"My Kid Could Do That"
May 22, 2003
May 17, 2003 an unusual exhibition was opened in Zachęta gallery. The title of the exhibition, Contemporary Art for All Children, is quite meaningful. The exhibition was created for children, about children and thanks to children.
Although children are not the actual artists in the exhibition, they have assisted in its creation. The works on display were created especially for the occasion by well-known contemporary artists such as Adam Adach, Paweł Althamer, Cezary Bodzianowski, Marek Kijewski, Dominik Lejman, Anna Myca or Wilhelm Sasnal. They represent a number of various techniques-from painting to sculpture, spatial installations, video and the Internet. The common element within all this diversity is a world of fairy tales, children's' fantasy and play.
The underlying idea of the exhibition is not made by adults for children but by "everyone for everyone." Age differences are completely insignificant within this exhibition. The main motto of the project seems to be "it does not matter if you are 6 or 60, you should have fun anyway."
Preparations for the exhibition took many months. The artists prepared texts together with children from orphanages, care centers and activity centers as well as handicapped children. They founded the Zachętuś club in the Small Salon of the gallery. The children also had an influence on the final shape of the art displayed-they were the first critics and could make modifications under the supervision of artists and superintendents.
On the day of the exhibition's opening, from 2:30 p.m., a special bus took children from Zachęta to the Bródno district where Paweł Althamer created a playground. An Artistic Playground with special machines designed by Adam Garnek and Krzysztof Meisner was also opened in the Saski Park. June 1 at 11 a.m. an artistic picnic will be organized at which children will have a chance to play, paint, act in plays, draw, watch performances and circus shows and have fun with numerous other attractions. Zachęta has also prepared a variety of educational programs and workshops (applications at tel. 827-58-54, extension 142 and 196).
Much has changed in Zachęta gallery itself as well. Colorful, full of noise and with a big blue slide on the main stairs, the gallery resembles a kindergarten rather than a distinguished art gallery. Until June 22, adults will be given the chance to forget their age and remember the carefree days of childhood. The director of Zachęta State Gallery of Contemporary Art provided an example by sliding down the sliding-board straight into a pool full of colorful plastic balls. Anyone capable of taking up the challenge should feel free to follow the director's example.