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'The Journey To The East': Contemporary Art From Post-Communist Countries (VIDEO)

Posted: 08/20/11 08:55 AM ET

The Journey to the East is an exhibition that takes its visitors on a trip to the post-communist countries in Eastern Europe. 40 artists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine have been invited, along with artists from Poland.

The exhibition at the Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok in Poland is part of a series of cultural events accompanying the Polish Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council. The curator of the exhibition, Monika Szewczyk, acknowledged the political aspect of the project by inviting artists from the so-called Eastern Partnership program, an institutionalized forum initiated by the European Union for discussing partnership agreements with the EU's eastern neighbors. In this video, Monika Szewczyk talks about the concept of the exhibition and presents the works of some of the invited artists.

In many post-communist countries, art is still influenced by the region's political heritage and the young political systems. The curator of the exhibition wants neither to neglect that fact, nor group the works in nationality pigeonholes. Monika Szewczyk:

We are in the area of post communist countries and that experience affected us, our habits and our way of thinking a lot. It changes, of course, but some traces remain. The exhibition is very different, of course. I have this feeling that there are both weaker and stronger sides but what is important is the fact that it really shows the condition of that region and artists from that region who speak the language of modern art, take part in international exhibitions and present their work in different places. They are in continuous communication with the world of art in general.

The exhibition's leitmotif refers to the Polish journalist and publicist Edwin Bendyk's prophecy, that the solution to various global problems is the creation of interpersonal relations based on love, not competition, hierarchy or domination. The Journey to the East seeks to explore whether this could be an alternative to government authority and economic capital.

The exhibition runs until September 30, 2011. After Bialystok, the exhibition travels to Kiev and Krakow.

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