Sep 21, 2010

The Krasnals Voice at 4th ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting in Poznań

Below there is the necessary supplementary information for ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting - from contestation art circles, which in Poland are represented by The Krasnals art collective.

As The Krasnals art collective we are convinced that the 4th ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting in Poznań contributes significantly to a strengthening of cultural awareness among the societies of the 45 parties who participate in the dialogue of European Union and Southeast Asia. We also hope it will inspire the dialogue and the transfer of knowledge and practices, which, in turn will lead to mutual undertakings to defend and protect the cultural treasury form the threats of the contemporary art market.

There are dangers arising from the social transformations accompanying processes of globalization of high culture, especially contemporary art. We urge you to pay attention to the problem that in an interview the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski summoned. He noted that "the basic problem that now affects an area of culture in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere), is that of globalization and the flood of low quality of art as the result of interests of a narrow group of art establishment monopolizing the art market."

In the Polish Culture Minister opinion, there is vagueness and commercialization of the mainstream art, including the Polish one following global trends. So far, a certain originality and individuality, taste and style, was the domain of art. Gradually it meets with deprivation of colourfulness and multidimensionality.

One of the problems that worry us is increasingly emerging question about the need for a biennial basis. Or maybe there is a need to develop a new formula of presenting art rebelling against global trends? The activity of our collective follows the main concept of Mediations Biennale in Poznan, which this year is "Beyond" - "beyond the official, mainstream art, and an official language about it." It should be seriously initiated the debate and critic of art market sphere. We should begin to talk about prevailing of divisions, manipulation, and those unclear rules governing the art world, to reconcile its democratic ideals.

Biennale has become one of the most common and effective ways of showing art in the world. International Biennale is not just an exhibition, but mobile capital and art museum all in one. So, the question is, if an international biennial is necessary for the presence of art created locally in a transnational context? If so, what shape the Polish Biennale should take? Should the local tradition be an important element in building an international biennial? What are the consequences of thinking in terms of the presenting biennale of art - and whether it acts in favor of or against the local tradition?

The exhibition of The Krasnals "Two years of fighting" gives complete answers to these questions. It is situated in one of three main bastions of Mediations Biennial - at Szyperska Gallery (till October 10 2010).

Sep 11, 2010

WTC 9/11 anniversary - The Krasnals project from 2009

The Krasnals. Whielki Krasnal „New York – WTC 2011 / urban projects series”. 2009. Acrylic, spray, on canvas. 40 x 53 cm

This year’s anniversary of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks promises to be the most political and contentious ever, because of a proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, and a Florida pastor’s plan to burn the Quran.

A year ago, The Krasnals group created the prognostication of this situation, as they painted New York with minaret on the ground zero.

Sep 6, 2010

Super Team The Krasnals on Mediations Biennale 2010

Super Team The Krasnals on
Mediations Biennale 2010 - on the invitation of Japanese curator
Tsutomu Mizusawa.
The biggest contemporary art biennale in Poland

Galeria Szyperska, Poznań / 11.09.-10.10. 2010

Curator: Ewelina Jarosz

The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama

A brief history of our participation in the Biennale:

Well, in early spring we got an invitation from the main curator of the exhibition at the Biennale - Beyond Mediations - Mizusawa Tsutomu (Yokohama Triennial Director Deputy Director of MOMA in Kamakura and Hayama in Japan) to participate in the exhibition. Curator in the mail shed light on the situation in which he discovered that our position in the Polish art world and negative attitude of the majority of the representatives of the mainstream, are a key example and an essential link for the overall design concept of the exhibition. He suggested that we prepare a big presentation as a separate exhibition at the Gallery Szyperska, and the whole concept of care has a curator Ewelina Jarosz. The exhibition's title "Two years of struggle" describes our current point where we are, as we fight for the abolition of barriers and creating equal opportunities for all artists - from the BEYOND position.

The intention of the Japanese curator of the title “Beyond” is intended to mean that only art can bridge gaps that exist between people. Because sometimes the gaps may reach too far to be mediated by any means. Our case shows that such gaps also exist in the art, among the builders, the initiators of the construction of bridges.
Tsutomu Mizusawa also was interested in our project carried out in China. Zone of the art market has highlighted the existing divisions of social class, and the sincere, close contact with the Chinese artist, the contractor of a series of Sasnal copies, was only a quickly passing by moment.
Continuing the tradition of officially brotherly nations, the Chinese artist, has painted for us a few images of Great Poles - Copernicus, Chopin, Mickiewicz. At first glance, they highlight the relationship, friendship, brotherhood and a common dialogue of cultures of our countries. Under portraits appear Chinese signatures of Polish heroes. These characters are somehow important and known generally for Chinese people. But for the Chinese artist, their faces are anonymous and the only value is a possibility to earn a few cents on painting the portraits.

The Chinese series of copies of Sasnal paintings and a series of Chinese Great Poles are a separate presentation at the Biennale.
Tsutomu Mizusawa explains that
Without doubt, art is the most sophisticated cultural medium created by human, and only art will be able to lead us beyond the distance. Our Chinese project is following exactely this idea. And its culmination is a video, during which the Dwarf is trying to overthrow the Great Chinese Wall. Video is also presented in the second part of the biennial - "Ereased Walls". Once again it shows the gap and the difference between the ability to overthrow some walls and impossibility to move others. At this show there is much talk about the effects of the overthrow of the Berlin wall 20 years ago, which was dividing Europe. It is the reason for pride and joy, however, it is far to the dream of freedom and equal opportunities for all. Finally, the overthrow of the wall is not the end of the divisions, but the beginning - of building bridges.

During the opening The Krasnals will take a speech and present the current statement. After that will make a performance which is to highlight the place of the contemporary artist, who found himself unexpectedly in the area BEYOND.

We kindly invite you to the official opening!
Saturday, September 11, at 1:00 pm

Szyperska, Szyperska 2 Street, Poznań / 11.09.-10.10. 2010
Curator: Ewelina Jarosz

It has been more than years since the collective of anonymous artists, The Krasnals, has been active on the Polish artistic scene. On this occasion Szyperska Gallery organized the exhibition “Two Years of Struggle”. The group’s work mainly consists of painting, video, actions and word. It`s activity is of artistic, political and social importance, but mainly it concentrates on commenting current events, being a critique of the art market and the ideologies accompanying art production. The Krasnals employ the strategy of culture jamming. In a radical and ironic way they expose manipulation and hypocrisy: an artist, to make it in the so-called artworld or mainstream, sacrifices his/her independence and becomes a mouthpiece for catchy, conformist ideas and a creator of hot, easily marketable topics. Interestingly enough, pictures by The Krasnals are not respected by some critics because of their political and not painterly character, which is a sign of the misunderstanding of the meaning of their work.

The Krasnals. Chinese painter "Cheap Sasnals from China" 2008. Acrylic on canvas. 9 pieces, unlimited number of possible copies, all very cheap.

For example, the first image has important background - the Sasnal original version shows TV factory straight from the PRL, communistic Polish reality. This subject is rather historical and obsolete in the current reality, but very current for the situation in China. On the picture, Chinese painter even instinctively painted slanting eyes of factory workers.

The Krasnals. Chinese painter "Great Poles/ Adam Mickiewicz / Fryderyk Chopin / Mikołaj Kopernik" 2008. Acrylic on canvas