WHAT IS SOCIAL? Activity of the Ujazdowski Castle in Public Space (1988–2014)

May 13 – September 27, 2015

Activity of the Ujazdowski Castle in Public Space (1988–2014)

Paweł Althamer, Lene Berg, Black Market International, Christian Boltanski, Maurizio Cattelan, Peter DownsbroughChristian Jankowski, Jenny Holzer, Heidrun Holzfeind, Jerzy Kalina,
Martin Kaltwasser / Folke Köbberling, Tadashi Kawamata, Grzegorz KlamanAndree Korpys / Markus Löffler / Marcus Kaiser, Barbara Kruger, Katharina Marszewski, David MachTeresa Murak, Jarosław Perszko, Cai Ulrich von Platen / Jan Håfström, Leszek Przyjemski,
Joanna Rajkowska, James TurrellLawrence Weiner, Krzysztof Wodiczko
as well Maria Parczewska and Janusz Byszewski (LET)

Opening of the exhibition: May 13, 2015 at 6.00 p.m.
On view through: September 27, 2015
Curator: Grzegorz Borkowski
Exhibition design: Marcin Kwietowicz
Image editing of the documentary materials: Piotr Woźniakiewicz
Collaboration: Iga Fijałkowska, Katarzyna Lipińska


CO JEST SPOŁECZNE? I WHAT IS SOCIAL? - zwiastun / trailer from CSW TV .

The artificial palm tree on the Charles de Gaulle Roundabout demonstrated the potential of artistic activities in public space, even to those who are not interested in contemporary art. Initially, it was a temporary artistic intervention that aroused surprise and controversy, and in the past few years, it has become a widely recognized object and a popular symbol of Warsaw. Its interpretations and assessments no longer solely depend on the statements of specialists in the field of art, but rather on the emotions, opinions, and attitudes of the people who see it. It became a social phenomenon because it managed to take root in the public’s imagination.

The project of Joanna Rajkowska, "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue," was seen by a different kind of audience - people who do not necessarily visit exhibitions, but still feel entitled to commenting on and evaluating the kind of art they come across in their everyday experience. They do not form a social group, but rather, consist of changing groups that are utilizing urban spaces. Art in public space is able to prompt the individuals creating these moving communities to communicate - not necessarily about art, but rather on things that became apparent because of art, things they attributed to it, which someone suggested them. Are social phenomena formed in this way, or rather individual experiences? Which is more significant for the arts? What is individual and what is social, since no one functions in isolation? To say that everything is social is like saying nothing at all. "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue," by Joanna Rajkowska, is one of the many projects implemented by the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in public space, which the exhibition "What is Social?" presents. We propose to ask the question in the title to each of the nearly thirty selected projects.

In the entire history – spanning over 20 years – of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle, implementations and actions in public spaces have constituted an important element of the institution’s program, and were often carried out beyond the castle’s walls. These projects were extremely diverse, often pioneering, and mainly so because they included interventions in urban spaces with such outstanding artists like Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and Joanna Rajkowska, but also cultural animation activities with local communities, exhibition projects around the Castle, as well as many projects in other facilities and cultural institutions.

For all, this will be an opportunity for a unique kind of time travel, and for many, an opportunity to remember the events in which they partook. The exhibition will show materials from the rich collections of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle as well as its International Collection of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is an introduction to the recapitulation of the experience of art in public spaces in Poland, as well as a basis for the critical self-reflection of the institution and deliberation over new strategies for public art in the twenty-first century.

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Program accompanying the exhibition

Curatorial tour with Grzegorz Borkowski
May 23, 2015, 3.00 p.m.
June 10, 2015, 12.00 p.m., Senior's Day
June 11, 2015, 5.00 p.m.
September 24, 2015, 5.00 p.m.

Active guided tour with Iga Fijałkowska
July 16, 2015, 5.00 p.m.
September 13, 2015, 5.00 p.m.

Educational Workshop  
June 9, 2015, CCA Laboratory Building
Educational workshop, organized by Clear Channel Poland

Projects in Public Space
July 1, 2015, 9/15 Marszałkowska Street
Opening of a project from Vitor Cesar "Iść przez miasto w stanie zamętu", realized within the A-I-R Laboratory Residency Program CCA Ujazdowski Castle, supported by Clear Channel Poland

Meetings and Discussions
May 16, 2015 at 3.00 p.m., 9/15 Marszałkowska Street
Artists – institutions – communities: discussion about the residential programmes

June 9, 2015 at 6.00 p.m., KINO.LAB
"What is effective (in art)?" – discussion based on the book "Effectiveness of Art," published by the Museum of Art in Łódź.

June 16 , 2015 at 6 p.m., 9/15 Marszałkowska Street
Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Simone De Iacobis (Centrala), 9/15 Marszałkowska Street Portfolio of the place

July 3, 2015 at 6 p.m., KINO.LAB
"The Dark Matter of Art" – a screening of Anna Baumgart’s film as well as a meeting with the artist
and Mikołaj Iwański led by Stach Szabłowski

Educational Activities for Organized Groups


The exhibition presents works and documentation from the following collections: The International Collection of Contemporary Art at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Department of Scientific Information and Documentation of the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Laboratory of Creative Education, A-I-R Laboratory, CCA TV, the Archives of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the Archives of the Labyrinth Gallery in Lublin.

The CCA Ujazdoski Castle would also like to extend its gratitude to all the people and institutions that have supported the implementation of these projects.



The International Art Seminar

Chinese Photography, 4 – 30.06.1990 (exhibition took place on Na Rozdrożu Square)

The exhibition Paradise Lost. Polish Art in 1949 and 1989, 18.06 – 31.07.1990

Krzysztof Wodiczko The Alien Staff, 1992

Jenny Holzer, Truisms, 1977–79, Warsaw 1993

David Mach’s sculpture in front of the façade of the Castle

Peter Downsbrough, Period, 1994

Leszek Przyjemski, MUSEUM OF HYSTERICS 1968–1995, 1995


Barbara Kruger, Your Body is a Battleground, 1995

James Turrell, Skyspace (unrealised project)

Paweł Althamer, Walk, 25.04.2001

Christian Boltanski, Witness, 2001

Marcus Kaiser, Andree Korpys, Markus Löffler, SUPERSAM, 2002

Joanna Rajkowska Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue

The Laboratory of Creative Education, Home, My Centre of the World, Supraśl, 2003

Tadashi Kawamata, Reconstruction, Permanent exhibition since 04.10.2003

Jan Håfström, Cai Ulrich von Platen, The Club, 26.06–5.09.2004

Lene Berg, Darwin in Warsaw, 6–7.10.2005

Joanna Rajkowska, Oxygenator, Grzybowski Square in Warsaw, 20.07–20.11.2007

Heidrun Holzfeind, Behind the Iron Gate, 2009

Martin Kaltwaser and Folke Köbbering, The Eldorado Summer Resort, (For Passive and Active
Laziness), April–June 2009

Ideas, 26.09–02.11.2009

Performance of the Black Market, International Group, 21.11.2010

Katharina Marszewski, PORTHOS. Marszewski at Marszałkowska 9/15, 16 – 31.05. 2012

The Town of Good Energy. OCCUPY ART!

Green Jazdów (three editions: 2012, 2013, 2014)

Maurizio Cattelan, Him, 2001

Christian Jankowski, Heavy-weight History, 2013

Teresa Murak, Matter, 2014

Jarosław Perszko, Breath, 2012/2015

Partner of the Exhibition: Clear Channel Poland

Media Patrons of the Exhibition: Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Notes.Na.6.Tygodni 

CCA Media Patronage: Gazeta Wyborcza, Warszawa, Gazeta Co Jest Grane, TOK FM, ELLE, Elle Decoration, Esquire Polska, Aktivist,, Stolica


   Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski 00-467 Warszawa, ul. Jazdów 2, tel. +48 22 628 12 71-73, fax: +48 22 628 95 50,, e-mail:
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