curatorial project: „Quarantena”
curator: Magdalena Zięba
The ArtBrut gallery and the Social Inclusion Studio has been run in Wrocław by the World of Hope Association since 2009. Among its tasks is presentation and promotion of art created by mentally ill or disabled people, their social inclusion and searching for new forms of support for disabled artists. The gallery has carried out a series of exhibitions, creative workshops, meetings with artists and other actions promoting social inclusion. More than 30 individual and collective exhibitions have been held in order to present and promote art brut and outsider art, resulting in the creation of a collection of works and full documentation of actions. In 2013, the ArtBrut gallery received Gazeta Wyborcza’s WARTO award in the visual arts category; before that, the gallery had been twice nominated for this award. The projects of the ArtBrut gallery and the Social Inclusion Studio are part of the Wrocław 2016 European Capital of Culture programme.
The artists who cooperate with the ArtBrut gallery are well accustomed to pharmaceuticals, which regulate their functioning in the society and make it possible to follow the norms in place. For this reason, their presence at this year’s SURVIVAL was hugely important. They have enormous artistic sensitivity and they all follow their own ways, but in the artistic discourse they are not perceived as artists. Their works are treated as a by-product of illness and not as a real (and important) reaction to the world around us. Their point of view of the reality and of themselves is alien to us, just like the reality of hospital and illness is alien to healthy people. Perhaps presenting the artworks in a place that was so tightly connected with human diseases could result in adding a new dimension to them.
Jacek Zachodny: “In the context of working with people who are not fully abled, a certain irregularity must be emphasised, which stems from the unpredictable changes in their health. We have treated the preparations to participate in SURVIVAL as a process that had its starting point – the subject or issue, and its culmination – the participation in the exhibition. For the two months that preceded the Review, we conducted a number of documented meetings and joint actions in order to give form to what we want to say. I think that the main threads of SURVIVAL – the inflammatory state, sickness and healing – are very tightly connected with the feelings and everyday experiences of disabled people. Undoubtedly, this subject is closely interwoven with first-hand life experience of the artists who cooperate with the ArtBrut gallery, and as such it has the potential of providing an interesting stimulus to all those who participated in the action. As artists, we would like to refer to the issue of corporeality and our attitude to it, to the necessary and constant pharmacological support that ensures their functioning in socalled real reality. We would also like to make a statement about illness and dysfunction as a permanent state, a state of constantly living in a different reality.”
> Magdalena Zięba
photo: Justyna Fedec