Political Art

Open 11:00-18:00. Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 10:00-19:00, Closed Mon.       ul. Jazdów 2
This large, provocative exhibit at Ujazdowski Contemporary Art Centre delivers on its simple statement of presenting 'political art' from a wide variety of artists, from a wide variety of countries, touching on a wide variety of issues. Although some would argue that all art is political, these works are overtly so, which challenges the viewer to contemplate when freedom of expression and the tools of dissent ascend to the status of 'art,' and examine how some of these works hold up when placed in a space reserved for 'art.' In keeping with the exhibition's simple title, the works on display mostly lack adequate context for the uneducated viewer to understand the politics underlying them. This may allow the work to be considered more fairly for its artisitic merits, but it also exposes the audience to views and political statements that some have accused of being racist, fascist, homophobic or propagating disinformation. In fact, the artists behind the concurrent exhibit, 'Everyday Forms of Resistance' were so upset about their work being presented at the same time and in the same vicinity of this exhibit that they insisted the organisers display a statement they wrote disavowing the 'Political Art' and expressing their fear and dismay that they might be incorrectly associated with it. The exhibit is certainly a mixed bag of diverse works, the common thread between them being that they are 'political' and their exhibition here serves the age-old question of 'what is art'. But is it justified?

From the organiser:
The exhibition Political Art is an attempt to confront the problem of a new system of divisions that, in recent years, has come to the fore of public debate within the Western political and social life.

A struggle for hegemony is taking place at universities, corporations, media, and in cultural life and institutions. Terms such as deplatforming/no-platforming, cancel culture, and culture of silence are used to define new trends and methods that appear to contradict basic notions of democracy and values of Western civilization.

Given all this, we are reminded of a need for a free, lively public sphere and art that voices real dissent. Meanwhile, artists who contradict these tendencies and advocate unrestrained expression and anti-mainstream ideas often pay the highest price for testing the limits of tolerance and confronting political dogmas. They become victims of attacks and repressions. Many of them are deprived of the opportunity to work and be recognized in the art world.

Political Art features defiant artists from various countries and continents, who call for genuine freedom by engaging with information, opinions, and emotions that have been erased from public registers. Their works shed light on mechanisms of power that are usually hidden from public view and teach us how to confront such structures with truth, often by using provocative gestures, as well as humour and sarcasm.



Open 11:00-18:00. Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 10:00-19:00, Closed Mon. Aug 27 2021 - Jan 16 2022
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Price/Additional Info

Admission 16/8zł to all exhibitions, for two exhibitions 12/6zł, for one exhibition 10/5zł, entrance to project room 5zł, students up to 26 years of age 1zł. Thu free.


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