"UTOPIA. Spaces of Closure" refers to the title of the previous Krakow edition of the "UTOPIA. Non - Place" project carried out in 2018. This reference is not accidental, we invite artists to see how they reacted creatively to the pandemic. We are curious how they relate to the situation of restriction of freedom, social distance, uncertain future?
The pandemic has frozen cultural activities. Closed cultural institutions, galleries, and art spaces made a large part of artistic activity move online. Artists locked in the privacy of their own flats and ateliers face their own "utopias". They shape and define the world "around them" every day and "within".
Another important trope of the exhibition concept, derived from UTOPIA, is the concept of Retrotopia.
RETROTOPY is a concept (which is a combination of the words: retro - 'old, concerning the past' and utopia) created at the end of his life by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, describing a social phenomenon that arose in Europe and spreading all over the world, constituting a modern variety of nostalgia, a derivative of second degree negation, i.e. a negation of negation made by utopia of the possibility of a quasi-return to a wonderful, safe past.
Zygmunt Bauman wrote:
"[...] progress is no longer associated with the expectation of a better tomorrow, but with the expectation of even greater uncertainty, fewer and fewer jobs, the chances of success are decreasing, housing prices are rising, it is more and more difficult to settle down." These fears are exploited by political demagogues who promise easy prescriptions, trying to "bind this liquid drug in order to give people hope in the short run." They mislead members of society with statements such as: "as soon as we close the borders to immigrants, the nightmare will end, we will have a stable job, social position, no one will take your bread." This is where retrotopia comes from, from endless fears for the future"
The project "UTOPIA. Closure space" is connected with the idea of a creative dialogue between artistic circles from Poland, Germany and other countries. It assumes an online presentation of works in the field of painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation. The project promotes the activities of professors, doctoral students, students, as well as young, unknown artists and helps to introduce them to the space of international artistic contacts, confronting their work with the recognized artistic and didactic environment of art universities.
An important aspect of the project is also the integration of artistic communities from various Departments of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow with the numerous participation of educators, so important for the Krakow artistic community.
Michał Sroka / Piotr Korzeniowski
Kamil Kuzko / Jakub Najbart
The project is co-financed by the city of Krakow from the "Culture in the network 2020" program