Praga Lab Praga Lab

PRACA PRAGA exhibition

As part of the PRAGA PRACA exhibition, we give the floor to contemporary artists, creators and manufacturers who present their works in the spaces of Praga-Północ, a district which is so strongly related to work traditions – factory production, trade, arts and crafts.

Through the creative activities of a broadly defined heritage community, the PRACA PRAGA exhibition gives space to various voices posing questions about the future of Praga’s heritage. The heritage that exists and is being created is always the result of someone’s work, often invisible. The practices of work—creation, production, processing—shape the heritage and at the same time become its integral part. Through work, deed, action, a link is created between the present, the past and the future. At PragaLAB, we are particularly concerned with creative and productive work, work that engages both physically and intellectually, for which the place and its community provide an important context.

The exhibition in the physical space of Praga Północ is part of a contemporary, open interpretation of Praga’s work-related heritage, creating a kind of ‘guide to the (un)existing exhibition’. The exhibition is an open invitation for its viewers to create their own interpretations, to take a walk around Praga, to reconsider issues such as:

  • WORK CONDITIONS, in particular for a creative and productive profession, the role of physical space for working people, the importance of the location of Praga for artistic and productive work;
  • ENERGY, understood both literally and metaphorically. The demand for energy, electrification, and currently digitisation is closely related to production and industry. At the same time, the workspaces are areas of creation and exchange of human, creative and social energy;
  • WOMEN and their role as creators, producers, employees, as well as recipients of work and production, and consumers;
  • LUXURY seen as a challenge for a sustainable and responsible economy. Luxury can be both a burden and a benchmark of high quality and durability for modern economies and cities. In the context of this exhibition the concept of luxury can be related to the issues of excess (in both art and production).

As part of the exhibition, between 14 and 20 February 2022, we present five installations at five different locations in Praga. While viewing the installations, you will be able to meet their authors, talk about the objects presented in the exhibition, as well as the actual work behind them.

Map with locations of installations.

Magazin

  • Maria Kiesner
  • venue: 11 Listopada St, no. 22 app. 3 (artist’s studio)

Painterly and photographic works by Maria Kiesner, including paintings depicting the buildings of the demolished Cora factory, the Warszawa Wschodnia railway station, the Stadion bus station and the demolished cinema in Saska Kępa will be presented. The main motif of the exhibition are the iconic buildings of Praga, complemented by source materials that the artist worked with while painting these representations. The installation is presented within the space of the workshop/studio at 11 Listopada Street no. 22, where Maria Kiesner, Anna Wójcik, Julia Burek-Wolska, Agnieszka Sandomierz and Stefan Paruch have been painting in the 160 square metre space since November 2001. During the exhibition, it will be possible to see and better understand the strenuous work of people connected with art, invisible from the street, which is created in difficult conditions typical of the district. More about the installation (in Polish).

The Most Beautiful Shop

  • Viola Głowacka
  • Venue: 8 Namysłowska St. (pavillion no. 42 at the Bazaar)

The presented works of Viola Głowacka, several paintings and bazaar objects, or ready-made objects, are part of the series Kiosk Ruchu i Strachu (Eng. kiosk of motion and fear) and Toothstreet. They were inspired by an exploration of the urban space of Praga Północ from Ząbkowska Street to Hallera Square. The works are shown in a pavilion at the Namysłowska Street bazaar, a very popular place, a sort of an escalation of mass culture. It is the heart of commerce fed by the antsy work of small traders, a vivid image of the supply and demand rules. The installation allows each visitor to re-read the artist’s work in the context of the life that surrounds it. More about installation (in Polish).

Ovum Aureum

  • Tadam! Family Confectionery Workshop
  • Venue: 14 Jagiellońska Street

Is a golden egg still a symbol of luxury? An egg-shaped cake which refers to the famous Fabergé egg and partly to the contemporary chocolate ‘Kinder Surprise’ egg. Fabergé Eggs by the Russian goldsmith Peter Fabergé, working in the late 19th century, have become a symbol of luxury around the world. They reflect the craftsmanship of refined work and the high quality of materials. At the same time, the modern ‘Kinder Surprise’ is an eloquent symbol of the era of mass production, in which availability has replaced quality. The golden egg-cake presented at the exhibition is handmade, following the principles of traditional confectionery, and the entire production process is coordinated by one person who watches over its quality. It is displayed in the shop window of a family patisserie and expresses the belief that celebrating time spent at the table with a good coffee and cake can be a source of joy for many. More about the installation (in Polish).

Worker

  • Aga Szreder
  • venue: 4/47 Mała Street (window of the artist’s studio)

Visible in the shop window, the installation / sculpture / shadow, in which the play of light and shadow highlights additional aspects of the work, rewriting them. The form of the sculpture alludes to Constructivism – a period that valued both the ethos of physical labour and sought to create a modern visual language in terms of composition and form. Marta Handschke’s playback text tells the story of the life of the ‘Worker’ and compares his body and work to the industrial urban organism of which he is part. The screen presents a video recording of Aga Szreder’s work on making sculptures. The image of a worker at work will be juxtaposed with the image of the artist, both of them performing a certain kind of work, at different moments in history, in different contexts, yet physically involving and taking place in the same space, in Praga. More about the installation (in Polish).

Chess A00

  • Katarzyna Rysiak and Paulina Mirowska
  • venue: 8 Skoczylas Street, (Pracownia Wschodnia)

An installation presenting the design and production process of the A00 chess set, which was created for the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school, and the Wulumul set which was designed for a more mechanised production. The installation follows the design and production process: sketches, models in clay and plaster, casts, material and colour tests, prototypes. The installation presents also Paulina Mirowska’s photographs, taken with her own hands in the darkroom of the Pracownia Wschodnia (Eng. Eastern Workshop/Studio), showing documentation of the production process of the first chess set. The idea for A00 also originated in the Pracownia Wschodnia during endless conversations over countless cups of coffee. The artists Kasia Rysiak and Agnieszka Wach, studying the rules of chess, decided to design their own set – elegant, contemporary and made of high-quality materials. It is also the result of collaboration with other artists from Pracownia Wschodnia. More about the installation (in Polish).

Exhibition closing

On Sunday, 20 February, we invite you to special events to conclude the exhibition.

  • 12 noon Ovum Aureum, Tadam! Family Confectionery Workshop – meeting with the makers.
  • 1PM-3PM Chess A00. Design and production process of chess sets, Pracownia Wschodnia – meeting with the creators and chess games.
  • 3PM-4PM Viola Głowacka, The Most Beautiful Shop – meeting with the artist
  • 4PM-5PM Magazin and Maria Kiesner – meeting with the artist
  • 5PM-6PM WORKER, Aga Schroeder – meeting with the artist

See you there!

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