UFO Has Landed or Modern Art and Modernisation in (semi)Peripheral Country on the Vistula River

ms², Ogrodowa 19, audiovisual room
30 November 2016, Wednesday, at 18:00 hrs, admission free

In one of his letters to Julian Przyboś Władysław Strzemiński wrote: “To create a good work of art is not enough. […] One needs to develop circumstances, in which this artwork might exert an impact”. Strzemiński was convinced that in a peripheral – or, more precisely, a semi-peripheral – country, such as Poland the prevailing circumstances were not conducive to social acceptance of modern art, neither did they enable the accomplishment of its principal goal: becoming the tool that will modernise everyday life. Thus, over many years he would initiate and engage himself into a variety of undertakings that could provide modern art with social and political mandate to launch and develop modernisation effort at a mass scale. Neoplastic Room was an element, a testimony and commemoration of this specific Strzemiński’s “tactics of art policy”. 

During the lecture, the Neoplastic Room will be used as a pretext to take a closer look at the discourse on modernism and modernisation that can be found in Strzemiński’s texts. Special attention will be paid to how the artist explained (semi)peripheral condition of Poland and its civilisational, social, and cultural backwardness, approaching in his analyses future theories of modernisation, dependence and post-colonialism. The perspective of peripheral modernisation will also shed new light on controversies surrounding Strzemiński’s approach to political issues, national art, and socialist realism.
Tomasz Załuski – art historian and philosopher, assistant professor at the Department of Media and Audiovisual Culture at the University of Lodz and at the Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. His research interests include modern and contemporary artistic practice considered in different contexts of culture, social and political aspects, archives of the culture of arts, relations between art, praxeology and biopolitics, configurations of aesthetics, ethics and politics in the cultural project of modernity, and contemporary French philosophy. He is the author of “Modernizm artystyczny i powtórzenie. Próba reinterpretacji”  [Artistic Modernism and Repetition. An Attempt at Reinterpretation] (2008), and the editor of volumes “Sztuki w przestrzeni transmedialnej” [Arts in Transmedial Space] (2010) and “Skuteczność sztuki” [The Effectiveness of Art] (2014); he translated (together with Michał Gusin) Jean-Luc Nancy’s “La communauté désœuvrée” (The inoperative community) (2010) and Jacques Derrida’s “Spectres of Marx” into Polish.

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