Open Museum 2014
Educiational Program

The Open Museum is a programme of lectures, workshops, meetings and screenings organized by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

The sixth edition of the Open Museum enters into a dialogue with the latest instalment of the exhibition of the collection held by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. “In the Near Future” is a presentation of works by 48 artists, deeply rooted in the surrounding reality, who are trying to understand, interpret and change that reality. The common basis of all the works exhibited is the change in culture brought in by emancipation equality discourses slackening the traditional limits and hierarchies including, in particular, the notion of sex, family, religion, nation, race and public sphere.

The local context of this selection is the dispute on gender ideology, which keeps returning like a boomerang to the Polish political debate. Why “boomerang”? Treated more as a weapon in political fights than as a proper subject, oversimplified, constantly intercepted by various actors of the Polish public scene, the dispute does not tally the substance of the issue and does not gets to the crux of the matter. Such stubborn comebacks to the point of departure, paraphrasing instead of understanding or mystification instead of discussion, make no room for a matter-of-fact discussion, but cut off the route of any factual social exchange instead. In this way, the dispute has become the most obvious sign that the lesson on equality has been left undone since the transformations in 1989.

The exhibition entitled: “In the Near Future”, as well as the programme of meetings that accompany the exhibition, constitute an attempt to build a broad context (historical, social and cultural) for the key questions about the manners and forms of individual and social empowerment. The artists whose works are presented and their guests will at various levels discuss the issues of sex, race and class, on the intersections of which social structures and barriers are set up.

The Open Museum programme derives inspiration from Oskar Hansen's theory of the Open Form, where emphasis is placed on the collaborative learning process supplanting the traditional hierarchical process of imparting knowledge. The pillars of this approach are: negation of specialists’ primacy, continuous endeavour to translate knowledge into universally understandable categories. We are not afraid to enter, as "public amateurs", into the hermetic “black boxes” of specialist knowledge. We disarm the boxes on behalf of our audiences. The process of creating a common dictionary for professionals in different fields and the cooperation between them are of equal importance. The Open Museum stands for open access to knowledge.