The gallery is opened without time limitations for all public since 28 Dec. 2020.
Please gether in groups of maximum 5 people. Groups should keep 3-5 meters distance one from another.
Organized by Komuna Warszawa
The exhibition is held under the Honorary Patronage of the President of Warsaw.
Online gallery of “2020” series is HERE.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:
The Year 2020. We are in a period of time when transformation is taking place on many levels – social, climate, political, economic and personal. No community or individual can remain indifferent to these processes. The exhibition “2020” by Beata Konarska presents -in a public space- in the form of a “pandemic gallery”, a series of paintings created in the time frame from the beginning of lockdown to the end of 2020, summarizing this vital chapter in the history of mankind. It is a personal, unique description of reality during the pandemic.
This year, both the topography of personal space – hastily organized online workplaces- and the topography of imponderables – have changed radically, the map of values and principles often hard for our consciousness to accept. Above all, however, every aspect of life has become more modestly distanced, limited, minimalistic. This process also affected the artist.
The painter started the series in February, during the strictest lockdown period, locked in the small space that her makeshift home studio allowed. She decided to depart from the large format of paintings, which accompanied her for the past 20 years of creativity (200x120cm) and painted the first of the series “Social distancing” in a format almost half the size (146x92cm). She decided to continue the series in a scaled down format that allowed her to work from home.
The way the exhibition is displayed is also a result of limitations. Closed art galleries make it impossible to show the paintings in the traditional form. The artist came up with the concept of presenting the exhibition in public space, which would nevertheless enable safe and unlimited access to it. This form of presenting her work is not new to her – since 2011 she has been implementing the “Painting Exhibition”, a project in which each painted picture is reproduced – the so-called “Wlakatu” (play on words poster and sticker) is presented in the convention of urban art in public space.
The exhibition “2020” is a question of where we are going as a civilization and what world we will leave behind for future generations. The pandemic has exposed the governments’, corporations’, mass producers’ and the media’s systemic manipulations. It has shown how easy it is to control whole communities using the fear mechanism, the power of fake news and power deriving from violence.
On the other hand, in the era of manipulation and falsification of reality, the truth of rotten, morally corrupt institutions is revealed. Sleeping demons emerge from beneath the Vatican’s heavy carpets. However, this does not arouse moral reflection in right-wing audiences, especially where they hold power – they abuse it against sexual minorities, women, and their political opponents. Democracy is smashed with the shoe of a policeman who thoughtlessly fulfills the orders of his superiors, and the totalitarian systems’ masks of appearances fall – opponents are thrown into prisons without being officially sentenced, or killed in the streets.
All of this is happening right in front of increasingly polarized societies. During this time, catastrophic climate change is making itself more and more noticeable. Fires in Austarlia, the Amazon and California are more frequent and intense. It’s not only in the Antarctic that glaciers are melting, there is also the Siberian permafrost, which leads to the destruction of industrial installations -for instance in Norilsk- and environmental contamination on an unprecedented scale.
However, the Lockdown also gave us -paradoxically -a glimpse into a future devoid of abuses of nature. Factories getting shut down, flights banned, the lack of car traffic at the beginning of the year- all these things brought us unexpected results – the Himalayas were visible from India for the first time in 30 years, and the clean water in the canals of Venice allowed jellyfish – water gauges of cleanliness to inhabit them.
The pandemic changed our understanding of the world so far. It has reevaluated priorities. We begin to reflect on what is really important in life. Will we learn from this lesson as a species? Can we change our lifestyle permanently, giving up the comfort of not having to think about the consequences of excessive, thoughtless, junk consumption? Will the largest corporations, polluters of our planet, become responsible for its future?
Social distancing, online everyday life, isolation, the fear for our lives in the present, and the fear of what is to come in the future, helplessness, loneliness. We learn to function in this reality with the hope that normality has to come back. But will it come back? And what will this new normalcy be?