Sunday at Muzeum. Conservation: Relationships Re-activated
Tamás Kaszás, Column of the Commons (sketch for the installation), ink drawing, 2013, collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź
By definition museum is an institution established primarily for the purpose of conservation and the role of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź is to preserve works of art for us, living here and now, and for future generations. "Sunday at Muzeum" at ms1 organised under the title “Conservation: Relationships Re-activated” was also intended to unleash the environmental potential of conservation practices.
ms1, 36 Więckowskiego St
Conservation goes against present day tendency to champion disposability. Why should we bother with conservation if almost everything can be treated like plastic bottles, i.e., thrown away and replaced with new ones? Objects have short-term value. The world of short-term objects implies establishing temporary relationships with other people, species, or with our planet. Anything can be replaced by a newer model.
But what if not everything can be replaced? If plants and animal species at the brink of extinction cannot be replaced with better ones? If a dried-up lake cannot be brought back to life? And culture once destroyed cannot be restored?
“Sunday at Muzeum. Conservation: Relationships Re-activated”, a joint organisational effort of Earth Strike Łódź and Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, surely offered a number of occasions to ask these and some other questions. Having joined their forces, female activists and educators had taken us through workshops which helped to preserve the world around us and re-activate relationships with other creatures to stop destroying and start preserving and creating.
The agenda for “Sunday at Muzeum. Conservation: relationships re-activated” included, inter alia:
- "Hear the voice of crying Earth inside ourselves: the graveyard of dead species and phenomena" – installation co-created by visitors;
- "Writing from the Earth and for the Earth: geopoetic workshop";
- "Climate slow talk about crisis, fear, and hope: slow talks between human beings";
- "Mirror or what?: space for reflection on the relational trap of the ego";
- a workshop: conservation of works of art for beginners;
- a visit to a conservation studio;
- meetings with women whose jobs deal with the "conservation" of people: a dietician, a cosmetologist, a personal trainer, and a psychotherapist.
"Sundays at Muzeum" is a series initiated at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź back in the 1970s and 1980s. Fashion shows, openings, exhibition tours, competitions, fairs, meetings with artists, artistic and entertainment events intertwined with each other in the interiors, garden, and in the courtyard of the former Maurycy Poznański’s palace on 36 Więckowskiego Street. "Sundays at Muzeum" fitted into the idea of an open museum advocated by the then director Ryszard Stanisławski. Striving to facilitate access to art to different target groups, Stanisławski respected the needs of each and every visitor which is why the programme for Sundays was very diverse and aimed at addressing different audiences.
Earth Strike Łódź is a grassroots social movement active in preventing climate catastrophe and trying to stop the devastation of natural habitats. It is part of the global Earth Strike movement. It exerts pressure on politicians and business people, organises protests, happenings, artistic actions, as well as pursues online and offline educational activities. In Łódź the movement has undertaken the following actions: mobilisation and preparation of general Earth Strike on 27 September 2019, singing anti-coal Christmas carols in banks offering insurance to coal industry and 5R, a series of educational discussions.