The 2018 exhibition programme at Królikarnia revolves around the theme of sculpture in public space as well as monuments and the reasons why we erect, alter and demolish them. The upcoming events include large exhibition "Monument. Central and Eastern Europe 1918 – 2018" in the coming autumn. The cycle is inaugurated by the presentation of Karolina Breguła’s latest project 廣場 (The Square).
It is a film story about a small town community. Unexpectedly, a mysterious object hidden in the bushes that grow in a square begins to communicate with the passers-by. Humming silently at first, it then begins to... sing louder and louder. The sound is said to come from a sculpture that cannot be discerned amidst the thicket. It might indeed stand there, all forgotten, as a remnant of the bygone order. Initially, its voice is a source of pleasure, but after a while it begins to get on the town dwellers’ nerves. The lyrics of the song gradually become clearer: “I’d like to ask you a question.” Questions, as we all know, may be uncomfortable. The community’s opposition gradually transmogrifies into organised aggression.
廣場 (The Square) was mostly shot in Taiwan, the actors speak Mandarin and Taiwanese. Yet, 廣場 (The Square) is not a portrait of the life lived by the people of the Taiwanese town of Tainan, but a universal philosophical parable created by Breguła and devoted to community and fear of disclosing its painful and troublesome secrets.
The artist merges different conventions – feature film, musical, and even theatre spectacle footage, thus escaping obviousness in terms of style and interpretation, whilst building a whole from a wide range of varied elements. Several scenes were shot at an Asian marketplace in Warsaw featuring Chinese and Vietnamese inhabitants of the Polish capital. Here, the camerawork becomes agitated, akin to a documentary footage, and the rhythm is erratic. One of the episodes features the artist, who turns the camera to herself and carries out a desperate performative self-analysis. She manifests the need to take action which she confronts with a sense of helplessness in the face of approaching evil.
The project may function as a feature-length theatrical production, yet at the exhibition at the Museum of Sculpture it adopts the form of a temporally synchronised spatial installation. Presented on 9 separate screens, the scenes are to be viewed in a chronological order, although at times all the episodes become harmonised both at the formal and narrative level. As for the soundtrack, whose particularly interesting feature is music by the Japanese singer and composer Manami Kakudo, the moments of synchronisation bring to life a spatial choral piece audible simultaneously in all five gallery halls.