Placed in a pharmaceutical glass cabinet, Gabukow’s work titled First Aid Kit: City. DIY – Demonstration consisted of a set of items that come in handy when organising a street protest. A designer box contained materials indispensable for staging a protest by fifteen people: canvases to make banners, flagpoles, cotton handkerchiefs to cover the face, templates, spray paints, notebooks, and a set of necessary documents. Gabukow emphasised that peaceful demonstrations, guaranteed by law in Poland’s constitution, ought to be a natural reaction of the society to a ‘disease.’ She also considered the possibility of launching the set for sale, thus approving of commercialization of the protest tools. This well-designed and pretty set evoked associations with fashionable – and sometimes unnecessary – designer gadgets rather than with grassroots makeshift protests, which are often characterised by DIY aesthetics. In this work, convenience and consumerism were tightly connected with the aestheticization of politics. The set was already used by the visitors on the opening night, right in the room where it was displayed.
> Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz
photo: Peter Kreibich