The module introduces audiences from Poland and Western Europe to interesting, if still fairly little-known artists from Eastern Europe. We invite artists who have gained recognition in their countries and now want to take the next step and become recognised internationally.
One hundred and one years ago, the architect Walter Gropius founded a school in the German province, a school that then revolutionised architecture around the world. The most prominent artists of the 20th century worked there, such personalities as Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy or Oskar Schlemmer. Even though the school only existed for 14 years, Bauhaus continues to influence architecture and design.
The history of the school is fascinating, but how to introduce it to children? The task is not as difficult as it may seem, because it was an extraordinary and revolutionary school that followed principles which are understandable to children. Every child is bound to be happy to hear that “It doesn’t matter what you can do, what’s important is your talent and if that talent is not discovered, then it’s not your fault, but the fault of your teacher”. The exhibition will show children how to recognise houses designed in the style of the Bauhaus school and why the entire school was filled with the smell of garlic, what chairs we should sit on today according to Marcel Breuer, how to dance a mathematical dance, and how they played – and they played often and eagerly as one of the school’s mottos was “we work together, we play together”.
At the exhibition we can see Katarzyna Bogucka’s illustrations that are original interpretations of photographs documenting life at the school. The illustrations are accompanied by items designed by Bauahus’ teachers and students as well as original photos on postcards and posters.
Curators:: Ewa Solarz, Beata Kuracińska
Illustrations: Katarzyna Bogucka
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops.
Dawid Ryski (also known as Talkseek or Risky) is an illustrator, graphic designer and musician. He designs concert posters, record covers and creates illustrations for newspapers and magazines. He is the percussionist in the punk band The Hidden World that performed at East of Culture – Different Sounds in 2019. Together with his wife Anna, he forms the illustrator collective Pinata Unique.
Over the years, Dawid Ryski’s illustrations have appeared in such magazines and newspapers as “Duży Format”, “Przekrój”, “Wprost” or “Charaktery”. In his capacity as a graphic designer, he has collaborated with Łódź Design Festival, Watch Docs Festival, Goethe Institut, and with Different Sounds, for which he prepared his own original visual identification in 2018. He finds greatest pleasure in designing concert posters that in recent years he has been creating for countless musicians and events. He regularly works with Antena Krzyku.
Zofia Rydet is one the most outstanding figures in the history of Polish photography. She was born in 1911 in Stanisławów in Kresy Wschodnie (Eastern Borderlands). She graduated from Główna Szkoła Gospodarcza Żeńska (Central School of Economics for Women) in Snopków near Lviv and afterwards worked for Orbis Polish Travel Office in Stanisławów. That’s where war found her and then subsequent occupations: Soviet, Hungarian and German. After the war and a brief stay in Rabka ( which she was strongly attached to until the end of her life), she settled in Bytom, where she ran a shop with an assortment of stationery and toys. At the age of 40 she rekindled her youthful passion for photography. Encouraged by her successes in local photography contests, she joined Gliwickie Towarzystwo Fotograficzne (Gliwice Photographic Society) where she honed her skills and forged friendships with fellow photographers. From 1963, she taught photography at the Gliwice Polytechnic School, while at the same time submitted her photos to international reviews of photography in Poland and around the world. She travelled a lot, in the 1960s she visited, among others, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Greece, Lebanon, Albania, Bulgaria, Spain, and Hungary. She took documentary photos depicting children for her first major cycle “Mały Człowiek” (Little Man). Her next projects also focused on aspects of human condition: Czas przemijania (The time of passage) – an examination of old age, and Świat uczuć i wyobraźni (The World of Feelings and Imagination), a series of surrealist photomontages and collages. Her fascination with human beings and her numerous journeys around Poland was the monumental work “The Sociological Record” that she began in 1978. Towards the end of the 1970s, Zofia Rydet presented another conceptual cycle: Nieskończoność dalekich dróg [The Infinity of Distant Roads]. She created her final significant series at the turn of 1980s/1990s. Suita Śląska (Silesian Suite) featured self-quotations from Rydet’s earlier work. Zofia Rydet died on 24 August 1997 in Gliwice.
“The Sociological Record” (1978-1990)
Similar to many artists creating after World War II, the author of the Sociological Record arrived at photography along the path of the amateur: through the passionate embrace of the photographic craft, and through meetings with fellow enthusiasts and practitioners at which the prevailing zeitgeist was influenced and energised by a spirit of animated discussion and grassroots peer review. Rydet had already reached an advanced age—the concept for the Sociological Record came into focus when Rydet was 67—when she began to work on what would become her magnum opus: the Sociological Record, a project without parallel in Polish photography, a sweepingly comprehensive portrait of Polish domestic life. The cycle’s core consists of portraits of inhabitants of towns and villages in different regions of Poland as well as abroad. These photographs are linked by compositional consistency. The portraits show residents, photographed individually, as couples, or in groups, often seated in front of a chosen wall within their home. Photos on display present representatives of scientific and artistic milieus (painters, photographers, actors and artists).
The digitalised collection of over 12,000 photos can be viewed at www.zofiarydet.com.
The exhibition has been made possible courtesy of and in cooperation with the Zofia Rydet Foundation
On top of high quality literature, “Wschodni Express” series also offers unique graphic designs. Every cover is carefully planned in the spirit of minimalism and brings out the essence of a given book’s leitmotif. We combine aesthetic and intellectual value. Why do we do this? The series Wschodni Express aims at introducing Polish readers to the latest literary texts from Poland’s eastern neighbours, addressing the issues most relevant to their societies and equipped with a critical distance and humour in looking at Europe, ourselves in Europe and Europe within us.
Cover design: Ewelina Kruszewska
Adjustment of photos: Ilona Wałęcak
Publisher: Warsztaty Kultury
Wschodni Express’ writers: Alhierd Bacharewicz, Andrej Adamowicz, Andrij Bondar, Andrij Lubka, Artem Czech, Edvīns Raups, Hałyna Kruk, Herkus Kunčius, Inese Zandere, Ingmāra Balode, Jānis Rokpelnis, Julia Cimafiejewa, Jurij Andruchowycz, Juris Kronbergs, Jurko Gudź, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Kateryna Babkina, Knuts Skujenieks, Leon Briedis, Liana Langa, Māra Zālīte, Mark Livin, Mykoła Riabczuk, Natalka Śniadanko, Ołeh Sencow, Ołeksandr Bojczenko, Orest Drul, Siarhiej Pryłucki, Uldis Bērziņš, Wasyl Słapczuk.
Our thanks go to the photographers: Ģirts Raģelis, Kristaps Kalns, Rojs Maizītis, Jānis Deinats, Leva Andersone, Jānis Deinats, Ināra Kolmane, Toms Harjo, Egils Kronbergs, Ołeksandr Czekmeniew, Alis Balbierius, Ignac Tokarczyk, Kateryna Slipchenko, Philip Dotsenko, Igor Feciak, Jana Stefanyszyn, Oleksandr Laskin, Tetyana Davydenko, Robert Grablewski, David Ausserhofer – ZEIT-Stiftung, Literatura.lv and to the writers who have provided us with their own photos.