Postwar in the art of the East and West: The international Trauma & Revival project begins in October at the Bunkier Sztuki

The Trauma & Revival project uses art to attempt to understand two shell-shocked decades. The period from 1945 to 1968 were experienced quite differently in East and West Europe, by all appearances permanently separated by an Iron Curtain. We most often speak of the East and West Europe of those times as separate entities. This project aims to show that, despite the symbolic separation of European artists into East and West, there was much they had in common: the need to deal with wartime trauma and an uncertain, though determined hope in the future. Trauma & Revival aims to create a common artistic experience of those years on our continent, in spite of all the differences.

The main initiator of the project is the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels. The partners are galleries, cultural institutions, and foundations from East and West Europe. Among them is the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art.

The years to come will see a range of various events. The project will be accompanied by the exhibition Facing the Future: Art in Europe 1945–1968, presenting works by 180 artists from Europe and the former USSR, including Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Andrzej Wróblewski, Ossip Zadkine, and Fernand Léger. It will be on display until 25 September of this year in Brussels’ BOZAR. In the coming months the exhibition will be hosted in Karlsruhe (21.10.2016–29.01.2017), and then in Moscow (6.03–28.05.2017).

Apart from the above exhibition, the Trauma & Revival project will include conferences, workshops, and residencies for artists, curators, and intellectuals.

The inauguration of the Krakow edition of Trauma and Revival began in October 2016. The Bunkier Sztuki invited one and all to films prepared in collaboration with the Widok Visual Culture Foundation.

The films acquaint us with how art and artists dealt with their wartime trauma experienced in the context of Europe’s real and symbolic division into East and West, and how they came out of it. The screenings will take place at Krakow’s Pod Baranami Cinema.

In the following months the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery hosted workshops for young artists and an exhibition presenting the results of their joint work. The conclusion of the Trauma & Revival project is planned for 2018.

Project organizer: Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR)
Partners: Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art (Krakow, Poland), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe, Germany), Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, Italy), Jyväskylä University (Finland), kim? Contemporary Art Centre (Riga, Latvia).
Affiliated partners: Pushkin State Museum (Moscow, Russia), Tretyakov State Gallery (Moscow, Russia), ROSIZO State Museum Exhibition Centre  (Moscow, Russia), Austrian Culture Forum / Austrian Embassy in Moscow

With the support of the Creative Europe Program  of the European Union