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2017 | 16 | 63-79
Article title

O polityczności sztuki Jerzego Beresia na tle politycznym

Authors
Content
Title variants
EN
About politics of Jerzy Bereś’s art in a political context
Languages of publication
PL
Abstracts
EN
The oeuvre of Jerzy Bereś (1930-2012) is considered to be one of the most politically engaged in the Polish art scene of the second half of the twentieth century. Its interpretation is facilitated by the context of post-war events, which led Poland to loose its real independence. A massively distorted image of that time was propagated for nearly half a century and nowadays the aftereffects are still noticeable. After the second Soviet invasion of Poland in 1944, public awareness of a threat to the country’s independence was widespread. The process leading to the annihilation of this knowledge took over a dozen years, tens of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands repressed in various ways. After the tragic experiences of German occupation, Polish citizens desired to return to the life they once had. Nevertheless, the society was terrorized and subjected to total indoctrination. They began to slip more and more into torpor, a lethargy that was a sort of self-preservation as well. People dreamed a dream whispered by the communist regime. Security Services were preventing any disruption of this sleep, using thousands of secret agents and collaborators. Bereś wanted to break that false dream. He engaged himself in disputation with the totalitarian reality through the field of art. Assuming that an important role of art is, among others, to make apparent what is invisible, the artist gave himself the most challenging task out of all possibilities. In the Polish People's Republic, the issue pushed most deeply into the realm of shadow and invisibility was the lack of real independence. Bereś constantly strove to remind the public of it and he bitingly criticized socio-political mechanisms prevailing in Eastern Bloc countries. The aim of his art was to provoke and induce the public to judge the reality around them. The artist elaborated in numerous sculptures and actions a unique method of universalizing local experiences. An emblem of his relationship to the world was the image of a white and red penis, present in his artworks through almost his whole artistic career. His attitude was unique since most Polish artists of that time understood freedom in art as being unconnected with politics. He had the opportunity to witness a process that seemed impossible to happen: the transition from a totalitarian system to democracy. The latter had been an idealized myth for decades, an elusive paradise with social freedom and wealth. After the fall of communism in 1989 this myth collided with the realities of the market economy. Then, the politics of Bereś’s art gained a new and different meaning.
Year
Issue
16
Pages
63-79
Physical description
Contributors
author
  • UJ, Wydział Filozoficzny
References
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Document Type
Publication order reference
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YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-1b20e54c-febc-4cac-9cb6-d92f752292c3
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