Wrocław — a city in the Recovered Territories, which before the Second World War had nearly one million inhabitants, for decades could not be rebuilt after being destroyed in the Siege of Breslau. Out in these fascinating wild fields situated at the edge of a communist country where various cultures met, in a spirit of freedom and independence, artists have created their own original microcosm with bold experiments and international cooperation with partners from both sides of the Iron Curtain at its heart.
The exhibition presents works of art, films, documentary photographs, objets d’art, and recordings — nearly 500 works of visual arts, architecture, urbanism, theatre, film, design, and everyday life of Wrocław since the 1960s until the present.
The exhibition narration starts in the mid-sixties and it is connected with two great art visionaries moving to Wrocław: Jerzy Grotowski, the founder of the Laboratory Theatre, and Jerzy Ludwiński, the author of models of cultural institutions like Museum of Current Art and the founder of Mona Lisa Gallery. Wrocław is a city where Polish conceptualism and concrete poetry under Stanisław Dróżdż’s leadership started. Here artists like Jerzy Rosołowicz, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Jan Chwałczyk, Wanda Gołkowska, Natalia LL and Andrzej Lachowicz, Romuald and Anna Kutera worked. In Wrocław, next to the Laboratory Theatre, Helmut Kajzar and Kazimierz Braun, who worked with Tadeusz Różewicz, experimented with dramatic form. In the 1970s, the Museum of Architecture held exhibitions of utopia projects Terra where works of young artists like Arata Isozaki, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Tadao Ando, Rem Koolhaas — now world famous architects were shown. Among the graduates of the Higher School of Fine Arts in the city of Wrocław one can find so-called generation of Wrocław School of Posters with Jan Sawka, Jerzy Czerniawski, Jan Jaromir Aleksiun, and Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz. It is the Feature Film Studio in Wrocław where Andrzej Wajda made Ashes and Diamonds, Wojciech Jerzy Has — The Saragossa Manuscript, Agnieszka Holland — Screen Tests, and Jerzy Żuławski started working with On the Silver Globe. International meetings during Jazz nad Odrą Festival, the Festival of Open Theatre organised by Kalambur Theatre, or workshops run by the Laboratory are but few events that contribute to the image of open Wrocław. In the 1980s, the tradition of street happenings took on a new character through the actions of the Orange Alternative, the musical performances by Kormorany, as well as the artistic ‘situations’ created by LUXUS.
The exhibition Wild West is not a story of the art of Wrocław. It is a story about this special city seen through the art created there. It is a story about a city with towers of gothic churches, buildings designed by Max Berg, Hans Poelzig, Erich Mendelsohn, or Hans Scharoun, where the newly arriving Poles have brought new values and most of all, new life.
Jan Jaromir Aleksiun, Stanisław Antosz and Katarzyna Chierowska (Antosz and Andzia), Gabor Attalai, Roel Backaert, Paolo Barrile, Krzysztof M. Bednarski, László Beke, Marianna Bocian, Włodzimierz Borowski, Dariusz Brygier, Olaf Brzeski, Cezary Chrzanowski, Jan Chwałczyk, Ewa Ciepielewska, Robin Crozier, Paweł Czepułkowski, Jerzy Czerniawski, Rineke Dijkstra, Michał Diament, Zbigniew Dłubak, Jean-Marie Drot, Stanisław Dróżdż, Antoni Dzieduszycki, Hervé Fischer, Karolina Freino, Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz, Artur „Gouy” Gołacki, Wanda Gołkowska, Zbigniew Gostomski, Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, Klaus Groh, Nicolas Grospierre, Bożena Grzyb-Jarodzka, Oskar Hansen, Władysław Hasior, Agnieszka Holland, Zdzisław Holuka, Rafał Jakubowicz, Jacek „Ponton” Jankowski, Paweł Jarodzki, Mariusz Jodko, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Koji Kamoji, Tadeusz Kantor, Małgorzata Kazimierczak, Mirosław Emil Koch, Krzysztof Konieczny, Bogdan Konopka, Tadeusz Konwicki, Jerzy Kosałka, Marzenna Kosińska, Barbara Kozłowska, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Marlena Kudlicka, Anna Kutera, Romuald Kutera, Natalia LL, Piotr Lachman, Andrzej Lachowicz, Suzy Lake, Jacek Lalak, Olga Lewicka, Zbigniew Libera, Witold Lipiński, Witold Liszkowski, Bogusław Litwiniec, Halina Litwiniec, Jerzy Ludwiński, Luxus group, Zbigniew Makarewicz, Daniel Malone, Arkadiusz Marczyński, Dóra Maurer, Krzysztof Meissner, Maria Michałowska, Bogusław Michnik, Karel Miler, Lech Mrożek, Opal L. Nations, Roland Nicolaus, Ernest Niemczyk, Z. Nowak, Zbigniew Olchowik, Piotr Olszański, Zbigniew Paluszak, Stanisław Pater, Géza Perneczky, Anna Płotnicka, Małgorzata Potocka, Karol Radziszewski, Robert Rehfeldt, Andrzej Rogowski, Tadeusz Rolke, Wacław Ropiecki, Jerzy Rosołowicz, Robert Rumas, Andrzej Sapija, Wiesław Sąsiadek, Jan Sawka, Carolee Schneemann, Allan Sekula, Alexander Sikora, Skalpel, Krzysztof Skarbek, Eugeniusz Smoliński, Michael Snow, Kama Sokolnicka, Zdzisław Sosnowski, Henryk Stażewski, Petr Štembera, Tomasz „Mniamek” Stępień, Andrzej and Krystyna Stoga, Bronisław Szubzda, Tomasz Szwed, Miroljub Todorović, Endre Toth, VALIE EXPORT, Krzysztof Wałaszek, Adam Wawrzyniak, Torgeir Wethal, Piotr Wieczorek, Ryszard Wojtyłło, Paul Woodrow, Pierre Vandrepote, Krzysztof Zarębski, Carstern Zorn, Andrzej Żuławski
Objects and films loaned by:
BWA Warszawa, Entropy Gallery, Film Studio Kadr, Foksal Gallery, The Grotowski Institute, Kalambur Theatre archive, L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), Lower Silesian Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts (Wrocław), Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, Odin Teatret, Ossolineum, TVP3 Warszawa, TVP3 Wrocław and Jolanta Bielańska, Katarzyna Chierowska, Jan Chwałczyk, Osman Djajadisastra, Anna Dróżdż, Jacek „Ponton“ Jankowski, Alina Jurkiewicz-Maluga, Krzysztof Konieczny, Jerzy Kosałka, Marzenna Kosińska, Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, Jacek Lizurej, Zbigniew Makarewicz, Daniel Malone, Lech Mrożek, Izabela Olejnik, Paweł Piotrowicz, Andrzej Rogowski, Robert Rumas, Zdzisław Sosnowski, Krzysztof Wałaszek, Piotr Wierzbicki
AN EXHIBITION ORGANISED BY WROCŁAW CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM
held as a part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 programme
Premiere display: Zachęta — National Gallery of Art, 19th June–13th September 2015
Second display: Kunsthalle/Hala umenia Košice | K13, 6th October – 15th November 2015.
Third display: Kunstmuseum Bochum (Germany), 5th March – 8th May 2016.
The exhibition will then be shown in Ludwig Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest / Hungary
Exhibition commissioner: Dorota Monkiewicz, Head of Wrocław Contemporary Museum
Exhibition arrangement: Robert Rumas
Curators: Michał Duda, Anka Herbut, Anna Mituś, Paweł Piotrowicz, Adriana Prodeus, Sylwia Serafinowicz, Piotr Stasiowski
Co-ordination: Jola Bielańska (MWW), Jasna Jaksic (MSU Zagreb)
Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Sponsors: Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, National Forum of Music, ECoC 2016