WE STILL RESEMBLE PEOPLE
Since the times of Jericho street has been the perfect stage, an open space, common agora – the place for meetings, where one can make a speech, present themselves and their views, also through the art. Free admission, no selection at the gate, unnumbered seats, shows without tickets. A face-to-face meeting, with no place for phony emotions, for ctrl-z and for a repeat. One cannot hide behind a screen, put on the skin of an avatar, hide the truth. Truth is the starting point here. There are only few such places left.
It is difficult to talk about art without the social context, without reference to the current situation, without reaction to external stimuli and the extremely rapid changes taking place in the modern world. An artist never creates in a void, detached from the surrounding reality. Ai Wei Wei’s words can be the guideline here: If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is ‘art’ for?
Every day we are reached by news, shocking images of human misery. East – West. Rich North – poor South. Vast inequality, migration crisis. What is our reaction? Vaclav Havel stated The tragedy of the modern man is not that we know more and more about the sense of our own life, but that we less and less address this question. Can we just observe when we see people just like us risking their life in a dramatic struggle to survive, on their trip to the promised land? Can we remain passive in the face of violence turned to the strangers, others, but still same as us? Can we remain inactive when human dignity is violated, women’s rights or ethnic minorities’ rights are not respected, nature is destroyed and the hate speech moves from the gutter to the mainstream? Can life in the illusion of the end of history justify our indifference?
Do we have the ability to be the sovereign of our own fate? To what extent can we really be bigger or smaller communities, local, national, international – just human communities, or rather a collection of free but individual molecules.
KSA AiR 2018 goes to the streets again. This time it is the year when Poland celebrates its 100th anniversary of independence. At the same time a COP24 climate summit will be held in Katowice, which can serve as a starting point for artistic activities pulling at the threads of social responsibility and awareness with regard to the environmental protection.
Soon enough, we will fill the streets of the city, will be visible and loud as the current situation does not allow to be just the observers. On the contrary, it is a loud call for the personal and social responsibility.
Matylda Sałajewska, curator of the Katowice Street Art AiR 2018
/the title taken from a fragment of a track by Asi Mina “Nie narażaj mnie (Do not expose me)”/