools available on Instagram, such as posts, tags, live streamings, augmented reality (AR) filters, gifs and videos. Artists treat the digitized museum collection as the eponymous ‘drafts’ of their practices.

The second project implemented online is “Work: Documentation of Imagination” The collection refers to the action of the Hungarian art historian László Beke, who in 1971 sent to a group of his artist friends a list with an invitation to respond to the slogan "WORK = the DOCUMENTATION OF THE IMAGINATION/IDEA.” In the face of the current crisis, we have begun a dialogue with this historic gesture, asking the group of artists working with the Muzeum to send their responses to the same call. It is a response to the restrictions imposed on all of us in terms of movement, meeting or communicating with one another.

We also continue to collaborate with the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, whose students – each year under the guidance of a different artist –collectively prepare an exhibition. As part of this year’s edition, Igor Krenz played the role of mentor, whose experience with the experimental film was used by the participants in response to the limitations brought on by the pandemic. As a result, this long-term creative experience adapted to fit with digital limitations can be explored thanks to the interactive website dedicated to the project, activating the recipients’ actions.

The changes caused by the pandemic – both to the exhibition program and the way the institution functions – are significant. We hope that there will be no need for further movements – neither in the schedule, nor between the real and virtual worlds.


Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day

ms2, Ogrodowa 19, ground floor 29 May – 31 October
Curator: Zofia Machnicka

Burning House. Antoine de Galbert’s collection

ms1, Więckowskiego 36, 1st floor
2 October – January 2021
implemented in collaboration with Fotofestiwal

Lines of Inquiry: Wacław Szpakowski in context (working title)

ms1, Więckowskiego 36, ground floor 23 October – February 2021
Curator: Inga Lāce

Prototypes 4: Agata Siniarska (working title)

ms2, Ogrodowa 19, ground floor 20 November– April 2021 Curator: Katarzyna Słoboda


Save as Draft

ms Instagram Profile April 20 2020 – July 31 curator: Kacper Szalecki

Work = Documentation of Imagination

Tumblr: documentation-of-imagination.msl.org.pl
from June 1
curatorial team: Jakub Gawkowski, Daniel Muzyczuk, Katarzyna Słoboda, Joanna Sokołowska

entele-pentele / eene-meene
a dedicated website: entelepentele.msl.org.pl
from June 12
project supervisors: Igor Krenz, Daniel Muzyczuk, Łukasz Ogórek




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