In the Heart of the Country
The Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

In the Heart of the Country, The Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

The exhibition "In the Heart of the Country" is the first comprehensive presentation of the international collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

In a relatively short time—the Museum was established in 2005—the institution has acquired over 300 works. First and foremost, these are works purchased as part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s "International Collections of Contemporary Art" programme, as well as donations and temporary loans from artists, private individuals and businesses. Many of the collected works were commissioned by the Museum for its exhibitions and public projects (such as pieces by artists like Sanja Iveković, Zbigniew Libera, Sharon Hayes and Paweł Althamer). The Museum collection also includes artistic archives—e.g. over 150 000 negatives from the eminent photographer Eustachy Kossakowski, plus a collection of films and photographs documenting the activities of Prof. Grzegorz Kowalski’s workshop at Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, which was so vital for Polish art after 1989. There is also a collection of several hundred films by artists, available online in the Museum’s Filmoteka.

"In the Heart of the Country" is the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw’s largest exhibition project to date. It reflects the full scale and scope of the Museum institution’s venture. Smaller elements of the collection were previously on show at the institution’s temporary headquarters, a residential building at No.3 Pańska Street ("Art Comes Before Gold" and "3xYES"), the Presidential Palace in Warsaw ("Today’s Art Makes Tomorrow’s Poland") and exhibitions abroad: the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin ("Early Years"), the Polish Institute in Rome ("Vede Cose Che Non Ci Sono"), and Moscow’s Belye Palaty ("Auditorium Moscow"). Individual works in the collection have been on loan to many prestigious museums and galleries in Poland and abroad. For example, Mirosław Bałka’s sculpture Black Pope and Black Sheep will feature in the main exhibition at this year’s Venice Art Biennale.

"In the Heart of the Country" presents over 150 exhibits from the Museum collection. They cover several intersecting themes, such as the globalisation of art history; links between cities and contemporary art; emancipatory narratives in art; questions of memory and history; language and the ethics of modernity; socially engaged artists; and a topic rarely broached by contemporary art exhibitions: manifestations of spirituality. The exhibition’s title derives from John M. Coetzee’s hallucinatory novel, in which “the heart of the country” is a hole, a void, an insatiable phantasm of physical fulfilment and maturation (of the identity, body and community spirit). In the context of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the title relates to the institution’s planned location—Plac Defilad (Parade Square), an inhospitable “gap” in the centre of the capital—as well as to a yearning for modernisation, which often turns artists and art institutions into moral hostages.

"In the Heart of the Country" is merely a foretaste of the full collection, which will be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art’s future building. It is an attempt to respond to the Polish art world’s enduring calls to create a global art collection that would both define and exhibit crucial attitudes and trends in Polish art. The collection examines ties between art, cities, politics and history, in the search for visions of the future and new interpretations of the past. The collection focuses on the roots of modernity, as well as the approaches of charismatic 20th century artists like Alina Szapocznikow and Andrzej Wróblewski, who are still an inspiration to contemporary art practitioners and theoreticians.

Nowadays, Polish artists are represented at the most important world artistic events (e.g. dOCUMENTA in Kassel, the Venice Art Biennale, and the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art), but they are losing their once-privileged position (by now, in the early 21st century, Western European institutions and art critics have already filled in the gaps in their knowledge about the avant-garde in former Eastern Bloc countries). "In the Heart of the Country" shows Polish art as an integral element in the global circulation of art. Never before have works by non-Western artists—including from Egypt, Mexico, Israel and Libya—been so prominent in a Polish modern art collection. Polish artists bring up relevant social, political and ethical issues, while maintaining their local specificity and often referring to “Polish” themes. “In the Heart of the Country” also attempts to shed new light on the Polish experience of political and economic transition (as well as its moral, ethical and social repercussions), and describe the artistic phenomena which accompanied change in Central and Eastern Europe during the second half of the 20th century.

Universal history has also been recorded and enshrined in canonical art-works from that era, so the Museum collection is founded on the relation between modernity and artistic output today. What do works of art tell us about the world outside, beyond the autonomous zone of the Museum? What responsibilities and tasks do artists have towards society? What is the relationship between modern-day audiences and the art-works in the Museum? And how long does modernity last before it turns into history?

In parallel, the "In the Heart of the Country" exhibition will be supplemented by an interdisciplinary programme of performances, lectures, symposia, film screenings and workshops. New contexts and interpretations of the Museum’s collected works will emerge during meetings involving experts from various fields of art, with active participation from the audiences.

Artists:

Paweł Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Mirosław Bałka, Yael Bartana, Wojciech Bąkowski, Miron Białoszewski, Cezary Bodzianowski, Geta Brătescu, Ivan Brazhkin, Wojciech Bruszewski, Michał Budny, Rafał Bujnowski, Duncan Campbell, Olga Chernysheva, Anne Collier, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Julia Dault, Oskar Dawicki, Nathalie Djurberg, Jimmie Durham, Bracha L. Ettinger, Ruth Ewan, Omer Fast, Yona Friedman, Ion Grigorescu, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Wiktor Gutt and Waldemar Raniszewski, Sharon Hayes, Jonathan Horowitz, Sanja Iveković, Ken Jacobs, Zhanna Kadyrova, Polina Kanis, Leszek Knaflewski, Daniel Knorr, Prof. Grzegorz Kowalski’s Workshop Archive, Wojciech Krukowski and Akademia Ruchu, Paweł Kwiek, KwieKulik, Zbigniew Libera, Klara Lidén, Sarah Lucas, Goshka Macuga, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Melis, Gustav Metzger, Aernout Mik, Teresa Murak, Laurel Nakadate, Deimantas Narkevičius, Krzysztof Niemczyk, Paulina Ołowska, Ewa Partum, Dan Perjovschi, Pratchaya Phinthong, Marek Piasecki, Seth Price, R.H. Quaytman, Joanna Rajkowska, Mykola Ridnyi, Józef Robakowski, Bianka Rolando, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jadwiga Sawicka, Jacek Sempoliński, Wael Shawky, Ahlam Shibli, Slavs and Tatars, Jack Smith, Roman Stańczak, Frances Stark, Jan Styczyński, Alina Szapocznikow, David Ter-Oganyan, Teresa Tyszkiewicz, Piotr Uklański, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Helena Włodarczyk, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Andrzej Wróblewski, Akram Zaatari, Stanisław Zamecznik, Anna Zaradny

This exhibition is under the patronage of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski.

See also:

Archive Events connected with the exhibition:

19:00 Vernissage In the Heart of the CountryExhibition Opening Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 Festival The European Night of Museums 2013In cycle „In the Heart of the Country” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Project PragaA meeting with authors of the exhibition space “In the Heart of the Country”
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursJoanna Mytkowska
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Slavs and TatarsFriendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided Toursby Marcel Andino Velez
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Roman Kurkiewicz talks with Lech NijakowskiThe Delight of Revenge, the Image of Manslaughter, the Feast of War
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Autoconstrucciónby Abraham Cruzvillegas
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:30 Concert NIWEACan Wojtek go out now? No he can’t. He’s not here
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Wolf Knifeby Laurel Nakadate
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
16:00 Guided tour CANCELLED: Guided tour by Zofia KulikIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Cabaret Crusadesby Wael Shawky
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
16:00 Guided tour Guided tour by Joanna RajkowskaIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Max Cegielski talks with Marcin Ogdowski Polish soldiers in Afghanistan: heroes or mercenaries?
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Alexanderby Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
16:00 Guided tour Guided tour by Leszek KnaflewskiIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursIn cycle „Sunday guided tours” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Roman Kurkiewicz talks with Marta DzidoInvisible women of the Solidarity movement
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Restricted Sensationby Deimantas Narkevicius
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Katarzyna Witt
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Sylwia Chutnik talks with Bianka RolandoIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Sarah Lucas: Two Melons and a Stinking Fishby Vanessa Engle
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
13:45 For children Distance to ArtWorkshops for children aged 4 to 10
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Sebastian Chichocki
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursOprowadza Bogna Olszewska
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Max Cegielski talks with Błażej BrzostekIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Łukasz Ronduda
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Katarzyna Witt
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Sylwia Chutnik talks with Karolina SulejSnippets of Culture
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
21:00 Concert La StampaIn cycle „Summer collection 2013” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Film Letter to a Refusing PilotDirected by Akram Zaatari
In cycle „Summer collection 2013”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Katarzyna Witt
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Szymon Maliborski
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting The demons of history, or the triviality of oblivionRoman Kurkiewicz talks with Fr. Wojciech Lemański and Adam Lipszyc
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Arletta Wojtala
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Sunday Guided ToursGuiding by Joanna Mytkowska
In cycle „Sunday guided tours”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 SALOON: There is no country in our heartsGeorgia Sagri Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 Performance SALOON: There is no country in our heartsGeorgia Sagri Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 Performance SALOON: There is no country in our heartsGeorgia Sagri Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 Performance SALOON: There is no country in our heartsGeorgia Sagri Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Performance In the Heart of the Country: Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure)Trajal Harrell
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
17:00 Performance A Revolutionary Advent CalendarRuth Ewan
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Guided tour in EnglishIn cycle „Guided tours in English” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Guided tour in EnglishIn cycle „Guided tours in English” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Guided tour in EnglishIn cycle „Guided tours in English” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Guided tour in EnglishIn cycle „Guided tours in English” Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
19:00 Finissage AlphabetPerformance by Paulina Ołowska
In cycle „In the Heart of the Country”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided Tour „In the near future” exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided Tour „As You Can See” exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided Tour „As You Can See” exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided Tour „In the near future” exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided Tour „As You Can See” exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided TourThrough „In The Near Future” Exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Event Saturday Guided TourThrough „As You Can See” Exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided TourThrough „In the Near Future” Exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided TourThrough „As You Can See” Exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Saturday Guided TourThrough „In the Near Future” Exhibition
In cycle „Guided tours in English”
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw