We just came back from a week holidays in Quebec, Canada: wilderness, snow, kindness and feeling of being home would synthesise this well needed break. We went in Montreal, Quebec City and 3 national parcs (Parc national de la Mauricie, Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, Parc national du Mont-Tremblant), visits the Hotel des Glaces and meet some great people.
The first one called Gender in Art confronting significant civilisational themes with artist’s interpretation.
Presentation by the museum
Gender is socially constructed sex. Gender studies examine the way history and culture determine sex. Who a man or a woman is in a given world largely depends on the one who manipulates these images. For centuries the conception of gender has remained in the hands of religions, which have imposed ʻproperʼ social roles on the representatives of different sexes. This has been going for so long that it has come to be seen by many as the law of nature. A vast majority of religions have reduced woman to the role of the weaker, more stupid and subordinate sex. To many people this still seems to be ʻnaturalʼ. Currently we are trying to understand the mechanisms behind this manipulation and lead to a situation in which full dignity and equal rights of all genders would be secured. We endeavour to arrive at a point where gender would cease to be an ideological construct and become man’s individual decision that is closest to their sense of identity. The exhibition at MOCAK fits in with the field of these reflections, studies and claims.
The second one Poland – Israel – Germany: The Experience of Auschwitz
It was very moving, and maybe for me more powerful to foster the historical atrocity than visiting Auschwitz. Some of the pieces were actually about questioning the fact that it is becoming a touristic destination, where companies are making money and tourists take holidays pictures. They are questioning if it is appropriate in such place.
Presentation by the museum
The exhibition at MOCAK highlights the significant presence of the theme of Auschwitzin the historical, social and cultural discourse. It demonstrates how contemporary artists from Poland, Israel and Germany interpret events from the past. This is not about presenting art broadly thematically related to the Holocaust, rather – about works that deal with the ‘anus mundi’– Auschwitz as a place of genocide, the most tragic man-made symbol there is. The exhibition poses a number of questions. After the last witnesses have died, will Auschwitz become a dark and vacant pop-cultural motif, a pure provocation, a horror Disneyland? Or are such worries exaggerated? Will the second and third post- Auschwitz generations feel a responsibility to carry the memory of these events?