“Stories. The world is more complicated than our truths about it”
is an interdisciplinary artistic and educational project in the field of contemporary visual arts (including performing arts) carried out by the Mazovian Museum in Płock, Poland, in partnership with Kunstbanken Center for Contemporary Art in Hamar, Norway, under the banner of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson’s work.
The reference to the Themersons is crucial for the project as it results from both the programme policy of the Mazovian Museum, whose Themerson Gallery opened in 2021, and the universality of the Themersons’ thought and artistic output in the context of contemporary art.
The project will last for a year, from April 2023 to March 2024, and the programme of the events assumes the organization of artistic activities in places located outside large centres, both in Poland (Płock) and Norway (Hamar), with poorer access to culture.
The objectives of the project include the following: creating a platform for cooperation between institutions operating in a similar environment in Poland and Norway, including support for their entrepreneurship, dissemination and promotion of contemporary art and performance practices among the general public; dissemination of the Themersons’ achievements; establishing a relationship conducive to better communication and understanding between artists, institutions and citizens of two countries using art as a medium; popularization of the effects of the cooperation on the international arena; promotion of cultural diversity (activation of minority groups).
Curators of the “Tales” project:
Ske writes and talks about film, art and literature, translates, photographs, paints, creates sound spaces. She works on documentaries and animated films and lectures at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw. Since the late 1970s, as a curator, translator and author of artistic projects, she has been cooperating with art centers, film studios, universities, theater, performance art and film festivals in Poland and on all continents. Author of numerous translations in the field of contemporary art, literature, philosophy and history (Wittgenstein, Russell, Themerson, Czechowicz, Poświatowska and others). Two-time scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Curator of the Themersons’ permanent exhibition at the Mazovian Museum. Since 2002, she has been publishing Themersons’ Scattered Works in her publishing house “Gaberbocchus in Poland”. She has been collaborating with the Themerson Festival in Płock since its inception. The work of this extraordinary pair of artists was the subject of many of her lectures, presentations, exhibitions and publications in Poland, Japan, Israel, Belarus, Switzerland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden and others. Currently, she is implementing a one-year project financed by the Culture Program – EEA funds, inspired by the works of Themersons, and is finishing work on the biography of Franciszka and Stefan, with whom she was friends for the last 10 years of their lives.
She leads a nomadic lifestyle in search of universal values and beauty.
Director and artistic leader of Kunstbanken Hedmark Kunstsenter since 2000. Kunstbanken is a contemporary centre situated in Hamar. Blekastad is initiator of Kunstbanken’ s commitment to performance art, and since 2003 she has been curator for the art centre’s international performance festival and numerous exhibitions of contemporary art.
She holds an MA in art history from the University of Bergen and has 11 years of practice as a curator at Lillehammer Art Museum. She has been a lecturer in recent art history at Lillehammer University College and published many articles about contemporary art in various art magazine, exhibition catalogues and books.
The project assumes:
- organization of two international Performance Festivals in Płock and Hamar, which will be accompanied by a rich program of artistic events and educational activities (including lectures, discussion panels, presentations, seminars, meetings with artists, workshops on performing arts for schools);
- implementation of workshops conducted by VestAndPage for young artists in Poland and Norway;
- presentation of an exhibition of Norwegian crafts at the Mazovian Museum in Płock;
- multimedia exhibition presenting new works of art commissioned for the project and created by international artists (Grzegorz Rogala, Victoria Sara Davis and Leigh Singer) in Płock and Hamar, respectively. The exhibition will be accompanied by shows of Polish and Norwegian animations (including Anita Killa’s retrospective);
- an extensive educational program, including a series of seven workshops supporting the cultural competences of recipients inspired by the Themersons’ works (the so-called “Themerson workshops” in Płock dedicated to various groups of recipients, including children, with the participation of the Roma minority) and nine workshops in Norway (workshops for schools , creative workshops, workshops for immigrants);
- 4 guided tours of exhibitions in Płock for the blind;
- 2 artist residencies in Norway;
- programme of 5 performative actions during the exhibition openings in Kunstbanken in 2023 and 2024;
- 2 entrepreneurship development seminars and 2 partner meetings during the project.