A Souvenir from Warsaw, inkjet print on archival paper, 100×70 cm, 2010
Mixed media project: large scale video projection, video on a TV monitor, photographs, 2010
“Unorthodox Image” is a site-specific project that brings back an area of repressed memory of Warsaw’s architecture. It was commissioned for a solo exhibition in Warsaw and consists of two videos and an inkjet print.
The “Victory Square” video is a symbolic reconstruction of the Alexander Nevski Orthodox Cathedral, which stood at the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, when Warsaw was under Russian partition, this Orthodox church was a strong indication of Russification: a sign of Russian presence marked directly in the urban space.
A few years after Poland regained its independence in 1918, the church was dismantled. Today’s Piłsudski Square is an empty place that holds no trace of the fact that in its middle once stood the biggest temple of the time in Warsaw. Through the process of reconstruction, I aim to deconstruct the meaning of Piłsudski Square as a site of History. The present Monument of the Unknown Soldier, a nearby flagpole used for the national flag at official state ceremonies, and the recently installed Catholic cross, stand on guard for Polish national identity.
In the project, history is juxtaposed with the memory – the remembrance of a witness who saw the demolition of the church (“What I Have Seen” video). It problematizes the role of memory as something already directed through an image, asking thus whether memory can have an objective character, or is instead concentrated in our representations. “Unorthodox Image” was curated by Kamil-Julian Malinowski and presented by Foudation 93 in Hotel Europeiski, Warsaw, 2010. Special thanks to Prof. Szymon Boyko, Kasia Dobrowolska, Piotr Bekas.