All She Said About Future
“Each project is above all the declaration of another, new future that is supposed to come about once the project has been executed. But in order to induce such a new future one first has to take a period of leave or absence for oneself, with which the project has transferred its agent into a parallel state of heterogeneous time.”
All She Said About the Future intermingles with the main exhibition of the Zielona Góra Biennale: it subjectively interprets selected visions of the “future to be built” and seeks to expand the choice of objects in the show by adding new set-ups and contributing extra themes – in the context of the space of tomorrow, but also that of the past, through a return to past events, ideas, or artistic gestures.
The groundbreaking exhibition Space and Expression (1967) is often mentioned in local art (and architecture) history. It featured, for example, visions of housing complexes of the Spatial City, hanging above the urban horizon, which Yona Friedman presented in one of the rooms of the Provincial Council (today Marshal’s Office) building in Zielona Góra. Presented as part of the same show was Zofia and Oskar Hansens’ Linear Continuous System, shortly after its exhibition at the Dom Artysty Plastyka in Warsaw. The four LCS zones would be able to house up to sixty million people (the fourth one was to stretch from Wrocław to Zielona Góra and connect with the Legnica-Głogów copper-mining belt2). The year 1967 sees a climax of futurological preoccupations in the context of urban and global development, as attested to, for example, by a large number of books with the magical date 2000 in the title, to mention but Herman Kahn’s and Anthony J. Wiener’s The Year 2000. A Framework for Speculation of the Next Thirty-Three Years. Returning to Zielona Góra, we can wonder why the issues taken up in the exhibition did not translate into local architects’ designs in the following years. Did they not see it, or did they dismiss it as a purely theoretical manifestation? While it would seem that the future tense could be realized precisely here (especially in the context of the “future to be built” problematic that it tackled), one would look in vain for futurological icons in Zielona Góra. Examples of Zielona Góra architecture are to be found in studies neither of communist-era architecture nor of contemporary one. The local equivalent of the Athens Charter, the Łagów Charter (1974), postulated new methods of urbanism, and triggered off a complex process that has in principle continued to this day.3 As the name indicates, however, it was drawn up not in Zielona Góra, but in Łagów, over ninety kilometres away, which may be the reason why the urban-design lesson remained unlearned locally. Or perhaps one should look at the issue from a broader perspective and notice the nature-friendly aspect of a city that has eliminated car traffic from the centre and has been growing without losing access to wooded areas which are one of the region’s defining characteristics.
1 Boris Groys, “The Loneliness of the Project,” New York Magazine of Contemporary Art and Theory (2002), issue 1.1.
2 See Emilia Kiecko, Przyszłość do zbudowania. Futurologia i architektura w PRL (Warsaw: Bęc Zmiana, 2018), p. 222.
3 Konrad Schiller, Awangarda na Dzikim Zachodzie. O wystawach i sympozjach Złotego Grona, exh. cat., Biennale Zielona Góra, 2015, p. 508.
Exhibition venues: BWA, al. Niepodległości 19, Library of the University of Zielona Góra, al. Wojska Polskiego 71, Lubusz Land Museum, al. Niepodległości 15, Lubski Theater, al. Niepodległości 3/5
Partners of the exhibition: Library of the University of Zielona Góra, BWA Zielona Góra, Lubuski Theatre in Zielona Góra, National Museum in Poznań, Lubusz Land Museum
Collaboration: Ania Batko, Jacek Gernat, Leszek Kania, Wojciech Kozłowski, Paulina Komorowska-Birger, Thomas, Tomek Pawłowski Jarmołajew, Karolina Spiak
Thanks to: Basia Bańda, Tatjana Danneberg, Emeline Depas, Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak, Piotr Łakomy, Ania Nowak, Doireann O’Malley, Przemek Pyszczek and Agata Araszkiewicz, Bartosz Buczek, Emmanuel Lambion, Dorota Michalska, Gunia Nowik, Konrad Schiller
All She Said About the Future
artists: Basia Bańda, Tatjana Danneberg, Emeline Depas, Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak, Piotr Łakomy, Ania Nowak, Doireann O’Malley, Przemek Pyszczek
as part of the 2020 Zielona Góra Biennale: Returning to the Future
curator: Romuald Demidenko
15 October – 15 November 2020
Returning to…, guided tour of the exhibition Golden Grape, Lubusz Land Museum
Saturday, 14 November 2020, 12 noon
Text: Romuald Demidenko
Edited by: Ania Batko
Copyediting: Jolanta Pieńkos
Design: Karolina Pietrzyk, Gilbert Schneider, Tobias Wenig (DWA Graphic Department)
For W. and Grégoire Bergeret