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History of the Foksal Gallery from a new perspective

27 Kwiecień 2020,

"In the nineteen sixties, the Foksal in Warsaw and the Václav Špála in Prague were the only two avant-garde galleries in the Eastern Bloc. Nowadays, the Foksal is known all over the world and its history, perforce, fits the current artistic and political context very well. However, it does so in a way which its co-founders never anticipated, to which I testify in this essay. In a sense, the Foksal tradition has been continued to this day by the gallery itself in its past home on ulica Foksal and by the plans, both local and international, for the Foksal Gallery Foundation, which is located on ulica Górskiego in Warsaw. Meanwhile, the distant history of the Foksal of the nineteen sixties has met with an unexpected revival beyond Poland, in France, as a kind of hope for the future." writes Anka Ptaszkowska in her essay published in Blok Magazine.

Many a time, and to the point of boredom, have I told the story of the Foksal, of its victories and defeats, its interpersonal conflicts and standard curiosities.

This essay stands apart from those ranks.

What provoked the change in my view of the story which definitively bound my life to the gallery?

It was a brief remark made not all that long ago by Florian Fouché, an artist I esteem, and it concerned two pressing questions:

How do we remedy the current situation in art and its subjection to the capitalist market?

How do we oppose the fact that, in front of our eyes and, to some extent, by our hands, art is becoming the kingdom of any-old-thing, is permitting the borders between itself and design to be erased, is working hand in glove with the Institutions which it once intended to conquer and is selling its relationship with politics for a meagre handful of small change?

“We need to bring back the Foksal,” Florian Fouché said.
So I am looking at the gallery’s history, a history I know by heart, from the new angle of the Foksal’s potential, topical and oh-so desirable usefulness.

Celý text eseje v angličtině najdete na Blok Magazine.

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016