The POLSKA series is a summary of artistic expressions from an unfinished cycle of work RYSZARD KAJA has been developing since 2011 for the Polish Poster Gallery in Wrocław. Whilst drawing upon the tradition of the tourist poster, the artist depicts Poland from a very personal point of view.
Among the collection of more than 50 posters you will find works representing big cities such as Łódź or Poznań, towns like Szamotuły and the village Warnowo, national parks, flora and fauna (from the Sudety mountain range), geography (the Baltic Sea, the Vistula river), and places incredibly important to Polish culture and folklore (Kurpie), tradition (Zaduszki) and history (Gliwice).
In his artistic practice Kaja plays with the traditional forms of poster art, whilst at the same time keeping his unique aesthetics, drawing upon Art Deco, Secession, Socialist Realism, Constructivism and the Polish School of Posters.
The exhibition and the project reflect the artist’s interest in the theme of the journey, a continuous wandering and searching. For Kaja the journey transcends borders as well as himself, and offers an exceptional perspective through which he scrutinizes the observed reality.
The collection of posters is a continuation of the previous threads present in Kaja’s works, in particular his ink paintings.
The artist plans to expand his work into a series entitled THE WORLD.
During the UCL festival of the Arts’ all day exhibition viewers will have an opportunity to see unique posters selected by the artist and curators and enjoy a WINE RECEPTION from 6pm to 7pm.
Ryszard Kaja was born in 1962 in Poznań. He is a graduate of Poznań Academy of Fine Arts. He is a painter, graphic, stage and interior designer.
He created more than 150 set designs for theatre, ballet, opera, television and film productions, and collaborated with many established directors and choreographers.
His main passion, besides theatre, is poster art. In this area he continues his family tradition, his father, Zbigniew Kaja, being one of the most important representatives of the world renowned Polish School of Poster, his mother Stefania was a painter.
His posters are mostly based on paintings which in these days dominated by computer design could be regarded as “outdated”, but from the esthetical perspective they have more in common with the productions for which they were made. Kaja’s fascination with the baroque and with Bohumil Hrabal’s prose makes his art additionally exceptional and unique.
29th MAY 2014, 12 pm – 9 pm, Roberts Foyer, Roberts Engineering Building, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT
In collaboration with: dr Urszula Chowaniec (SEES) Krzysztof Marcinkiewicz (Polish Poster Gallery Wroclaw)
UCL Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in cooperation with the INSTITUTE OF POLISH-JEWISH STUDIES, LONDON
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS REVISITING EASTERN EUROPE
21 MAY 2014, 5-8 PM
UCL, Gower Street Pearson Lecture Theatre G22
Prof. Shimon Redlich (Ben Gurion University) Prof. Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University) Prof. Gabriel Finder (University of Virginia) Dr. François Guesnet (UCL)
She is a Romanian researcher born in Timișoara in 1984. She graduated philosophy at the West University of Timișoara in 2007, and after that she finished both a M.A. and a Phd. in Philosophy at the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Currently she is a phd. student at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa in Political Theory, with a research project about the dialectics of social-conflict in post-communist Europe. She is currently a visiting researcher at Birkbeck, University of London. She has seen (pre)revolution history through the eyes of a child, transition through the lens of a youngster, only to take up as an adult, the task of making sense of it all. Her research areas are: Eastern European studies, migration, labour theory of value, (working) class studies, contemporary political philosophy, critical Marxism.
Agata Pyzik is a Polish journalist and writer living in London. She writes about art, architecture, music and literature for many British and Polish magazines. Her focus is art and politics from the “former East”, including the Cold War and modernism. She writes for, among others, The Guardian, Icon, Frieze, Afterall, the Wire and Sight & Sound. She is an author of the book on the cultural “dreamlands” in the Eastern and Western Europe during the communist era for Zer0 Books (Poor but Sexy, 2014)