Rationed Modernity | Modernism in the Polish People’s Republic
Nov 17 - Apr 14 2024
Al. 3 Maja 1
This art exhibit at the main branch of the National Museum in Kraków focusses on factors limiting Poland's processes of modernisation after World War II - both economic and organisational, as well as political, as the communist authorities imposed ideological restrictions on culture. Importantly, however, the exhibit is careful to not present the issue in terms of the struggle between artists and political authorities for artistic freedom, but firstly highlights the tension between modernist visual languages and the war experience; secondly, it explores the effects resulting from ideological pressure on the modernist imperative of the social function of art; and thirdly, it examines the phantom nature of the modernisation of the Polish People’s Republic (PRL) and its dependence on adopted modernisation patterns contrasted with the deformations of modernist projects characterising everyday life in the times of the PRL. All this makes the ‘Rationed Modernity’ exhibition – the third show in the 4 x Modernity series – not so much an attempt at an encyclopaedic presentation of the artistic achievements of a given period, but a statement on the shape and fate of the next stage of modernism in Poland after the interwar period.