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Łódź/Düsseldorf: Polen Performance
November 11, 2016
November 11th, 2016
3 AM, Łódź, ul. Ogrodowa 19
4 PM, Düsseldorf, Museum Kunstpalast, Ehrenhof 4-5
Deutschlandtransport is a reacting gesture to the artistic action Polentransport made by Joseph Beuys in 1981, exactly 35 years ago. Going the reversed way of the initial transport; back then from Düsseldorf to the Art Museum in Łódź, the artist duo Polen Performance (Justina Los and Mikołaj Sobczak) will be enclosed in a wooden box, along with the documentation archive of their own artistic works. Summarizing their work made so far, and transporting it into the collection of the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, the artistic duo closes their period of stay in Poland, exploring new realms of artistic practice abroad. Deutschlandtransport will find its documentation outlet on various social media platforms such as Snapchat (ID: polenperfo) or Instagram (User: polenperformance), both during and after the action.
Two young artists offer an archive of their one and a half year long work to the collection of one of the most prestigious German art institutions. Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf officially accepts the gift to their collection. This gift – contrary to the notion of giving – paradoxically brings more profit to the one who’s giving.
Deutschlandtransport plays with a myth of the artist. Polen Performance group refers directly to one of the most influential figures of the widely considered performance and action art, the artist, who’s ideas had elementary influence on the contemporary performance art and the concept of relation between society and art – Joseph Beuys.
His Polentransport is one of the founding myths of the Museum of Art in Łódź. It was instrumental to the actualisation of this institution’s position in the international art world in the socialist period of Poland’s post-war history. Beuys’ gift was the strongest impulse for the Museum since it’s establishment, when the emerging collection was created thanks to donations made by members of international avant-guard movement. At the time of his arrival at Łódź Joseph Beuys already an artworld “celebrity”.
From the artworld perspective, one could say that – in regard to the market-dominated circulation of art – accepting the Deutschlandtransport by Museum Kunstpalast is a gift to Polen Performance, as it automatically raises their symbolic capital.
It’s also worth notice that Polentransport was for Bauys a chance for having his works placed in the famous Art Museum, in a country where political changes of historic significance are just about to begin. Polentransport was his enthusiastic reaction to the Solidarność [Solidarity] movement, which he wished to interpret in the context of his social sculpture concept.
The myth of Solidarity movement recently happens to be considered a failure. Despite it’s crucial impact on the democratic changes in Europe, the movement itself did not find a proper continuation in the democratic Poland. Enthusiasm to the fight for the common cause has been replaced by todays capitalism, using the fruits of the revolutionary movement for it’s own purposes.
Facing this mode of economy, Deutschlandtransport takes a practical meaning – the artists are moving out of Poland, to the “better”, wealthier world. What they do is instrumentalize performance, changing it into a platform for an emigration, sponsored by the national institutions.
– Antoni Burzyński
Polen Performance – Justina Los, Mikołaj Sobczak
Kurator: Antoni Burzyński
Live feeds from Deutschlandtransport will be available at:
POLEN PERFORMANCE (Justina Los and Mikołaj Sobczak) is a german-polish duo founded in may 2015. They mainly work with the medium of performance and video. Polen Performance’s actions are taking place in real spaces as well as virtual social media platforms. Polen Performance has initiated the first performance on Snapchat („Snapformance“, 2016). They always appear in their characteristic white uniforms with yellow logo. Their most important actions include: „Deutschlandtransport”, Art Museum in Lodz (MS2) – Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, PL/DE, 2016; „How To Behave During A Terrorist Attack”, Artloop Festival, Sopot, Poland 2016; „Thank You for Performance!”, Festival of Ephemeral Art „Contexts”, Sokołowsko, Poland, 2016; „Unpacking”, National Gallery Zachęta Project Room, Warsaw, Poland 2016; „Vernissage Service”, Center of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Poland, 2016; „Polen Performance Paranormal”, lokal_30 Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2015; „Performance, Welcome to Polen!”, Poligon Art Space, Warsaw, Poland, 2015; „Performance Services”, WRO Media Arts Biennale, Wrocław, Poland, 2015.