The Copernicus Center for Polish Studies (CCPS) at the University of Michigan welcomes multimedia artist Artur Żmijewski for the 2019 Annual Copernicus Lecture. On Monday, November 11 at 5:30 PM, Żmijewski will give a talk titled, “Working Around, Against, and Without: An Artist’s Excursion on Shifting Political Ground.” In the lecture, he will discuss the influence of politics on art in Poland, where the collapse of communism allowed boundary-pushing art to flourish in the 1990s. The new openness did not last, and once again, art became a target for political attacks because of its critical stance toward the Catholic Church and “wild” capitalism. Żmijewski will draw on his experience in this changing political and cultural climate to discuss the relationship between his art and political engagement in the context of the past thirty years.
Artur Żmijewski was born in Warsaw in 1966. He graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts under the supervision of Professor Grzegorz Kowalski. A multimedia artist, he uses primarily photography and film to explore the line between fiction and documentary. Żmijewski is also an accomplished curator and art critic. He is one of the founding members of the art journal Czereja, serves as the artistic editor of Krytyka Polityczna, and directed the 7th Berlin Biennale. In 1995, Żmijewski was a fellow at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam; he received the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Per L’Arte Prize for his work An Eye for an Eye. In 2005, his Repetition was shown in the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and two years later his film Them was screened at documenta in Kassel, Germany. Żmijewski also participated in the 14th edition of documenta, presenting his films Glimpse and Realism. From 2007-08, he was a DAAD Artist in Residence in Berlin where he prepared his project “Democracies.” In 2010 he received the Ordway Prize from the New Museum in New York and Creative Link for the Arts. Żmijewski’s films can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Tate Modern in London, the Rubell Family Foundation in Miami, Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Erste Bank Collection in Vienna, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
The Annual Copernicus Lecture—established in 1980—brings prominent academic, cultural, and political figures to campus to advance a deeper understanding of Poland’s people, culture, and history, as well as its growing influence in world academics, arts, and affairs. The lecture is co-presented by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. It is free and open to the public.
Working Around, Against, and Without: An Artist’s Excursion on Shifting Political Ground
Monday, November 11, 2019
Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State
The Copernicus Center for Polish Studies (CCPS) at the University of Michigan was established in 2019 after more than 40 years of activity and programs offered by the Nicolaus Copernicus Endowment. To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Polish astronomer’s birth, the endowment and a Polish program were launched in 1973 in cooperation with students, faculty, and the Polish Americans of Michigan who contributed generously with their time, energy, and financial assistance. CCPS continues the tradition today by enabling faculty appointments, programming, and student fellowships in Polish studies. It also organizes the Annual Copernicus Lecture—established in 1980—which brings prominent academic, cultural, and political figures to campus to offer the public a deeper understanding of Poland’s people, culture, and history, as well as its growing influence in world academics, arts, and affairs. For more information, visit ii.umich.edu/polish.