curator: Dy Tagowska
Just after the war, the Loot Square was an open-air market in Wrocław. The traded commodities included items regained from German houses as an act of uncontrollable retaliation. The suspicious realm of the Loot Square, teeming with life returning to the ruined city, was a haven for con men and plunderers. It is hard to describe this place with simple words because it escapes any moral judgements. The palimpsest of the bazaar’s varied contents – a combination of chaos, dirt, and the beauty of precious objects being sold and bought among the smouldering ruins – could be perhaps expressed using a narrative full of contrasts and cracks.
I made a painting-object in which I reconcile opposites using the technique of collage composition. The picture comprises a sketch of the hustle and bustle of the Loot Square as documented in photographs. The rhythm of the teeming crowd is juxtaposed with painted fragments of objects: elements of 19th-century veneered German furniture, parts of barrel organs and pianos. I then pasted in it a photograph showing the bottom of a chair from a German office with the emblem of the Third Reich. For me, this ordinary chair that my brother found on a waste heap in Warsaw several years ago fulfils the function of an intermediary whose authenticity legitimises the story.
The title We Shall Erase the Traces of German Rule in Silesia has been taken from the Polish Film Chronicle from 1945.
> Jan Mioduszewski