Artists Remake the World
The Series

The Series : « Hurrahs and Turmoils »

This texts are the result of from the book Hourras et désarrois. [Hurrahs and Turmoils] Scenes of a Cultural War in Poland published on 16 May 2019 by Éditions Noir sur Blanc (Lausanne) edited by Agnieszka Żuk.

What is the root of the political events which are today shaking Polish society and echoing across Europe: refusal to accept migrants, a proposed historical memory law on the Shoah, introduction of laws which affect the independence of the judiciary or the attempt to totally ban IVF, to name but the most widely publicised issues? And finally, how does one explain the causes of the anti-European volte-face which the “European Union’s best student” has performed?

The aim of this collective work is to bring an in-depth, nuanced and intimate view of contemporary Poland, through its culture, understood here to mean the entirety of ways of thinking, feeling and acting specific to a given society. Current events of recent years appear here within a complex network of narratives and historical omissions, traumas and pressures; they are confronted with existing cultural models, immersed in the collective imagination, defused by humour or distorted by stereotypes.

The authors include: Agata Adamiecka, Przemysław Czapliński, Olga Drenda, Agnieszka Graff, Mikołaj Grynberg, Maciej Jakubowiak, Dariusz Kosiński, Iwona Kurz, Andrzej Leder, Jan Sowa, Aleksandra Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Karol Sienkiewicz, Kaja Puto, Maja Staśko, Stach Szabłowski, Ziemowit Szczerek and Oksana Zabuzko.

 

The Author

The Author : Karol Sienkiewicz

Biography

Karol Sienkiewicz is an art critic and art historian. He has edited several collective art books on Polish contemporary art. In particular, he is the author of Zatańczą ci co drżeli. Polska sztuka krytyczna (Those who Trembled Will Dance. Polish Critical Art, 2014). He won the Jerzy Stajuda Award for Art Criticism (2012). He is published in various cultural magazines, including Dwutygodnik.

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Switch (on Paper) and Éditions Noir sur Blanc offer you free access to three texts on art and contemporary Poland.

The texts come from the book Hourras et désarrois. Scènes d’une guerre culturelle en Pologne (Hurrahs and Turmoils. Scenes of a Cultural War in Poland) edited by Agnieszka Żuk and published on 16 May 2019 by Éditions Noir sur Blanc (Lausanne).

What is the root of the political events which are today shaking Polish society and echoing across Europe: refusal to accept migrants, the proposed memory law relating to the Shoah, the introduction of laws which affect the independence of the judiciary, or the attempt at an outright ban on IVF, to name only the most widely publicised issues? Furthermore, how does one explain the causes of the anti-European volte-face of ‘the European Union’s best student’?

The aim of this collective work is to introduce an in-depth, nuanced and intimate view of contemporary Poland through its culture, understood here as ways of thinking, feeling and acting that are specific to a given society. The events of recent years appear here within a complex network of narratives and historical omissions, traumas and pressures; they are confronted with existing cultural models, immersed in the collective imagination, defused by humour or distorted by stereotypes.

The authors include Agata Adamiecka, Przemysław Czapliński, Olga Drenda, Agnieszka Graff, Mikołaj Grynberg, Maciej Jakubowiak, Dariusz Kosiński, Iwona Kurz, Andrzej Leder, Jan Sowa, Aleksandra Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Karol Sienkiewicz, Kaja Puto, Maja Staśko, Stach Szabłowski, Ziemowit Szczerek and Oksana Zabuzko.

Agnieszka Żuk is a literary translator. She has translated Andrzej Stasiuk, Krzysztof Varga, Mariusz Wilk and Justyna Bargielska. In 2016, she edited the anthology of Polish literature Venice/Warsaw published by MEET (Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et des Traducteurs). Heavily involved in promoting Polish culture, she has helped to organise MEET international literary meetings. Former editorial consultant for the magazine Feuilleton. A lecturer in Polish, she has taught Polish language and literature at the universities of Nancy II and Paris IV-Sorbonne.

Around the text
Investigation by Karol Sienkiewicz
20 August 2020

Noah, Gays and the Rainbow, a sculpture reveals the hypocrisy surrounding LGBT rights.

Investigation by Karol Sienkiewicz

Standing at the very heart of Warsaw, Julita Wójcik’s sculpture, The Rainbow, is an inoffensive work of art designed to bring joy to passers-by and to be completely apolitical. Yet for two years following its installation in 2013 it prompted violent passions. It was burned down several times, only to be reconstructed by its defenders. The authorities’ lack of response to these acts of vandalism is indicative of the worrying situation of the LGBT community in today’s Poland.

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