September 12th, 13th, 14th, 2014.
Start: Friday, 6pm
Municipal Gallery bwa
The tradition of neighbours doing their laundry together in public isn’t an exclusively Polish one. Residents of Reykjavik used to come to a place some 3 km away from the city and washed their „dirty laundry” in the open air, in a pond created by the waters of hot springs. This time, the artists from Poland and Iceland will meet on the Mill Island and use their artistic activities to relate to the neighbourly washing that used to take place in the past on the banks of the Młynówka.
The process of producing an identity is based on the presence of places with special memories, and also on interactions in those places and ritualising everyday existence in a way appropriate for a given culture. Due to the presence of those symbolic places, space is a testament of a given region and gives an identity to an individual. The tradition of neighbours doing their laundry together in public isn’t an exclusively Polish one. Residents of Reykjavik used to come to a place dominated by women, some 3 km away from the city, and „washed their dirty laundry” in the open air. Until the electric lighting for buildings was invented, doing laundry was a kind of an expedition. Then, during World War II, Icelandic women washed their occupiers’ „old rags”. In Poland after World War II, the tradition of common washing also helped in maintaining contacts between people; the accompanying rumours, chants and discussions built a sense of community. Nowadays, washing is becoming more automated, it no longer has the characteristics of the old ritual, and this process is even faster in urban life.
The proposals of the artists who were invited to the project, referring to the tradition of the common neighbourly washing and by reference to the history of the place and its rituals, will become an excuse for re-strengthening of interpersonal relationships, building a sense of community and identity.
Once again, we ask the question about the role of artistic activities. To what extent is this still the ability to create, and to what extent a role that has to be played by art? What issues does it communicate today? Does the language attempting to describe its meaning bring new senses or is it limiting? And what, finally, comes from an artistic intervention into a public space, in what way does it change the people involved and does it change them at all?. What may the saying „washing dirty linen” mean, which refers to the concepts common in the Western culture, at the same time inducing the effect of negation, hostility or even disgust towards phenomena so designated. We’re attempting to „remove stains” from the city; will it helping emotional cleansing?
Programme of events:
September 12th (Friday) 6pm Municipal Gallery bwa
Opening of photo exhibition / Jerzy Riegel /
Performance / Danuta Milewska
Performance / Video / Start Art Group
September 13th (Saturday) 1.30pm Mill Island
Performance / Installation / Start Art Group