The Futurism of Industrial Cities – 100 Years of Wolfsburg/Nowa Huta - 1

The Futurism of Industrial Cities – 100 Years of Wolfsburg/Nowa Huta

[ Project part Nowa Huta ]
Exhibitions in Nowa Huta: in public space and at Łaźnia Nowa
Lecture series, panel discussions, seminar

The exhibitions in Nowa Huta and the accompanying programme of events summarise more than two years of work on the project. In the course of the preparations the group of artists, theorists, and activists looked at the past, present, and future of the two cities from the perspective of their centenaries – anniversaries that in fact will not be celebrated in Wolfsburg until 2038 and in Nowa Huta until 2049. From this imaginary point of view the current dramatic changes that these cities are undergoing appear suddenly as a small episode in their urban history. The view from the future allows for an analytical view on the present and raises a number of questions that inspire an investigation of the historical and global contexts of the two cities.
At the same time the future is being demystified. The reiterated slogan TINA (“There Is No Alternative”), which is meant to justify the current state of affairs, is rebutted. There are alternatives. One can and must talk about alternative paths of development and possible scenarios of the future, as the future remains continually open.

Interdisciplinarity is the basis of “The Futurism of Industrial Cities”. Thus artists, architects, sociologists, economists, cultural anthropologists, historians, and urban planners work together on most diverse projects.

The first part of the project resulted in an exhibition at Kunstverein Wolfsburg. The second part comprises exhibitions in the public space of Nowa Huta and in the premises of Łaźnia Nowa (Nowa Huta), panel discussions and a seminar, and a lecture series in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Kraków. Detailed information on the programme can be found here.

In November 2006, a publication covering both project parts, and containing a catalogue of all artistic works as well as texts by 15 authors that analyse the history, present, and future of the two cities, will be released.

Nowa Huta

Exhibition in the public space of Nowa Huta
14 October - 12 November 2006
Vernissage 14 October 2006, 6.30 p.m.
Opening lecture about the city of Wolfsburg: Bernd Rodrian
Opening concert: Reznicek "Nowa Huta"
With Daniel Banaczek, Folke Köbberling, Pia Lanzinger, Raumlabor Berlin, Robert Rumas, Janek Simon

Nowa Huta was planned as the “City of the Future”, yet its construction has never been completed. The “radiant future”, part of its founding myth, is an unfulfilled promise, a utopian dream of the Industrial Age.
In the arduous everyday life in today’s Nowa Huta, this old promise intertwines with a hope for the future – a future that the residents simultaneously anticipate with fear.

The artists of “The Futurism of Industrial Cities” intervene in this embroilment. They take up new perspectives, reveal utopias and simultaneously demystify them. Their installations and objects dare the comparison between reality and fiction. They make reference to squares, streets. facades, shops, and cinemas, and encroach upon everyday life in Nowa Huta. Like a microscope from 2049, they bend over the city and examine their finding.

Exhibition at Łaźnia Nowa
14 October - 12 November 2006
With Bernd Rodian, Daniel Banaczek, Folke Köbberling, Pia Lanzinger, Robert Rumas, Rafał Jakubowicz, Silke Riechert, Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska, Modulorbeat

This part of the exhibition is an enhanced version of the exhibition at Kunstverein Wolfsburg.
The comparison of the cities of Wolfsburg and Nowa Huta allows for a reflection that goes beyond the local context. Wolfsburg is stepping into the post-industrial age under conditions that differ profoundly from those in Nowa Huta. Both cities must hold their ground in a global context. Only the direct juxtaposition of the two cities reveals their current state and uncovers recent changes in urban space that might otherwise pass unnoticed. Hence the presentation of the works from Wolfsburg is a central component of the project.

Accompanying Events Nowa Huta

“100 Years of Nowa Huta”
City fair on the occasion of the (fictitious) anniversary
hosted by Łaźnia Nowa 14 October 2006

“100 Years of Nowa Huta” – with this motto Łaźnia Nowa organises a city fair, which is to take place all over Nowa Huta. Artists associated with Łaźnia Nowa react to the topic “The Futurism of Industrial Cities” and put together a colourful anniversary programme with a number of attractions to celebrate the city’s centenary: there will be games, raffles, concerts (with bands "Proletaryat" and "WU HAE" from Nowa Huta), and, of course, parades – a real city fair. It is an attempt to get the residents involved, to inspire them, and to fill them with enthusiasm for Nowa Huta’s future.

The Futurism of Industrial Cities
In cooperation with Goethe-Institut Kraków
15 October 2006

The day after the opening of the exhibition, Bunkier Sztuki will host a panel discussion that brings together the artists, theorists, and journalists who participated in the publication on “The Futurism of Industrial Cities – 100 Years of Nowa Huta and Wolfsburg”. They will discuss their perspectives and methods applied to the analysis of history, present, and future of the cities of Wolfsburg and Nowa Huta. The bird’s eye perspective of a theorist will be compared with the artistic intervention into the fabric of the city. Two completely different apppoaches to “reading” a city.
At the same time, the book that is published in the context of the project will be presented. It is both an art catalogue and an anthology of theoretical texts and will be released in November 2006 by Ha!art Publishing House (Kraków) in cooperation with Verlag für moderne Kunst (Nuremberg).

The Futurism of Industrial Cities
Lecture series at the Goethe-Institut Kraków
13 October - 12 November 2006
Participants: Axel Schildt, Piotr Winskowski, Alison Stenning, Albrecht Goschel, Tadeusz Kowalik

A lecture series in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Kraków runs parallel to the exhibition in Nowa Huta. The talks address key questions of the project, providing a theoretical background for the reception of the exhibition and conveying a differentiated image of Nowa Huta and Wolfsburg. Acknowledged experts from social history, history and theory of architecture, urban planning, social geography, and economy give the talks.

The Future of Labour (working title)
Seminar in cooperation with Ha!art Publishing House
28-29 October 2006
Venue: TBA

The two-day public symposium with panel discussions and presentations discusses questions concerning the future of labour. Topics are: the status of labour in today’s world, the global distribution of labour, the extinction of or liberation from labour as a result of technological progress, the global marketplace, and the uneven distribution of profits from production.
The aim is to explore viable alternatives to the presently dominant economic system, to think in new categories, and to find strategies for the future of labour. Nowa Huta – a city for which all these topics are of existential significance – is the right place for it.
Kunstverein Wolfsburg
Łaźnia Nowa, Cracow-Nowa Huta
Wolfsburg: 10 Dec. 2005 – 19 Feb. 2006
Nowa Huta: 14 Oct. – 12 Nov. 2006
Participating Institutions
Kunstverein Wolfsburg
Łaźnia Nowa, Cracow-Nowa Huta
Goethe-Institut Krakau