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Program details

Michał Bieniek

8 Maj – 22 October 2015

 “Dispossession” is an exhibition associated with Venice Biennale that touches on the issue of people ousted from their homes, during World War II, as well as present day conflicts and migrations.  The artworks which have been created especially for this exhibition by artists from Germany and Ukraine, have integrated into the realm of Renaissance palazzo.

 Each conveys a story about people who have lost their homes and searched relentlessly for a safe harbor. Having questioned their own identity, detachment, existence, compulsion, peace or conflict, they portrayed a multi-layer story that ties our past and presence. 
The notion of dispossession not only means the ousting from homes and loss of belongings, but also a euphemism of some sort of exorcism and the casting out of our own demons. Although Wroclaw’s resettlement history creates the ground for the project, however the exhibition goes far beyond that notion and ties historical and present narrations, creating a multi-layer story.   In the presented work, the experiences of individuals have been tied with the history of entire nations.
The contemporary issue of the compulsory resettlements in Europe is often emphasized at the exhibition and displayed in distinct optics and narration. These various perspectives of the story seem to intersperse and tie the illusive differences through this particular experience. One of the common threads that weaves throughout the story is detachment. The following is one perception of Europe as a law-abiding asylum for refuges flying from war and hunger, which is distinctive from the perceived conception of Europe, viewed as a fortress.
The other side of being ousted is coming to a new place.  Nonetheless, there is question about a new home, which is only illusory linked to the one that is gone forever. This is a matter of belonging, about the possibility to adapt to new territory and participate in creation of an unknown place. In the midst of various, interspersed tales displayed at the exhibition, home appears to be a phantasm, which at one point seems to be real and concrete to only just to dissolve into an abyss , leaving an inexplicable sense of loss .

Palazzo Dona Brusa, Venice
Organizer: Europejska Stolica Kultury Wrocław 2016

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