21.04 – 06.06. 2012
Genre Scenes 2012 / Jakub Ciężki / Tomasz Kulka

A couple of weeks prior to the opening game of Euro 2012, a news came out that Polish authorities reached out for the data on phone connections made by its citizens most often out of all European Union member countries. The commitment to host such a big sporting event was meant to contribute to a civilization leap and prove that we are able to keep up the pace with other European nations. This promised leap had been accompanied by another type of progress, the one that made up new barriers in the society’s development, confines freedom of an individual and marginalizes other groups. Looking at protests against ACTA or the debate on the situation of the theater in Poland, one maybe concluded that the long-awaited EURO occurred a year too late, since we had already noticed how huge debt we incurred, not only in terms of finance, yet in terms of negligence in the areas not related to the concrete and asphalt.

Genre scenes  2012 was an exhibition that, through the reflection of the great events to come, endeavored to demonstrate troubles, that appeared off the main path, when the public attention was focusing on the question: will we manage to do it on time? Brutalization of relationships, the arrogance of the government, growing alienation of individuals and entire social groups were screened with the enormous advertising panel and the grass painted green turns into a large parking lot.   

Tomasz Kulka (born in 1979) had recently presented during the Harvest Festival (Dożynki) exhibition held in the Center of the Polish Sculpture in Orońsk several dozens of statuettes made of pained porcelain teeming in the brutal street brawl. This time Kulka expanded this scene considerably, adding up other characters, situations, in the strive for total escalation of the miniature violence. In spite of absolute anonymity of this crowd immersed in the utter chaos, each participant was different and none of the gestures or moments repeat. In the background of the masterpiece, there were porcelain-made examples of the architecture forsaken by the civilization opportunity: graffiti-covered garages, a demolished news-stand, a damaged bus stop, all reproduced in tiny details. 

Jakub Ciężki (born in 1979)  - a prizewinner of the Bielska Fall 2011. His painting Scaffolding, realistic, however having some features of the geometric abstraction, was given the main prize in the contest. Scaffolding, being a continuation of the earlier concept the artist developed in the series of monochromatic canvas revealing industrial fencings.  A fence of bars abstracted from the reality and placed against the white background seemed to be a dreamlike composition of lines, rhythms. Nevertheless, metal fences could be clearly identified. The set of images was becoming an obvious allegory of stadium barriers, another layer of supervision and control that pile up dynamically.   The spectator of Genre scenes 2012 was like a Gulliver trapped in the country of Lilliput, watching a cruel, merciless and absolutely pointless battle, which was, however, stimulated by our everyday life.