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Politics on Paper


Contemporary Polish Poster Art

Politics on Paper


Oct 2, 2013 — Sep 12, 2014
Goldman Room, Busch Hall

About the Exhibit

Contemporary Polish Poster Art

The exhibition includes the selection of 25 unique posters from 1957 to 2013. The selection represents the highest aesthetic quality of the work of multiple generations of Polish poster artists and their embeddedness in the European culture and political imagery. Curators intend to show how the politics is projected through non–political contexts and emphasize the continuity in the tradition of the Polish poster design from its golden age of the Polish School of Poster to the present.

The exhibition narrative relates to the Polish post-1945 history emphasizing specific events - Solidarity movement, 1989 democratic breakthrough, and 2004 accession to European Union. The “story” is articulated by a selection of Polish posters related to those historical events, directly or contextually, through theatre and film posters. The "story" is delivered in the form of provocative juxtapositions of posters, rather than chronology of historical events or cultural artifacts.

The unique feature of this exhibition is its synthetic approach – a carefully selected and limited set of iconic poster designs. The goal of the project is to present the Polish contemporary poster art as a unique tool of political expression in the public domain under both communist and democratic conditions. It is also designed to make the leading Polish poster designers familiar to various audiences at Harvard and to emphasize the uniqueness of the Polish poster visual language.

The exhibit crosses traditional academic and intellectual boundaries and intends to address political, artistic and intellectual themes that bring together social sciences, humanities and arts. Faculty, researchers, students and broader public will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit which will be located at the newly open Jacek E. Giedrojc Gallery at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. The exhibit is a result of collaboration between CES and Poland-U.S. Campus Arts Project - a program organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, Poland (www.culture.pl)

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