Lawn Sale

Artists Alicja Patanowska
Genre Action
Edition Survival 10

The installation under the title Lawn Sale referred directly to the history of the stadium, which used to be the ‘Niskie Łąki’ bazaar for many decades. Just like the well-known 10th Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw, ‘Oławka’ in Wrocław, although incomparably smaller in scale, used to be a bustling market which offered a wealth of commodities and services. An unordered structure of trading sectors together with stalls arranged in an arbitrary way built a familiar atmosphere which facilitated hours-long search for items one not always needed. The picturesque landscape was complemented by illegal stalls put up by the poorest inhabitants of Wrocław at the edges of the market. These ‘lawn sales’, consisting of items of unknown origin which might have as well been found in garbage containers, usually offered worthless second-hand ornaments, clothes, books etc. Sometimes, however, a set of absurd products, which everybody gave a wide berth, revealed unquestionable gems to all kinds of collectors and gatherers.

Alicja Patanowska’s Lawn Sale was based on a sentiment for a model of trading which is far removed from all modern solutions. Her isolated post, arranged in the spirit of market aesthetic, was the first visible attraction for the visitors to SURVIVAL. The items offered ‘for sale’, which came from the artist’s private collection and held her personal memories, had labels saying how many percent of emotions, memories and reflections they carried. Each item, to the visitors’ surprise, was given away for free, but one person could ‘buy’ only one object. In that way, a transaction that benefited both sides took place: the buyer acquired an item, the seller – free space.

> Anna Kołodziejczyk

photo: Peter Kreibich (1, 2, 4, 5), Justyna Fedec (3)