press release

The Polish Institute in Rome and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw are proud to present the exhibition I SEE THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE, curated by Sebastian Cichocki and Ana Janevski (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw).

With the help of institutional structures such as museums we learn to remember and establish historical canons whereas we, ourselves, perfect the art of oblivion. The objects, as well as their accompanying narratives, find a place within or beyond the historical context and are mixed with the help of defensive displays, rotation between showroom and warehouse, and the strength of involvement in mechanisms of legitimization of power and prestige. The exhibition I SEE THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE is a short story of museums and their compulsive and capricious need to collect objects - a feature that distinguishes these institutions as building tools for writing and drawing not only on art history, but history in general.

The works in this show refer to the process of distortion in the most prevalent historical narratives of today and the methods of reporting individual biographies. The artists, who are conscious of the strategies adopted in museums, manipulate language and memory. In doing so, they anticipate how and what should be remembered, either in the case of the obligatory rhetoric of the "chosen people" (Uklanski) or using private mythologies (Bakowski, whose work - considered a monument dedicated to a conversation between artist and friend - lends the title to the entire show).

The exhibition mainly consists of works from the Museum’s collection. Established in 2005, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is one of the youngest art institutions in Europe. In the short time since its opening it has already developed a comprehensive exhibition program although it does not yet have a permanent structure. The Museum, among other activities, contributes to the production of new works which refer to its local environment. It also sustains works which underline political and social transformations taking part in the rewriting of recent art history in which forgotten or misunderstood artists from Central and Eastern Europe find a place within the canons of international art history.

The opening of the exhibition I SEE THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE at the Polish Institute in Rome offers visitors a taste of high-level institutional strategies and, not surprisingly, it coincides with the opening in Rome of MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts. At the same time this show is an "addendum" to the international debate on the future and mission of public museums.

With I SEE THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE, the Polish Institute in Rome joins Academies' Feast, promoted by ROME - The Road to Contemporary Art and realised in collaboration with foreign academies and cultural institutes in Rome. Collective opening: Tuesday 25 May, 6 pm to 9 pm. A bus service will connect all the venues involved in the initiative.

Works in the exhibition: Wojciech Bakowski, I See Things That Are Not There, 2009 Tania Bruguera, Consummated Revolution, 2008-2009 (photographic documentation: Jan Smaga) Oskar Dawicki, Quotation Snowman, 2005 Aneta Grzeszykowska, Album, 2004 Sanja Ivekovic, Solidarnosc Without Women, 2009 Deimantas Narkevicius, Into the Unknown, 2009, duration 19’45” Agnieszka Polska, My Favourite Things, 2010, duration 6'02” Katerina Seda, There Is Nothing Out There, 2003 Piotr Uklanski, Untitled (Ioannes Paulus PP.II Karol Wojtyla), 2004

The exhibition is curated by Sebastian Cichocki and Ana Janevski, Curators, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Production: Katarzyna Karwanska

only in german

Kuratoren: Sebastian Cichocki , Ana Janevski

Künstler: Wojtek Bakowski, Tania Bruguera, Oskar Dawicki, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Sanja Ivekovic, Deimantas Narkevicius, Agnieszka Polska, Katerina Seda, Piotr Uklanski