Kultura Zrzuty, suplement do tematu
The Pitch-In Culture – an Annex
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An artistic phenomenon called the ‘Pitch-In Culture’ distinguished the Łódź artistic scene, although it actually reflected the situation in the whole country during the eighties and that is the reason why it attracted artists from different towns and various generations. The most radical arts programme emerged across the entire spectrum of independent artistic activities in Poland after martial law and it was different from art directly connected with political opposition or religious motives. I observed some ‘Pitch- In culture’ actions in Łódź, however I prefer to talk about the way the phenomenon was situated in the broader context of the situation for the arts communities in Poland. Since the mid fifties the art circuit had become stronger and stronger, becoming an alternative to official culture. The totalitarian system was conducive to bureaucratic stagnation, so young artists, who were interested in new media and a non-conventional means of expression, created their own network of artistic groups, galleries and events, most often associated with so called ‘student culture’. In the seventies these artistic communities was numerous and multi-generational. Their basic need was selfeducation and generating a network of private contacts in the country and abroad as well as mutual support within art groups and collective shows. The situation after martial law strongly underlined the need to continue to communicate, deepen the knowledge and keep contact with the essence of modern art. The fight for an artistic awareness ran parallel to the fight for political freedom and historical truth. It was not about randomly adding whatever, but moreover about adding something that was considered valuable to the culture that was practiced at the time. For me, as an art historian it was important to broaden the knowledge and preserve the facts about modern art history. Independently of my work in the museum, I participated in a team directed by Professor Aleksander Wojciechowski, who worked on the history of the neoavant- garde in Lower Silesia. Jerzy Busza also appointed me a member of the editorial board of the Obscura bulletin (1982-1990), in which we published important texts that had not been published before in Poland and which explained the sense of modernist and post-modernist ideas. The monthly edition was published as the Federation of Amateur Photography Associations allowed us to publish it as their bulletin. This may all be described as progressive activities in the face of the lack of institutional support at the time for various forms of culture.
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