Photo: Tania Bruguera "Consummated Revolution", performance in the front of the Palace of Culture, Warsaw, 2008 (photo by Jan Smaga)
Sebastian Cichocki (b. 1975) is an art critic, curator and sociologist. He has been working as the chief curator of the newly established Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw since 2008. In the years 2005 -2008 he was the director of Kronika Gallery - a Bytom centre for contemporary art (Upper Silesia, Poland). In 2007 Cichocki was a curator of the Polish Pavilion at the 52nd Art Biennale in Venice, where he presented an exhibition by Monika Sosnowska "1:1". He is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and the author of numerous texts about art, published in art magazines, anthologies and catalogues in Europe and the United States. He lectures at the Curatorial Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He is a guest lecturer at the International Academy of Art Palestine.
WORK, SLEEP, IMAGINE AND DEFEND. TWO CASE STUDIES
A presentation by Sebastian Cichocki (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw)
Art museums, and contemporary art museums in particular, are a magnifying glass through which we can watch the rising demons of social frustration and repressed yearnings. An example of such an institutional tension, a consequence of post-transformation ambitions and a need to fill cultural gaps, characteristic for the former Soviet bloc countries, is the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, officially created in April 2005. Its creation was accompanied by a belief that new museums are instruments of supporting and stimulating modernisation processes. The heated debate that ensued, full of conflicting reasons and ordinary prejudices, has had no precedent in post-war Poland. The Warsaw museum, long before the erection of the building itself (planned for 2014), became the stage of a bitter conflict that has antagonised the artistic, architectural, and political communities. For persons involved in the project, it is an obvious fact that it had been founded on conflict, rather than on a rational debate and compromises, which, paradoxically, can guarantee its longevity and endurance.