The heart of events of SURVIVAL 11 Art Review will be the square by the Academy of Fine Arts and the nearby pedestrian walkway, the so-called Xawery Dunikowski Boulevard, which, together with Wzgórze Polskie [Polish Hill] and Zatoka Gondoli [the Gondola Bay], constitute a truly picturesque and aesthetically-appealing recreation area right in the city centre. The exhibition will be more geographically scattered, however. The venue for some of the projects will be further away from the centre (e.g. the residence near Jaz Opatowicki or the ‘Black Stream’ pond in Sępolno) but it will always remain in the immediate proximity of the river – in order to provide access to these places by special cruise boats on the Oder.
As a result of tight connection of the venue with the river, the eleventh edition of SURVIVAL Art Review will be determined by notions associated with water, its symbolism, characteristics, functioning in nature and in urban areas. As a simultaneously life-giving and destructive force, water may be perceived through these opposing aspects of its influence.
The content of the competition part of SURVIVAL 11 Art Review will revolve around universal notions concerning water: as a symbol of chaos, instability, changeability, as well as transformation, healing, spiritual and physical rebirth, vitality. In the context of Wrocław, it will be particularly important to subject the destructive powers of the element to artistic interpretation, to investigate natural disasters – floods, which largely determine the specificity of water-man-city relations.
The artists and the curators will refer to an array of notions and phenomena connected with the variety and multitude of forms water can take in urban conditions. Stagnant and flowing water, a mixture of water and air, water and land, puddles, ponds, dams, wells, fountains – each form of the element offers material and inspiration for aesthetic work and interpretation.
The eleventh edition of SURVIVAL Art Review is dedicated to the presence of a river in cityspace. It will be an opportunity to extract and analyse artistically the role and meaning of the Oder in the everyday life of the inhabitants of Wrocław, to ponder the human need to be close to water and the symbolism we attach to it.
The Oder is the largest river flowing through Wrocław; together with numerous branches and navigation canals, it constitutes the main part of the Wrocław Water System, which, in turn, belongs to the Trans-European Inland Waterway network. Due to its hydrologic properties, over the centuries Wrocław has come to be known as Venice of the North. The river has always influenced urban planning, and new bridges are being built to connect remote parts of the city.
The motto of the eleventh edition of SURVIVAL Art Review is ‘We’re sailing!’. This sentence was uttered by one of the characters in Roman Polański’s ‘Knife in the Water’* – a young man who, holding on to a spar of a sailing boat, literally ‘walks’ on water. His enthusiastic exclamation ‘We’re sailing!’ was met with the following response by a woman sitting comfortable on the deck: ‘Sure, for sailing’s sake’. ‘We’re sailing!’ is an expression of affirmation of the world, its processual dynamism which lets us believe that ‘everything is possible’. Its opposite, the cynical comment ‘Sure, for sailing’s sake’, expresses the speaker’s tiredness of life and her conformist attitude.
* Roman Polański’s ’Knife in the Water’ (1961) was partially recorded in Wrocław Feature Films Studio.
The application form and all the necessary information can be found at www.survival.art.pl. You are welcome to participate in the competition! Please send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.