Minister of Culture
We, a group of artists and activists, the audience of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, turn to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage because we recognize that the institutions entrusted with the protection of artistic expression are in crisis.
The main points of crisis at CCA are well known. Employees are in a years long dispute with the management: director Fabio Cavallucci, vice-director Joanna Szwajcowska, and vice-director Adam Wroblewski. The Solidarity union has given voice to this situation publicly in a number of letters. Local and international artists have also called attention to an abuse of power. Numerous articles have appeared in the press.
Recent developments at the CCA have further complicated the situation. We interpret the blasphemy trial of artist Jacek Markiewicz and curator Marek Goździewski from the British British Polish Polish exhibition as an attack on freedom of expression that has resulted in pressure on the Ministry and the management of CCA from the right.
In this situation, we lend our unequivocal support to the entire community and institution of CCA. Given this impossible situation in which an historically important art institution finds itself, we think it is imperative for you to join the CCA, to strengthen rather than dilute artistic freedom, and to stand firm against the forces of violence and intimidation that seek to silence voices that cause...
as many of you already know, a few days ago the group Winter Holidays Camp met in Warsaw, willing to continue the project that they had started a few month ago. They proposed to donate to the collection of CCA their artwork, consisting in their time, artistic and political vision. The Komisja Zakupów, yesterday evening, accepted the artwork for the collection. The gift involve a few actions, one of them is a meeting with all the employees. Personally I am not convinced with the political vision of Winter Holiday Camp applied to an art institution. But I recognize the real artistic devotion and the good will of their intentions. As I am always a supporter of true artistic research, I cannot not accept their gift, as expression of a true artistic vision. Therefore I invite all employees that would like to participate, to take part in a meeting with Winter Holidays Camp, in Sala Zygmuntoska, at 2,00, and at the official opening of the project at 5.00 PM. Take this e mail as invitation, and consider yourself free to participate or not.
Drogie Koleżanki, Drodzy Koledzy,
jak zapewne wielu z Was już wie, od kilku dni trwa w Warszawie spotkanie grupy Winter Holiday Camp / Zimowe Wakacje, pragnącej kontynuować projekt, który zainicjowali kilka miesięcy temu. Grupa zaproponowała przekazanie do Kolekcji CSW dzieła, na które składają się ich czas oraz artystyczna i polityczna wizja. Komisja...
We, the members of the working group Winter Holiday / Winter Holiday Camp, intend to donate our collective work, titled Winter Holiday Camp, to CCA Zamek Ujazdowski. Our gift is offered in appreciation to the CCA for its contribution to our colletive project and in recognition of the participation of the employees of CCA in its development.
Winter Holiday Camp consists of the following elements: our work, our time dedicated to the CCA, and our contribution of intellectual, artistic, and political vision. The work will also consist of meetings and debates, as well as collective activities such as group art workshops based in collective improvisation.
We look forward to your acceptance of our gift to the CCA collection, which as we know, is historical and includes many works of art that document the development of the institution and its collaboration with artists.
We have worked over an extended period with the CCA in the development of this work, and we believe that the presence of our work in the collection would be in keeping with its existing character.
We look forward to incorporating Winter Holiday Camp in the upcoming exhibition of the CCA collection. We are happy to assist you in the proper installation of our work.
Winter Holiday / Winter Holiday Camp
My, członkowie grupy roboczej Zimowe Wakacje / Winter Holiday Camp, darujemy do zbiorów CSW Zamek Ujazdowski nasze grupowo wykonane dzieło, zatytułowane Zimowe Wakacje /...
Warszawa, 21 listopada 2013
CSW Zamek Ujazdowski
Kolegium Kuratorów CSW Zamek Ujazdowski podjęło decyzję o utrzymaniu w
programie na rok 2013 projektu Winter Holiday Camp (WHC).
Otwarty, eksperymentalny charakter tej propozycji, mającej na celu analizę aktualnej
kondycji instytucji kultury, jaką jest CSW, a następnie dyskusję i podjęcie próby wspólnego
wypracowania nowego modelu jej funkcjonowania, doskonale odpowiada koncepcji
Podjęcie projektu WHC uważamy za tym ważniejsze, że odbywa się on w kontekście
kryzysu w naszej instytucji. Projekt WHC został pomyślany przez jego inicjatorów jako
pole refleksji nad mechanizmami funkcjonowania instytucji kultury, laboratorium szukania
alternatywnych rozwiązań instytucjonalnych i narzędzie badania relacji międzyludzkich
panujących w placówkach artystycznych. Tego rodzaju dyskursywne przedsięwzięcie jest
doskonałą platformą do wypracowywania sposobów przezwyciężenia obecnego kryzysu oraz
tworzenia nowych modeli relacji między zespołem, współpracującymi artystami i publicznością
Dear CCA employees
As most of you already know, we are international group of artists and activists whose aim is to change the institution of art — in this case CCA — into an environment where all employees are treated with respect, where chronically oppressive power relations do not exist, and where the program is designed democratically and promotes art for citizens, not financial markets.
We know about the situation in the CCA. We published a letter to support the resistance of the CCA employees against the authoritarian style of power in the institution. We agree with your resistance to unbearable relations between the directors and employees. As artists, spectators and ordinary people, we do not believe that a progressive culture can be created under such oppressive institutional conditions.
Many of us are experienced collaborators and activists. Some of us have worked closely for many years with employees at art institutions for democratic conditions. We have worked with activist groups all over the world to struggle for citizen’s rights and by working together, we have formed our own democratic process among ourselves. In previous research at CCA, we experienced difficult and nearly impossible negotiations with the director. We also spent a lot of time listening to the CCA workers and learning about how the whole institution functions. Some of your agreed to be interviewed and we very much appreciate...
That the financial situation of the CCA and its strategy of financial management be presented in a clear manner.
That fair working conditions, as defined by the Labor Code, be returned to the CCA, and that the staff members are treated with proper respect rather than as “implements”.
That the CCA abandon its extremely centralized methods of management and organization as they are not successful in an institution which has the ambition to create vital culture.
That the artists who contribute to the CCA program be paid fees.
That the organizational chaos which has existed at the institution for three years, and which results from an unclear division of tasks and means, cease.
That the strenuous coming and going of the staff be stopped by putting an end to unjustified dismissals and the...
published in Krytyka
Dear Joanna Szwajcowska and Fabio Cavallucci,
Decision-making power in the culture industry rests in the hands of small groups of individuals. The goal of Winter Holiday Camp (WHC) is to challenge this paradigm, to turn CCA into an open space where decisions concerning the shape and aims of the institution are made in a democratic rather than authoritarian manner.
We wrote our statement of October 3rd because your quiet cancellation of WHC was a political act that required a public response. We recognize that we are connected to larger struggles and feel obligated to share our perspective.
We find your statement that, “No question about cancelling the project was raised by us” quite confusing. How is WHC to continue when you wrote to the ministry that CCA was over-budget on the current show and that there were no funds left for the project? And what should we think after we heard that British British, Polish Polish would be extended into the time frame that had been promised to WHC? Until now, you have attempted no direct communication to clarify this obscure situation.
You wrote that we are escalating conflict at CCA. In our view, we have responded appropriately to...
published in Krytyka
w związku z opublikowanym przez Krytykę Polityczną tekstem "Dlaczego decyduje 1 procent?" informuję, że w trakcie spotkania z Arturem Żmijewskim w dniu 2 października, w którym brał udział Fabio Cavallucci i ja, jasno wyraziliśmy intencję kontynuowania projektu. Ponieważ obecna sytuacja CSW uniemożliwia sfinansowanie projektu Winter Camp w pełnej wersji, wspólnie z Arturem Żmijewskim, jako przedstawicielem grupy roboczej pracującej nad projektem, zastanawialiśmy się, jak zrealizować projekt w wersji okrojonej. Nie było mowy o odwołaniu projektu z naszej strony, o takim zagrożeniu nie wspominał również Artur Żmijewski.
Polish version of this letter was published in Krytyka Politycznya
Both versions published in ArtLeaks
Winter Holiday Camp is an artistic experiment in institutional democracy open to the collaboration of children and adults alike, including every worker of CCA Ujazdowski Castle and its visiting public. With its initial stages already begun last Spring, and scheduled to unfold during Winter 2013, it is now one of the projects favored for cancellation by CCA director Fabio Cavalucci due to the museum's financial crisis. This suggestion was presented in Cavalucci's letter to the Ministry of Culture, which was sent in the beginning of September.
The Working Group of Winter Holiday Camp is a collective of artists and activists from a diverse array of countries. We don’t exist singularly, but rather form a node in a series of networks that straddles political and artistic spheres. We stand in solidarity with Janusz Byszewski and the union of workers (KZ NSZZ Solidarność nr 677 w Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski) that published a letter on...