THE WALL Art Face To Face with Borders – Careof DOCVA

THE WALL: Art Face to Face with Borders is a travelling project curated by Stanislaw Ruksza. It was conceived as a study of borders in visual arts, taking into consideration their political, sociological, economic and historical aspects. Polish and international artists worked on the project, which was developed in collaboration with Careof DOCVA and was born from the Imago Mundi Foundation and the CCA Kronika in Bytom, two Polish institutions. 

The Wall immediately recalls the Berlin Wall. Today it may be an ‘Ost-algic’ touristic souvenir, but for the decades during the Cold War it was the outcome of the foreign policy of countries on either side of the Iron Curtain and it was the border between ‘us’ and ‘them’, the allies and the enemies, freedom and slavery.

From this point forwards, the project reflects on the origin of dividing lines through video art, photography and installations. Although geographical borders have become more fluid, new borders continually arise, dividing cultural and religious heritages. As Samuel Huntington points out in Clash of Civilizations, this is often because of a permanent conflict. Some are born from the fear of the unknown, still as a consequence of colonialism, and this is evident in the uproar of populist xenophobia and in anti-immigration laws. Others come from the technocratic political framework of the Schengen Agreement. Recent events in Ukraine and the construction of the wall between Israel and Palestine are only two of the many possible examples.

In a wider sense, the wall becomes a metaphor for resistance as a dominating and fearful presence, but at the same time as a prerequisite for creation.

The Italian edition of the project was developed in collaboration with Careof DOCVA. It was preceded by a period in December 2014 in which the curator, Stanislaw Ruksza, took part in the FDV Residency Program and researched the theme. It allows the selected international artists to dialogue with the work of Giuseppe Fanizza, Nina Fiocco and Giovanni Morbin.

As part of The Wall and building on the contents of the project, on 4th February Careof will present Where I was not, a debate about strategies to redefine the unconscious view of borders.

During the event the curator of the exhibition Stanislaw Ruksza and the artist Lukasz Trzcinski will analyse the key themes of the project. They will exchange views with the public while gathered around Magda Fabianczyk work, which aims to create a connection between the gypsy community in Poland and the local government.

Starting from here, the event will go through some of the themes that arise from the exhibited work. The focus will be put on criticalities, potential and strategies of art used as a means to redefine common ideas of border, in its wider meaning of a geographical, cultural and socio-political line.

Stanislaw Ruksza will thus present his curatorial work describing some of the projects and the research method used by the art direction at the Centre for Contemporary in Bytom, Poland. At the CCA, Stanislaw Ruksza leads a programme of activities which explore the connections between contemporary art theory, activism, music, politics, social sciences, education, cinema, theatre, alternative tourism, design and architecture.

After this, Lukasz Trzcinski will introduce New Europe, a photographic series started in 1999. It aims at capturing the signs of political, economic and cultural changes in a ‘New Europe’ which is imagined and perceived through stereotypes.

There will be a through long term artistic practices. dialogue between the two Polish guests and a first series of Italian experiences which share the same interest in redefining common ideas

After this first event, Careof will recommend a selection of similar projects from its archives, which will become part of the publication and of the next stop of The Wall. This will help increase the dialogue between the two organisations – Kronika and Careof – which started in 2013 and has been marked by artists’ residencies, screenings and exhibitions.

The exhibition, followed by a publication of critic writing and documentation about the work, is supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and by the General Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Milan.

The Wall is part of Ja lubje Polske, a long standing project curated by Careof which invites the protagonists of the Polish arts scene to take part in exhibitions, workshops and residencies for artists and curators.

THE WALL Art Face To Face with Borders – Curated by Stanisław Ruksza

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Piotr Bujak, Wojciech Doroszuk, Magda Fabiańczyk, Giuseppe Fanizza, Nina Fiocco and Metodo Salgari, Khaled Jarrar, Giovanni Morbin, Marina Naprushkina, Joanna Rajkowska, REP, Schauplatz Group, Santiago Sierra, Stephanie Syjuco, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Łukasz Trzciński, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Piotr Wysocki

The exhibition is organised jointly by the Imago Mundi Foundation in Krakow and CCA Kronika in Bytom, in collaboration with Careof Organization for Contemporary Art in Milan. The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Consulate General of The Republic of Poland in Milan.

Careof DOCVA Fabbrica del Vapore – via Giulio Cesare Procaccini 4
January 13 – February 18, 2015