Cartoonists’ Congress / Forgiveness Festival. Paweł Althamer, Paweł Jarodzki, Michał Slezkin, drawing activities and exhibition as part of the Drawing Triennial Wrocław 2019
Awangarda BWA Wrocław gallery website
ul. Veit Stoss 32

Since 2012, Paweł Althamer transforms various spaces of a forum for exchanging thoughts, views, manifestations free from hierarchization and censorship of statements. In Beijing, New York, Turin or Kiev, dense structures of various notations, small and larger drawings, supplemented by verbal comments, were created on the walls and floor of the object. Paweł Althamer is an European, if not global, artist – says Marek Puchała, director of BWA Wrocław. – Ignores all the arrangements as to what art should do. His actions take into account the importance of not only the elite, but above all the emotional needs of everyone so that the community can speak. This time he addressed his invitation to all who have the courage to speak in the fight for images and visual public debate in Wroclaw.

During the Congress of cartoonists as part of the Drawing Triennial from June 21-23 at the Awangarda BWA Wrocław gallery, Paweł Althamer and Michał Slezkin, together with curator Paweł Jarodzki, invited artists associated with the institution to express their opinions on, among others, complicated relations and conditions, as a result of which this gallery has lost (for a long time or irretrievably) its current location in the city center.

Within three days, many Wrocław artists joined the drawing activities, including Olaf Brzeski, Andrzej Dudek-Dürer, Beata Fertała-Harlender, Julita Gielzak, Piotr Gardecki, Beata Rojek, Łukasz Rusznica, Krzysztof Skarbek, Radek Ślany. Residents and tourists also drew on the gallery walls, for whom the opportunity to speak so openly proved to be extremely refreshing. Some made small drawings, others tried larger, more expressive gestures, taking thick brushes and cans of paint. Many funny and critical images and texts were created. Art? What can you say about practicing art when people are afraid to say what they think and sign it – comments Paweł Althamer. I believe that we must give all of us such a chance, I believe that it brightens. I prefer cooperation and inspiration to fight. Otherwise we will always dress up for the battle of Grunwald. And that’s what the Congress of Cartoonists is about.

The three-day congress was crowned with a forgiveness ceremony, which referred to the Indian festival of Holi, during which friends and enemies are visited, thrown with colored powders, and forgives everything that happened last year. The effects of the Congress will continue on the avant-garde gallery sites until the future fate of the building is known. Photographic and film documentation prepared by Michał Slezkin

curators: Paweł Althamer, Paweł Jarodzki, Michał Slezkin

organizer: Academy of Fine Arts Eugeniusz Geppert in Wroclaw
co-organizer: BWA Wrocław

media patrons: Szum, TVP Kultura, TVP 3, Contemporary Lynx, Radio Wrocław, Radio RAM, Arteon, Rynek i Sztuki, Format