But why construct more monuments? And who needs another exhibition about them? Aren’t monuments obsolete? And most of all: in light of all the conflicts erupting over monuments, shouldn’t we discard this medium once and for all?

It seems that we can’t just give up on them – the stake is too high. These public media of memory are just as much about the present and about the conceivable futures, as they are about the past. They are just as much about visualizing a set of desirable social roles, ways of understanding the public sphere, power and community, as they are about canonizing a set of heroes, values, and historical events. Paradoxically, in an age dominated by uncountable, elusive and free-floating images, these heavy, static elements of the urban landscape still have the capability of generating strong emotions, of gaining new meanings and unexpected agency.

It is then not only the ‘content’ of monuments that is important, but also their forms. Pedestals, bronze, enormous figures are ways of establishing a relation between the public and history. They don’t leave much space for dialogue, coercing us into consent and acceptance. A past, represented by static, unattainable stone figures, is in many ways supposed to be just like them – unambiguous, individualistic, authoritative. It’s a history supposedly shaped by outstanding, unwavering heroes and breakthrough events. That is why it would not be enough to use the form of the traditional monument to memorialize even the most progressive and revolutionary male and female heroes, who fought in the name of emancipatory values. The available pedestals and mold structures will simply not accommodate subjects and phenomena from outside of the traditional canon. Subjects (or rather communities) and events (or rather processes) that have hitherto not been represented in the monumental canon need formulas corresponding to their qualities.

Monument prototypes
Karolina Brzuzan, Róża Duda i Michał Soja, Piotr Łakomy, Olga Micińska, Dominika Olszowy, Daniel Rycharski, Łukasz Surowiec.

Exhibition
Józef Gałązka, Karolina Gołębiowska, Daniel Malone i Stanisław Welbel, Gizela Mickiewicz, Jan Możdżyński, Franciszek Orłowski, Witek Orski, Krzysztof Pijarski, Liliana Piskorska, Aleka Polis, Alicja Rogalska, Szymon Rogiński, Daniel Rumiancew, Anna Shimomura, Łukasz Skąpski, Zbiorowy Collective.

Curators
Łukasz Zaremba, Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw / Szymon Maliborski, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Project management
Joanna Turek

Production
Maja Szybińska, Joanna Turek, Zofia Zajkowska

Exhibition Architecture
Aleksander Wadas Studio: Weronika Marek, Anna Odulińska, Aleksander Wadas

Detailed design of monuments
Magdalena Romanowska

Key visual and graphic design
Edgar Bąk Studio

Collaborators of research teams
Social research team managed by Maja Głowacka and Zofia Sikorska; research team: Katarzyna Bartosik, Anna Gańko, Bartłomiej Jankowski, Ludmiła Kruszewska, Alexandra Senn, Krzysztof Średziński

Monument Research Team of the Department of Landscape Art at SGGW, managed by doctor ingeneer Kinga Rybak-Niedziółka; research team: dr inż. Anna Długozima, dr inż. Ewa Kociacka-Beck, dr inż. Izabela Myszka, mgr Daria Szarejko, mgr Rafał Myszka oraz Mateusz Wieczorek

Editing and proofreading
Justyna Chmielewska, Kacha Szaniawska

Translations
Mohamed Mahmoud, Anna Marciniak, Magda Szcześniak, Agnes Monod-Gayraud

Production of set design elements
Studio Robot (Krzysztof Czajka, Łukasz Wysoczyński)

Realization
Jakub Antosz, Marek Franczak, Piotr Frysztak, Szymon Ignatowicz, Artur Jeziorek, Paweł Sobczak, Marcin Szubiak, Michał Ziętek

Promotion
Paweł Brylski, Kacha Szaniawska, Iga Winczakiewicz, Magdalena Zięba-Grodzka

Educational program
Dominika Jagiełło, Marta Przasnek, Marta Przybył, Katarzyna Witt, Zespół Użyj Muzeum

Photo documentation
Daniel Chrobak

Cooperation
Paweł Bojemski, Kinga Cieplińska, Joanna Kasperowska, Jerzy Klonowski, Agnieszka Kosela, Andrzej Kowalski, Krakowski Chór Rewolucyjny, Katarzyna Król, Anna Nagadowska, Dagmara Rykalska, Katarzyna Sałbut, Igor Szulc, Daniel Woźniak, Artur Wosz, Piotr Wójcik, Katarzyna Zachara, Szymon Żydek

Acknowledgements

  • Aldona Machnowska-Góra, Dyrektor koordynator ds. kultury i polityki społecznej Biura Kultury m.st. Warszawy
  • Hanna Jakubowicz, Dyrektor Zarządu Mienia m.st. Warszawy
  • Anna Brzezińska-Czerska, Monika Komorowska, Biuro Architektury i Planowania Przestrzennego Urzędu m.st. Warszawy
  • Arkadiusz Pawlak, Małgorzata Smoktunowicz, Biuro Rozwoju Gospodarczego Urzędu m.st. Warszawy

and
Olga Bilewicz, Philomène Dupleix (Villa Arson, Nicea),Tomasz Fudala, Bartłomiej Gowin (Gowin & Siuta Sp.j.), Bartek Górka, Mateusz Halawa, Julia Kern, Kinga Kurysia, Éric Mangion (Villa Arson, Nicea), Michał Pospiszyl, Olga Rosłoń-Skalińska (Zarząd Zieleni m.st.Warszawy), Jacek Sosnowski, Klaudia Podsiadło, Adam Przywara, Marcus Seidner, Szymon Sławiec, Magda Szcześniak, Marek Szołtun (Szołtun Kamieniarstwo), Marta Wódz, Adrian Zatorski (ZAB-BUD), Agnieszka Żuk.

More information on the 11th edition of the Warsaw under Constuction festival website.

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