Early Years.

27.02.2010 – 28.05.2010. from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany.
Curated by Sebastian Cichocki, Ana Janevski, Katarzyna Karwaska and Joanna Mytkowska.


At the moment contemporary art is enjoying a resurgence in Poland. Museums are being built, and public as well as private institutions are mushrooming. Artists’ names are becoming common knowledge, their practice, which was previously ignored or misinterpreted, today is widely understood and accepted. Much can be said for the fact that the most central tract of land in the Polish capital will soon see the construction of the Museum of Modern Art.

However, the “Early Years” exhibition is not a report from the construction site. On the contrary, it focuses on the field of institutional self-reflection. It searches for terms fit to describe the emergence of a museum of art in the present, artistic, political and social discourses. A museum which is being established amid the collapse of meta-narratives, is aware of the institutional critique which had put the museum’s hegemonic nature in dispute for decades and, finally, acquainted with the realities of the economic crisis – such a museum must rely not only on long-term strategic planning, but also on momentary moods, uncertainties and intuitions.

The “Early Years” of the exhibition´s title describe the unique moment of an artistic biography, when one is still naïve and only beginning to learn from one´s errors, while simultaneously being at the height of authenticity, independence and heroism. The show is based on the concept of moving into the future and looking back to the great beginning and search for a history apt to become the founding myth.

For this exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw invited artists who collaborated with them in its early years. The Museum shared its anxieties with the group, and they reciprocated with their share of expectations for the new institution. The final product is a show which invites the viewer to retrospectively scrutinize the moment when everything was still possible. That moment of a delicate balance between hope and disillusionment, between commitment and compromise is the true hero of the show. (Text: Sebastian Cichocki)


Further information can be found at www.promised-city.org

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststr. 69
D-10117 Berlin