Provisional map of provisional sites, Great Patriotic, The immortal feat of a nation, Lost Family, Conflict territory, Jammer, I’m glad if I can advertise on posters, Flag – No Signal, Guaranteed protection, A garden of virtual colonisers, Reporting from the battlefield, Which is the right direction?, Independence, How much is it, Masse und Macht, Hygiene, Honourable medals that adorn our breasts…
This peculiar litany is nothing but a list of titles of works by Celina Kanunnikava (b. 1988), Hanna Shumska (b. 1993), Vitalij Shupliak (b. 1993) and Endre Tót (b. 1937). Put together, they form a narrative that tells of the anxiety that accompanies us every day in contemporary reality. The migration and refugee crisis, Brexit, rising nationalism, the proximity of post-Soviet regimes, galloping inflation and – above all – Russia’s armed intervention in Ukraine, simply a war that is going on today and so close to us. It is therefore a litany that is frighteningly topical.
Art has always been political, believing in its potential to inspire social change. A classic of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde, Endre Tót, made a light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek mockery of communism in Hungary and the entire Eastern Bloc, and in the crucial year of 1989 created a torn and fragmented portrait of Lenin as a lost revolutionary. Do artists of the young generation, whose lives are connected to Ukraine and Belarus, still have the strength and desire to be ironic? Does their engaged art rather arise from a sense of total powerlessness? How do they translate current, burning political topics into art?
The exhibition thus confronts the works and attitudes of the young generation of artists, associated with Ukraine and Belarus, with the works of Endre Tót. All works are politically engaged, subversive and critical. They pose the question of the possibility of resistance with art, in art and through art concerning different times and potentials of such different generations. It is a peculiar question about the framing of resistance strategies, and the notion of framing is not coincidental here, as the motif of the empty golden frame appears in both Endre Tót’s and Celina Kanunnikava’s work.
What, then, could be framed with this gold? Provisional map of provisional sites, Great Patriotic, The immortal feat of a nation, Lost Family, Conflict territory, Jammer, I’m glad if I can advertise on posters, Flag – No Signal, Guaranteed protection, A garden of virtual colonisers, Reporting from the battlefield, Which is the right direction?, Independence, How much is it, Masse und Macht, Hygiene, Honourable medals that adorn our breasts…
Celina Kanunnikava, Hanna Shumska, Vitalii Shupliak, Endre Tót
Curator: Marta Smolińska
Celina Kanunnikava (born 1988 in Poznan, Poland) is a Polish-Belarusian artist who lives and works in Minsk (Belarus) and Poznan (Poland). She graduated from the Faculty of Painting and Drawing of the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznan. Winner of painting competitions, awarded the Young Art Medal in the field of visual arts in 2017. Her painting, although often inspired by specific events, does not become one-dimensional journalism. She asks difficult and universal questions and describes the human predicament facing against the machine and the system of power.
Hanna Shumska born in Chervonohrad, Ukraine, 1993, is an Ukrainian artist who lives and works in Poland. Now she is a PhD student in the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. In artistic practice, she deals with the problem of interdependence between physical and virtual reality, the issue of borders, maps and territories. Shumska works with painting, drawing, collage, installation and new media.
Vitalii Shupliak (b. 1993 in Ukraine) currently lives in Berlin, mainly works with video, installation and performance. Vitalii often focuses on the issues of identity, migration, broadly understood borders and relations between reality and virtuality. In 2013-14 member of the group “Carrousel”, in 2014-2017 Vitalii Shupliak initiated “Pi” Gallery and since 2019 develops Kruta Art Residency.
Endre Tót (born in Sümeg, Hungary, 1937) is a Hungarian artist who lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Tot participated in the Fluxus movement and is well known for his Mail art projects, the use of xerox copies and usage of rubber stamps with clear conceptual text declarations.
Opening 26.04.2022, 6 pm
20 Gdańska St.
Exhibition partner: SOLAR Company S.A.
Works courtesy of:
Exhibition is under the honorary patronage of the Mayor of Bydgoszcz, Rafał Bruski