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Kamila Szejnoch / The Collection

The essence of ‘The Collection’ project was to enable the process of communication and exchange between the Ethnographic Museum in Wrocław and the residents of

the neighbourhood. The first stage of this process was creating an exhibition at the museum, which would display various physical objects borrowed from the residents of the neighbourhood as well as owners of local pharmacies, pastry shops and florists. The collection presented a selection of archives, memorabilia, family photographs, as well as results of other creative interests — all collected intentionally or per chance.


The centrepiece of the exhibition were colouring casts for gingerbread molds made during a workshop with local children. However, one could also find rarities such as a modern silicone mould in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head, a wedding bread or casseroles used for baking Christmas rams and hares that have been long kept in the family. Tradition and modernity juxtaposed against one another in the exhibits brought in by the ‘Pod Słońcem’ pharmacy where curiosities such as printed advertising from the early XX century, discovered during the clean-up after the 1997 flood, and even

a collection of embarrassing orders could be found. Paintings, quilts and photos made by the residents themselves, could also be seen in their natural context during a separate slide show at the museum. The second stage, and at the same time a different direction for the project, was transferring some figural motifs from the museum's collection of gingerbread moulds to the walls adjacent to the backyard. A gallery of resized graphics, inspired by the traditional gingerbread moulds, was

a form of commentary on sometimes vulgarized modern-time forms of inscriptions and graffiti. It is worth mentioning that the artistry of carved wooden baking forms depicts the traditional importance of this craft in historical Lower Silesia. Traditionally gingerbreads served as a gift for communicating specific content, where the majority of shapes were of symbolic significance. ‘The Collection’ is an attempt at a cultural exchange between the Ethnographic Museum and its surroundings. It is also an invitation to approach contemporary objects as if they were living ethnography, while still being a fun attempt at exploring the culture of the past and the present.

°° Kamila Szejnoch i Krzysztof Żwirblis

Place: Backyard between streets: Zgodna, Zgoda place



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