Farmhands in Factories and Boas in Brasseries

Farmhands in Factories and Boas in Brasseries

“Farmhands in Factories and Boas in Brasseries” (the title is a line from Agnieszka Osiecka's song “Niech żyje bal”) examines the worker-farmer class that emerged in the People's Republic of Poland in the wake of the land reform enacted in 1944.

The communist authorities intended these “new citizens” to become the leading stratum of society and devoted considerable attention to their development, pursuing a policy of “grassroots work” that brought electricity and education to the villages. Collectivization was never fully carried out, however, and the private ownership of land and attachment to traditional values in rural areas became a key feature of the “Polish road to communism.”

The exhibition contains seventy objects arranged according to three non-chronological visual typologies. The first of these presents the moral and civilizational values promoted by soft propaganda, exemplified here by Nowa Wieś (“New Village”) – an illustrated magazine targeted at progressive youth living in small communities. The second – Władysław Hasior's “Photographic Notebooks,” published in Nowa Wieś in the 1980s – is a visual atlas tracing the way folk culture changed under the influence of the mass media. In the third, spontaneous bestiaries created by amateur artists, either inspired by genuine culture shock (Józef Piłat) or encouraged by official policy (Stanisław Marcisz), have been placed alongside state-commissioned folk art produced by professional artists, cooperatives, and artisans.

In each of these narratives, realistic calls for modernization and progress coincide with an often sentimental romanticism relating to a world that has since disappeared. The exhibition looks at areas of often unrealized violence, and the way these were creatively worked through in art.

 

 


 

Curator

Ewa Tatar

Graphic design

Paweł Olszczyński

Conservation

Ula Kusz

Realisation team

Jakub Antosz, Szymon Ignatowicz, Marek Franczak, Paweł
Sobczak, Marcin Szubiak

Volounteers

Marta Krypska, Marta Przasnek, Karolina Szyma

Special thanks to:

Ewa i Leszek Macakowie (Galerie d'Art Naif w Krakowie); Alicja Mironiuk-Nikolska, Małgorzata Kunecka (Państwowe Muzeum Etnograficzne w Warszawie); Anna Latos-Paryska, Tomasz Kosiński (Muzeum Narodowe w Kielcach); Anna Sobczak (Muzeum w Łęczycy); prof. Marian Pokropek (Muzeum Sztuki Ludowej w Otrębusach); Milena Zacharzewska (Nowa Wieś Europejska); Karolina Sikora, Mariusz Kwiatkowski (Muzeum Historii Polskiego Ruchu Ludowego); Hanna Ignatowicz, dr Hanka Wawruch, Michał Senger (Muzeum Narodowe Rolnictwa i Przemysłu Rolno-Spożywczego w Szreniawie); Grzegorz Graff (Muzeum Etnograficzne w Krakowie); Julita Dembowska, Andrzej Smandek, Anna Surmiak-Wende (Muzeum Tatrzańskie w Zakopanem); Marcin Gawliński (Muzeum Zabawek i Zabawy w Kielcach); Muzeum Plakatu w Wilanowie, Oddział Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie; Małgorzata Schaeffer, Anna Batko, dr hab. Iwona Kurz, dr Błażej Brzostek, dr Magdalena Sztandara, dr Ewa Toniak, dr Katarzyna Czeczot, Michał Pospiszyl, Tomasz Kowalski, Artur Zapałowski, Anna Gimlewicz (Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego), Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawcznicza, redakcja "Nowej Wsi Europejskiej", Hieronim Czerwieniec.

See also:

Events connected with the exhibition: