The Cultural Institution of the City of Szczecin 13muz in co-operation with Culture.pl, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru and the Polish Institute in New Delhi presented a multi-dimensional project Absurd–Nonsense–Oxymoron featuring Polish contemporary art.
The city of Bengaluru is often referred to as the 'new Silicon Valley' due to its status as a hub for information technology companies, including IBM, Philips, Samsung Electronics, the Indian Space Research Organisation etc. It also home to headquarters of many Indian education and research institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Institute of Management (IIMB) or the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
The exhibition venue, Karnataka Chitrakala Parisath, is a prestigious cultural centre. It houses, among other institutions, the INTACH – organisation who carried out the maintenance of many important historic monuments in the city.
The project Absurd–Nonsense–Oxymoron was the first part of a planned long-term cooperation. The exhibition was accompanied by educational activities, including a series of workshops conducted by artists participating in the exhibition: video workshop led by Hubert Czerepok, performance art workshop by Artur Grabowski, wall painting workshop by Katarzyna Szeszycka, oil painting workshop by Bartłomiej Otocki and street art workshop by Mariusz Waras. The opening of the exhibition in Bengaluru took place on 25th November 2016. The event was accompanied by a concert of Wacław Zimpel and his band Saagara.
Bartłomiej Otocki, the Curator of the exhibition, said:
The project Absurd–Nonsense–Oxymoron is aimed at presenting the contemporary visual artworks of Polish artists in India and also Indian artists in Poland. Both of the events will be, separately curated, opportunities to learn about the output of notable visual artists, photographers and filmmakers. Various works: video-art, performance, short feature forms and photographs will be presented; also workshops led by invited guests are planned.
The Polish edition in India is going to be a review of reflection-provoking artworks, based on the mechanism mentioned in the title, using also grotesque, exaggeration, specific sense of humor. They bring up the issues of evaluation of the reality surrounding us, criticism of the political and artistic systems and the artist’s position in social hierarchy. In a perspicacious way they undermine the existing status quo, not avoiding intelligent criticism, humorous punchline, grotesque or absurd lapse. Using the resources and stylistics typical for pop-culture, they are, at the same time, full of nonsense humor, which often purposefully breaks the division between low and high culture.
Since the core feature of the project is mutual exchange and equal involvement of both parties, its second part will be the exhibition of Indian contemporary art held in Poland in 2017. The artistic residency programme to be implemented in subsequent years is also being planned.
Curator of the exhibition: Bartłomiej Otocki, Ph. D.
Artists: Hubert Czerepok, Wojciech Duda, Rafał Jakubowicz, Maurycy Gomulicki, Artur (Arti) Grabowski, Leszek Knaflewski, Kamil Kuskowski, Krzysztof KED Olszewski, Aleksandra Ska, Katarzyna Szeszycka, Zbigniew Taszycki, Mariusz Waras
Exhibition organisers: Cultural Institution of the City of Szczecin 13muz, Culture.pl, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, Polish Institute in New Delhi
Project partners: College of Fine Arts in Bengaluru, Academy of Art in Szczecin
Honorary Patronage of the President of Szczecin
Honorary Patronage of the Marshal of the West Pomeranian Region
Honorary Patronage of the Embassy of India in WarsawHonorary Patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in New Delhi