The Atlas of Modernity. Exercises
Due to the dynamic nature of the modern world, maps and atlases quickly become obsolete. For that very reason there is a need for new ones – such that will encourage people to search for yet undiscovered meanings, experiences and emotions that lay ahead of us. The first presentation of Atlas of Modernity and its exhibition was an invitation to a journey along the paths that had led us from the sources of the modern world to the present day. In this new version, we intend to encourage the public to independently map out their own routes in the context of the challenges of the future.
ms2, 19 Ogrodowa St
Modernity. This epoch, according to one theory, began with the outbreak of the French Revolution and then the victory of new and sublime ideas encapsulated in the slogan: "liberty, equality, fraternity". According to another theory, it is associated with the breakout of yet a different revolution - the industrial one and, alongside it, the development of soulless capitalism, introducing a strong division in society into the ones who generate profit and those who can dispose it.
The era, the end of which had been foretold many a time, each time, enriched at the most with only some newer and newer prefixes, emerged from the battle as a winner. It invariably influences the modern world: culture, science, society, politics, economy, as well as our own ideas about ourselves. In order to understand the present times, we must constantly return to modernity. The exhibition of works from the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź offers just such a cognitive journey.
We called it “Atlas” because it is a collection of maps outlining the topography of modernity – space and time, whose geographical and chronological boundaries remain fluid and undefined. As in the first edition of Atlas, these maps refer to the fourteen territories of modern space and time which we have identified and which are as follows: autonomy, experiment, emancipation, self, capital, catastrophe, machine, city, museum, norm, tradition, progress, propaganda and revolution. The new Atlas, however, has changed its character - it is not intended to describe reality, but to encourage the creation of one’s own, independent descriptions of it. In this way, Atlas expresses the opinion that there is not just one modernity and the multiplicity of its manifestations is related to and dependent on a multiplicity of ideas, visions, religions, traditions, social, economic and cultural contexts affecting it.
Atlas is therefore also a training device to exercise our critical imagination. In today's world, shaped by numerous disturbing social phenomena, it is this very criticality that seems to be the element of the modern tradition that, above all, needs to be saved.Atlas of Modernity. Exercises is not only a continuation of the exhibition inaugurated in 2014. It is also the next stage of works on enlarging the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki, the work which began several years ago and was aimed at researching, reinterpreting and updating the meanings of the works the Muzeum had at its disposal. Subsequent presentations organised since 2008 and on show in the newest venue of the Muzeum Sztuki, ms2, have broken both with the chronological arrangement of the works and the idea of a permanent exhibition.
descriptions written by
Patron of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź
ms2, 19 Ogrodowa St