13 November · 14:00 – 17:00

Centre for Possible Studies,
64 Seymour Street, W1H 5BW

Join Aneta Szyłak and Jan Sowa, editors of the book Over and Over Again: 1989-2009 for a discussion of histories of struggle in contemporary art and politics of Poland and the United Kingdom.

 

The event is free but booking is essential.
Contact Amal Khalaf on amalk@serpentinegallery.org

Organised in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute

“Over and Over Again” was an international exhibition at Centennial Hall, Wroclaw, Poland in Summer 2009, which aimed to capture and critically investigate the field in which visual culture meets a cry for political representation, social emancipation and the expression of discontent. Participating artists and filmmakers include Piotr Bikont, Rafał Bujnowski, Hubert Czerepok, Stanisław Dróżdż, Elżbieta Jabłońska, Grzegorz Klaman, Alicja Karska i Aleksandra Went, Jarosław Kozłowski, Zbigniew Libera, Marcin Maciejowski, Ciprian Muresan, Jacek Niegoda, Laura Pawela, Aleksandra Polisiewicz, Linda Pollack, Konrad Pustoła, Joanna Rajkowska, Anna Reinert, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jadwiga Sawicka, Allan Sekula, Jakub Szczęsny/ Centrala, Michał Szlaga, Milica Tomic, twożywo, Anna i Adam Witkowscy, Julita Wójcik, Maria Zmarz‐Koczanowicz, Alina Żemojdzin and Artur Żmijewski.

The project – conceived and curated by Aneta Szylak – links the public sphere and the idea of a gathering place, or all the things that make that gathering possible. It looks at the dynamics of the tradition of protest, dissent and demonstration and considers the subjects as well as the esthetics and materialization of the gathering place, which could be an object, a real civic action or simply the appearance of one. It also links the ‘gathering around something’ as a democratic ritual of participation with ‘circling around’ which allows only limited access or none at all. It also questions how history is to be reproduced to simulate the process of coming together.

In addition the exhibition makes an attempt to investigate labor, consumption and the monotony and predictability of everyday life in a neoliberal economy, as well as the processes that reproduce such causes and effects. It looks at the visual and textual language of dissent and the flow of esthetics between art and civic protest. Assembling contemporary art works- many of which have been commissioned especially for the show – as well as documentary films, photographs and other archival material, the show looks at the dynamics of public discourse, and the changing content and rhetorics of protest. It investigates what is expressed and what is not expressed, what is included and what is excluded.

Inspired by modernity’s jewel of a stage – the Max Berg’s Centennial Hall in Wroclaw – the exhibition circles around its core – the dramatic concrete cupola, which itself remains empty. This very emptiness, is the beating heart of the exhibition as it epitomizes the modern fantasy of equality and participation. In fact, the Hall does embody a potential for emancipation, which we now see more as a representation of expansiveness than as an honest attempt to fully accommodate any existing or future diversity. Now, although we recognize this scarcity we try again, and will continue our efforts over, and over again to embrace its impossibilities, antagonisms and discontents.

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