Subject: River. AFAD Katowice, Silesian Museum and Metropolis GZM take an interdisciplinary approach to Rawa
Is Rawa a monument of the Anthropocene, the epoch of the human? The exhibition accompanying the WUF11 World Urban Forum will be opened in the former Hotel Grand and former seat of the Silesian Museum in Katowice (ul. Korfantego 3) on Tuesday 28 June.
The Rawa river constitutes one of the significant elements of Katowice urbanscape, co-authoring its identity, maintaining its memory, awakening nostalgia and care. The exhibition dedicated to Rawa is based on interdisciplinary classes conducted at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Katowice and has employed such tools as: field recordings, cartography, performance and film.
Rawa, where fish irrevocably disappeared as early as the 19th century, which was the source of typhoid epidemic in the early 20th century, which goes underground and runs in pipes, whose riverbed had been rebuilt several times, has been a complex subject of research and artistic experiment. Currently, Rawa fails to meet even the definition of ‘river’, as it has lost its original source – it is fed mainly by rain water and municipal waste. As such, it serves as a perfect illustration of the processes taking place in highly-urbanised environments. What is the future of this river-non-river, and how can it be “recovered”? The dilemmas of contemporary conservatory practices are common to the worlds of science and art: What to preserve; how to save the elements of our familiar world for the future generations; at what cost; to whose benefit? Could rewilding be a solution here – surrender fragments of cities and villages to other forces, exclusively to non-human users, or accept the fact that we are facing irreversible processes, and bid the fantasy of “return to nature” a final good-bye?
The exhibition and educational programme “Subject: River” are based on the assumption that when all the common data distribution fails (eg. scientific papers), artists try to enable the “imaginative leap”, working on emotions, confronting the confusing and the unknown. According to a visual culture theorist, Nicholas Mirzoeff: “we must unsee how the past has taught us to see the world, and begin to imagine a different way to be with what used to be called nature.” Art can come in useful by organising the work of imagination as an ally of science and environmental policies.
The effects of work of the lecturers and students of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Katowice are presented in the currently unused building of the former seat of the Silesian Museum, as well as in the form of artistic interventions in the Katowice urban space and at the Rawa riverbed. The exhibition accompanies the World Urban Forum held in Katowice between 26th and 30th June 2022 (the exhibition will be open until 31st July 2022). The inaugural sessions were participated by: Prof. Tadeusz Sławek, Prof. Ryszard Koziołek, Prof. Andrzej Kowalczyk and Sebastian Cichocki, the senior curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
Mateusz Hajman, Paulina Walczak-Hańderek, Grzegorz Hańderek, Krzysztof Szewczyk, Anna Kopaczewska, Anna Lorenc, Justyna Lauer, Anna Sielska, Barbara Kubska, Sławomir Brzoska, Paweł Szeibel, Joanna Zdzienicka, Małgorzata Szandała, Maciek Cholewa, Jakub Stelmach, Agata Kustwan, Wiktoria Łukaszewicz, Klaudia Lewkowicz, Marianna Rodziewicz, Oleksandra Popowa, Pola Kornecka, Ksawery Sajdak, Aleksandra Górka, Malwina Szymocha, Agnieszka Urbanek, Stanisława Pająk, Aleksander Steblik, Paulina Radomska, Weronika Janica, Ksenia Makała, Sandra Lubka + students of Creative Writing and Editorial Merketing at the University of Silesia in Katowice, tutored by dr hab. Grzegorz Olszański, prof. UŚ; Mateusz Drozdowski, Magdalena Gołąbek, Magda Jaraczewska, Patrycja Klimek, Aleksandra Krysińska, Kalina Ismena Kubiniok, Katarzyna Mazur, Maria Szczepańska, Weronika Szymańska, Nadia Wanot, Klaudia Wolska and Grzegorz Olszański
Grzegorz Hańderek, Adam Pisarek, Małgorzata Szandała
Building of the former Hotel Grand and former seat of the Silesian Museum in Katowice, ul. Korfantego 3, Katowice
28 June – 31 July 2022
Opening 28 June, 18:00
Patron: Metropolis GZM
Partner: Silesian Museum