These questions were asked at the exhibition Making Use: Life in Postartistic Times. The enormous presentation addressed the topic of art interweaving with other spheres of life and migration of art from museums and galleries to alternative areas and activities.
Three curators and an art collective from Denmark took part in a group exhibition Making Use: Life in Postartistic Times and accompanying seminars at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
Some of the presented works functioned as social or urban projects promoting circulation of material goods and sustainable development. Other focused on anti-system themes and confronted tradition and rigid organizational structure, showing examples of communities based on liquid and ‘pop-up’ trends instead.
The exhibition and seminars gathered mostly alternative and independent artists and curators. What they had in common was that their projects were settled both in artistic and everyday life spheres. According to the exhibition’s curators, Sebastian Cichocki and Kuba Szreder, that’s exactly where art becomes postartistic – when it meets life.
Three Danish curators took part in seminars and meetings: Signe Brink Petersen (on the role of temporary architecture and public art in stimulating the development of cities), Lise Skou (Exchange Library project that allows exchange of goods through barter or borrowing useful items for a small subscription) and Carl Martin Faurby (curator models made in response to the so called pata-institutionalism).
Danish bicycle creates citizens
At the exhibition, Denmark was represented by N55 collective and their XYZ SPACEFRAME VEHICLES city bike project. Their cycles are made from very durable materials that make their lifespan longer than normal “commercial bikes”. Bicycles from that series are usually designed to carry more people or large items. This is the aim of the project: N55 works in the conviction that cars should get out of the cities and as a relic of less democratic and brutal times they should be eliminated in favor of cycling culture.
To break off with the capitalistic structure in which buyers “consume” ready-made products with short lifespan, not knowing how or having the opportunity to build their own, N55 published the manual for constructing and operating WYX bikes available for all. This way “the buyer” becomes “the creator” that can build his or her own sustainable bicycle.
The N55 project can thus be seen as a tactic that can be used by citizens who want to break with the capitalistic production system. This is a political tactic where the consumers reclaim the production and hereby regain quality and control. N55 sees it as educating people and encouraging them to master the everyday technologies and thus to make better decisions in life – for the benefit of the city and for the community.
Top photo: Bartosz Stawiarski
Rest: Joanna Tamborska