Filmoteka Muzeum

A Dream of Warsaw is a documentation of the preparations to the last exhibition of Oskar Hansen’s works held in February 2005 at the Foksal Gallery Foundation. Hansen concentrated here on the problem of visual domination of the Palace of Culture and Science over Warsaw’s cityscape.

In the view of the theory laid out by Hansen in 1959, the Palace of Culture stood as an embodiment of Closed Form: space that is ideologically unambiguous and leaves no room for the interpretations and interventions by its users. Hansen suggested contrasting the shape of the building with a different one, which would borrow to a larger extent from the notions of Open Form.

What he meant was a tall TV tower, whose model he displayed on a tree outside the gallery windows. Thus, he created the panorama of Warsaw “of his dreams”, which struck as particularly real after dark, with lift lights moving up and down the model of the tower.

The preparations were conducted by, among others, Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski, graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw’s studio of Grzegorz Kowalski – workshop renowned for actively following Hansen’s theory and practice. Unfortunately, ailing Hansen did not live until the end of the editing works, and the final version of the film features film recordings from his funeral, which has given the entire work a new meaning of a film requiem.

References: G. Kowalski, Dwie ostatnie wystawy Oskara Hansena, in: Wobec Formy Otwartej Oskara Hansena. Idea-utopia-reinterpretacja, M. Lachowski, M. Linkowska, Z. Sobczuk (eds.), Lublin 2009.


Year: 2005
Duration: 18'15''
Language: Polish (english subtitles)
Source: BETA SP

© Artur Żmijewski, by courtesy of Foksal Gallery Foundation

Acquisition date: Oct 27, 2011
Acquisition: deposit
Ownership form: deposit