Video by Lidia Rossner

New National Art

an Exhibition in Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

June 2 – August 19, 2012


The exhibition as well as the accompanying research project New National Art have been developed by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw as a collaboration in solidarity with the 7th Berlin Biennale. The museum’s curators focused on researching the national-patriotic visual culture in Poland, a ubiquitous style that has thrived without awareness or support on the part of art institutions. The installations, paintings, films, books, etc. in the exhibition share an overarching political imperative: to influence people and to shape their views.


Displaying national-patriotic representations in Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art (an institution associated with a left-wing discourse of empowerment) is an attempt to capture the character of political art and its impact on social moods. It is also an exercise in identifying the differences between left-wing critical art, confined in an elitist way to institutions and art discourse, and right-wing art that challenges the latter and puts an emphasis on achieving immediate effect. Inasmuch as political left-wing art—fearing accusations of the return of Socialist Realism—confines itself to galleries and still fails to have a direct impact on positions in public space, the new right-wing art has successfully dominated this field. The presented phenomenon constitutes a contemporary form of political art which, by means of analogy, could be termed "National Realism."


Curators: Sebastian Cichocki and Łukasz Ronduda


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Solidarity Actions

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