Konrad Smoleński / Escape from the Liberty Cinema / Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin, 19.11.2016–8.01.2017


“I don’t know if you realize that as soon as the institution of censorship is discontinued the duty to censor will be yours… This is the opening line of Wojciech Marczewski’s Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema (1990), one of the most important films made at the beginning of the transformation period in Poland. How is freedom to be handled and what is the measure of success: the gaining of it or the ability to use it properly? Twenty-five years later, the question still remains – back in 1990 Marczewski couldn’t have known how challenging the transformation and the building of civil society would prove for Poles. The film possibly owes its inspiration to Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom and the director must have anticipated that the new reality of capitalism would cause, as the German author suggested, anxiety and a sense of loneliness.
The motivation behind the exhibition of the work of Polish artists active in the fields of sculpture, objects, installations and video installations, was a desire to critically evaluate the 25 years of our freedom as well as to present different approaches to social issues, politics and history, a peculiar dialogue between art and reality. Works displayed at the Galerie im Saalbau have been created by
a small group of artists in the last few years; these are new pieces produced by artists whose artistic careers began in very different periods – from the early 1990s to 2010. Their creative outputs reveal
a variety of attitudes, resulting from diverse experiences and circumstances which have affected their artistic development.
Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema is an exhibition devoted to transformation (the one has taken place and the one that may occur). It also addresses a number of problems emerging in the field of contemporary culture: emancipation, new humanities, participation, and community. We wish to analyze the critical potential of the creative output of contemporary artists and offer reflection on the position and role of artists in a civil society, as well as the possibilities for art to communicate problems that reach beyond its autonomous area.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring essays by Agnieszka Rayzacher and Magdalena Ujma.

A project of the Fundacja Lokal Sztuki / lokal_30, curated by Agnieszka Rayzacher
Subsidized by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Polish Republic