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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 26, 2012
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Civilization in Crisis
October 26, 2012   
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Freedom Club, an exhibition of work by Radek Szlaga at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, explores the crisis which our civilization is going through. Szlaga starts his deliberations with Theodore John Kaczynski, a terrorist who took aim at modern civilization. An American of Polish descent, Kaczynski mailed explosive parcels to large corporations, signing them with the initials FC, which stood for “Freedom Club.”

“I’ve attempted to show a certain kind of paranoia, this inner certainty that we could be watched and controlled,” Szlaga has said about his exhibition. Work which Szlaga has put on display includes both paintings criticizing communist Poland and Polish expats living on the other side of the Atlantic.

The exhibition allows different narratives to overlap. The narratives include the story of “returning to one’s roots,” which turns out to be a relapse in terms of civilization, a leap backwards to provincial Poland where people lived surrounded by chickens, pigs, potatoes, old and burned cars and illegally distilled spirits. The artist has even mounted a still in one of the exhibition rooms—it produces moonshine even as visitors take in the exhibition.

Szlaga, 33, is a painter, cartoonist and the author of several artistic books and installations. He graduated from the University of Arts in Poznań, where he is now a professor. He is a founding member of the Penerstwo artistic group in Poznań.

until Nov. 18
Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art
2 Jazdów St., tel. 22 628-12-71 to 73
Open Tue.-Sun. noon-7 p.m., Fri. noon-9 p.m., free admission on Thursdays
Tickets zl.12 (regular price) and 6 (discount)
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