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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 14, 2009
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October 14, 2009   
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The Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art (CSW) is housed in a late-Baroque-style castle reconstructed from scratch in the 1970s. It was originally meant to house the headquarters of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon), but then became a home for art.

The Center for Contemporary Art was established in 1985. Right from its beginnings, the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art has been a venue where contemporary art can be created, exhibited and documented in its all forms. The center organizes exhibitions, theatrical productions, performance art presentations, concerts of contemporary music, artistic workshops and screenings of experimental films and video art. Every year, the Ujazdowski Castle hosts over 50 exhibitions and 300 theater and music events, multimedia shows and projects dealing with contemporary literature. The Ujazdowski Castle is also home to an Art Library, an Art Reading Room and a Video Library with video recordings of artistic events.

Part of the Center for Contemporary Art is the Kino Lab movie theater, which screens movies, hosts international film festivals and has a special summer program.

The Center for Contemporary also runs Artists-in-Residence, an international exchange program for artists. There is also an array of educational projects which the center conducts for schools, universities and the general public.

The core of the Center for Contemporary Art is its international collection of contemporary art, featuring works by Polish artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Roman Opałka, Edward Dwurnik, Wilhelm Sasnal and Paweł Althamer and foreign artists including David Nash, Koji Kamoji and Eric Andersen.

Alongside its permanent exhibitions, the Center for Contemporary Art regularly holds temporary exhibitions. The two latest ones are entitled Collezionare Il Futurismo. Carte Futuriste and Schizma (Schism).

The former, prepared by the Italian Culture Institute together with the Italian embassy, marks 100 years since Le Figaro published the futurist manifesto. The exhibition is divided into two sections. The first, Collezionare Il Futurismo, features 80 works by Fortunato Depero, Benedetto Cappa, Giacomo Balli, Enrico Prampolini and Filippo Tomasso Marinetti. The works come from the Italian collection of Paolo Roberto Salvadori. Some of the most important items are advertisements and other examples of applied graphics, including posters by Fortunato Depero for Campari.

The other section, Carte Futuriste, is a selection of 15 drawings, temperas and pastel works that epitomize the key ideas of Italian futurism, including the cult of modernity and machines and the love of speed. The exhibition is on display through Nov. 1.

Schizma is devoted to Polish art of the 1990s. The title, a reference to a book of poetry by Marcin ¦wietlicki, underscores the line that divided the art of communist Poland and that of Poland after 1989. Polish artists in the 1990s went on a quest for a new form of art and art-related roles. The first section of Schizma is a selection of works from the Ujazdowski Castle's own collection, featuring artists such as Zbigniew Libera, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zofia Kulik, Paweł Althamer and Mirosław Bałka. Those artists have had an enormous impact on how contemporary Polish art has evolved. In the second section, Schizma delivers a summary of the work of the Center for Contemporary Art 1989-1999, reflecting on the center's history and exhibitions such as Paradise Lost, Magicians and Mystics and Bakunin in Dresden. Source materials shown in Schizma are supplemented by videos from exhibitions and interviews with curators from the Center for Contemporary Art. The exhibition is open through Nov. 15.


Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art
2 Jazdów St., www.csw.art.pl
Open Tue.-Sun. noon-7 p.m., Fridays open until 9 p.m.
Tickets: zl.12, concessions zl.6, family tickets zl.20.
Free admission on Thursdays.
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