Jindřich Chalupecký Society and Galerria Studio presents an international exhibition dealing with ideas about possible versions of the future of our world.
Imagine a Breath of Fresh Air
Group exhibition with: BCAA System, Gabriela BK, Joshua Citarella, Mark Fridvalszki, Seana Gavin, Eva Jaroňová, Nam June Paik, Kinga Kiełczyńska, Diana Lelonek, Ruth Wolf-Rehlfeldt, Milan Ressel, Leon Romanow, Adéla Součková, Maja Smrekar, Superflux, Susanne Treister, Ondřej Trhoň & Nela Pietrová
Curators: Jindřich Chalupecký Society curatorial collective (Barbora Ciprová, Veronika Čechová, Tereza Jindrová, Karina Kottová) and Paulina Olszewska (Galeria Studio)
June 5–July 30, 2023
Galeria Studio, Plac Defilad 1 PKiN, Warsaw
“Floral patterns on the facades reflect the sun, to which the real flowers growing in vertical gardens also turn. On the rooftops, hyper-modern solar power plants produce clean energy for a city where people and nature live in harmony. Vines are winding around and moss grows untamed.” In their article for cultural magazine A2, Jakub Krahulec and Ondřej Trhoň depict a vision of solar punk— “a genre on the boundary between wild online daydreaming and sci-fi.” At a time when we have barely started to recover from the effects of a global pandemic, and the devastating Russian war in Ukraine almost reaches the border with Poland (and with many other no less serious conflicts worldwide), this may sound like a rather ridiculous fairytale. While we face many humanitarian crises, uncontrolled inflation, an energy crisis and a looming food crisis, climate disruption is taking its toll in the background. Its consequences are already apparent on many levels, and yet we do not fully admit to this reality.
Therefore, it is not surprising that our current outlook is very distant from the utopian visions of the past: those full of unbound love, harmony with nature and reciprocity between humans and other species, not to mention the well-known socialist visions of “commanding the wind and the rain,” going to space and controlling not only weather conditions but also other planetary processes, all in the name of techno-optimism. Rather than the courage to embark on unrestrained utopian plans, today’s visions of our future are accompanied by anxiety and black scenarios. There will inevitably be a future, even if it is one after the extinction of our species. But perhaps there are more promising prospects after all.
The upcoming group exhibition at Galeria Studio in Warsaw elaborates on the theme of visions of the future on several levels. It involves projects by a number of Czech, Polish and international artists. The exhibition encompasses two main levels, which will at the same time reflect the spatial layout of Galeria Studio, divided into two floors, one above the other. One part will deal with the concept of returning to tradition and (our) nature, while the other part will focus on techno-optimistic or dystopian ideas of the future, which might be associated with science-fiction.
One part of the exhibition will critically examine the aforementioned solar punk visions and ideas about the future, linking green living with state-of-the-art technology, science and “progress,” as well as various strategies for survival in a dystopian, even post-human world. The other part will explore various strategies of degrowth, deceleration or sustainable living in harmony with nature.
The exhibition’s narrative will travel through time, but also beyond real time, to explore past and future utopias. The theme of escapism will permeate the exhibition, set in separated geographical locations, dream realms, fictional scenarios and old utopian ideas. But its purpose is not to escape into the unreal. On the contrary, we hope that by combining a number of various artworks and projects, hints of possibility will begin to emerge, from which a way out of today’s situation, that is oppressive on many levels, can slowly be carved. When it seems there is nowhere to run, we can try running into the future – and from there, start to reshape the present.
Aside from contemporary artworks, the exhibition will also feature several historical works from the Galeria Studio Collection, Miejska Galeria BWA in Bydgoszcz, the Aleš
South Bohemian Gallery, and private collections.
The exhibition is fourth chapter of the Jindřich Chalupecký Society program line titled Islands: Possibilities of Togetherness and is organized within the international project Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions, co-funded by the European Union and Czech Ministry of Culture.
International overlap of the exhibition within the platform Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions
The Islands of Kinship project connects and transforms on a practical level seven medium-sized visual art institutions in different regions of Europe: The Jindřich Chalupecký Society (Prague), Frame Contemporary Art Finland (Helsinki), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (Riga), The Július Koller Society (Bratislava), The Faculty of things that can't be learned (Bitola/Skopje) and Temporary Gallery (Cologne). The main goal of the project is to create a long-term professional platform for joint artistic and programmatic production, sharing and exchange of knowledge on programming and internal mechanisms.
The participating organisations present solo and group exhibitions on an ongoing basis, including eight newly created art projects (commissions), and a series of related discursive programmes, workshops and other events.
This new initiative also focuses on organizing symposia and meetings, sharing know-how and developing new systems, methodologies and practices disseminated through a series of podcasts, institutional journals and public reports on the project's progress. The first phase of the Islands of Kinship (IoK) project will culminate in a publication in collaboration with Stroom den Haag in the summer of 2024.