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Universal by ZOR: Alicja Lukasiak & Grzegorz Drzod

Supported by
The Capital City of Warsaw (Poland)
Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland)

December 16, 2010, 7PM – 10PM @ Nospace Gallery

ZOR: Alicja Lukasiak & Grzegorz Drzod

Changing of Traffic Movement (ZOR) is not the type of gallery which the traditional art environment has accustomed us to. Neither is it an institution which reacts to artistic and political disputes and trends. It is not just a space and it is not managed by art councilors. Its form and shape is determined on the artists, critics and curators as well as people of various professions who enjoy art out of their own free will and who participate in the activities of ZOR in order to make changes.
ZOR was established by two people: Alicja Lukasiak and Grzegorz Drzod.
Taking into account the fact that both Her and Him are artists, it can be said that by opening up to group activities they want to directly influence the potential of the environment in which they happen to appear.This is therefore, an attempt to create an active space, an area which is conducive to creating art on all planes.
Since mid 2003 ZOR has been operating at Smolna Street in Warsaw. Apart from holding regular weekly presentations on 13 December that year ZOR initiated the Marshal Low Project which was a group demonstration against censorship in art. In the spring of 2004, as the guest of Laboratory Contemporary Art Center in Warsaw, ZOR was presented a mini festival of new generation of artist. All the projects, including the weekly as well the larger ones, are organised in compliance with the ''changed formula'' principle. Although the ZOR artists seem to stimulate each other they work on their own projects and invite others to cooperate with them.

Universal by ZOR: Alicja Lukasiak & Grzegorz Drzod

“Grzegorz Drozd's artistic strategy is characteristic for juxtapositions of remote worlds, playing with conventions and producing situations too complex too describe. The project Universal features the use of art as a tool that the artist manipulates in order to unveil a new dimension of reality behind various tensions and contrasts. Following the chain of events, we finally get to the moment of the confrontation of avant-garde artists with everyday life of the Dudziarska housing estate inhabitants. The multi-layered story behind it makes us explore further, even more involving levels of the event occuring on the outskirts of Warsaw. Somewhere between an incineration plant and a railway track, 'in Poland, that is nowhere'. The act of repetition of simple geometrical forms on the walls of small blocks of flats with broken glass window panes may be perceived as a perverse test of avant-garde. Mondrians and Malewiczs, on one hand, dominate concrete surfaces; on the other hand, seem completely defenceless. Deprived of the history of European painting, museums with their musty atmosphere, the murals sting the eyes of the viewers like naked, tragicomic giants left at the mercy of local people and their comments. Thus, I ask myself the question, what is the point of reproducing colour and solid figure sequences from the beginning of the 20th century? What is the sense of repainting these large-scale compositions if no one will appreciate them in any sense? What is the point of exposing high art to risky confrontations and ridicule?” (Excerpt from the text Rudoweglowiec Ibuprom by Piotr Sikora, 2010).

The 1917 Revolution rejected everything that had the bourgeois flavour, or could be associated with the need to create a new art for a new society. The success of Revolution resulted in the victory of constructivism which aimed at the organization of man's life with the use of simple and functional forms. From that time on art values most what is functional, simple and rationalism-based. “The painting which used to be an icon to a bourgeois has died. The artist changed from a reproducer to a designer of the new world of objects.”
1918, the Netherlands. A couple of artists, members of a newly established group, announced a manifesto starting with words: “There is old and new awareness of time. The old one aims at the individual, while the new one at the universal. Their goal was to attain pure abstraction, i.e. total rejection of sensual reception of reality. Freedom from the limitations of individualism and randomness became the way to reach the absolute truth. Piet Mondrian wrote: “If modern people have not attained the ultimate goal, i.e. order and harmony, it means that the reason for it is man's individualism and uncontrollable subjectivism that introduces anxiety and tragedy in human existence.”
1993, Warsaw. Local self-governments came to an agreement in the matter of the construction of a housing estate at Dudziarska Street designed for socially unadapted families. In order not to establish a ghetto, the town hall came up with the idea to settle 30 percent of policemen families over there. The plan yet did not come out, and in 1995 the housing estate was settled by social misfits. In newly built flats there was no access to hot water or central heating. The blocks of flats constituted the only infrastructure. Three four-storey buildings with 216 flats altogether, were located near the incineration plant, in the close neighbourhood of numerous railway tracks cutting off effectively the Dudziarska inhabitants from the city, in the area surrounded by electricity pylons.
The nearest population is the prison for women surrounded by a high wall with barbed wire. The inhabitants of the new housing estate, detached from social relations and made to cover the distance of about 2.5 km to get to the nearest buildings, keep choosing the short-cut way across the railway tracks, which often ends up in a tragedy.
In 2010 ZOR begins work at the Dudziarska housing estate. His objective is to make the recipients think over and discuss the question of social exclusion. The artists believes that through art he will be able to focus the society's attention on the problem of the Dudziarska housing estate community. At the same time, he tries to analyse the ideas of modernism and contemporary visions of the construction of social order.

Thanks to the financial support of the Capital City of Warsaw, Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

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