Szalona Galeria is a mobile cultural center launched by designer Jakub de Barbaro and two artists – Agnieszka Polska and Janek Simon – that toured small towns and villages in Poland in July and August, 2016.
It consisted of a bookstore, an open-air cinema, and a traveling contemporary art exhibition. The gallery visited various regions of the country, stopping for several days in eight towns and villages such as Lipce Reymontowskie, Bojadła, Chełmek, and Reszel.
The name Szalona Galeria (The Wild Gallery) harks back to the work of Marian Minich, director of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź from 1935 to 1965. Minich initiated a unique program of bringing reproductions of paintings to villages all over Poland, where the works on tour were often hanged on fences and farm buildings.
Szalona Galeria was conceived as a response to the fact that a large part of the population of Poland today lacks access to contemporary culture. The shortcomings of cultural education, failure to appreciate the role of artists in society, and the centralization of institutions have made it difficult for villages and small towns to participate in contemporary culture. Szalona Galeria was created in order to bring visual artists, filmmakers, and theorists in touch with people living outside the big cities.
Outstanding Polish artists representing a range of attitudes and aesthetics were invited to take part in the Szalona Galeria project. The works displayed share the belief that “reality can be transformed.” In a departure from the discourse prevailing on the Polish art scene in recent years, the exhibition does not revolve around Critical Art but seeks to define a new and different way in which politics can be manifest through art. Instead of carrying out a critique of the current system, the show's narrative relies on works that hint at the existence of alternative systems.
Artists participating in the Szalona Galeria exhibition:
Wojciech Bąkowski, Bracia (Maciej Chorąży i Agnieszka Klepacka), Karolina Brzuzan, Sebastian Buczek, Rafał Bujnowski, Oskar Dawicki, Marta Deskur, Andrzej Dudek-Dürer, Daria Giwer, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Paweł Jarodzki, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Tomasz Kowalski, Katarzyna Kozyra, Igor Krenz, Agnieszka Kurant, Robert Kuśmirowski, Natalia LL, Marcin Maciejowski, Honorata Martin, Przemek Matecki, Gizela Mickiewicz, Paulina Ołowska, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Joanna Rajkowska, Robert Rumas, Daniel Rumiancew, Adam Rzepecki, Jadwiga Sawicka, Wilhelm Sasnal, Magda Starska, Andrzej Szpindler, Aleksandra Wasilkowska and Julita Wójcik.
The Szalona Galeria tour was made possible thanks to:
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Fundacja Arton, Narodowa Galeria Sztuki Zachęta, Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, Galeria EL, Galeria Stereo, Galeria Raster, Galeria Dawid Radziszewski, Gminny Ośrodek Kultury, Sportu i Rekreacji w Lipcach Reymontowskich, Fundacja Pałac Bojadła, Ślężański Ośrodek Kultury, Sportu i Rekreacji w Sobótce, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury, Sportu i Rekreacji w Chełmku, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury w Józefowie, Uniwersytet Powszechny im. Jana Józefa Lipskiego w Teremiskach, Dyrekcja Zamku w Reszlu, Białogardzka Biblioteka Publiczna, Gminny Ośrodek Kultury w Smołdzinie, Czerwona Szopa w Czołpinie, Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie and everyone who supported the project on Wspieram.to. Special thanks to Piotr Bazylko and VITKAC.