Bik Van der Pol
Far Too Many Stories to Fit into so Small a Box
The most interesting stories are the ones whispered around. There, facts and gossip are intertwined; memories blur with the imagined. This autumn, the Dutch duo Bik Van der Pol will tell the whispered story of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre of Contemporary Art.
The project Far Too Many Stories to Fit into so Small a Box by Bik Van der Pol is based on the collection and archives of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. The title of the exhibition is a reference to a work of the artist Lawrence Weiner Far Too Many Things to Fit into so Small a Box placed on the façade of the building in the 1990s, which has become the institution’s unofficial motto. Bik Van der Pol critically examine – from the vantage point of outsiders – its history as well as take on board its founding myth and remind of its creator, Wojciech Krukowski, art historian and founder of the avant-garde theatre Akademia Ruchu [Academy of Movement].
The exhibition will include selected objects from the Centre’s collection. They will come to life as props in a spoken performance that will take place on specific days in the exhibition space. The script combines many threads – it has been created with input from the Centre’s workers, artists, curators and other enthusiasts who have participated in creating the institution. Memory is not infallible, however, so the script of the performance is dynamic: the audience will be able to modify it to fit in with their own recollections. Who remembers the beginnings of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art?
Those who weren’t there or do not remember can watch video documentation of the life of the art centre. The exhibition will also comprise an archive of books and posters that have been published by the Ujazdowski Castle together with a workshop space, where viewers can participate in sessions from the series Other Lessons. The series includes workshops with Jolanta Krukowska and Janusz Bałdyga and guided tours led by persons related to the institution.
In their project, Bik Van der Pol ask who owns history. What is memory and what is oblivion? Who creates archives? Can word-of-mouth stories be a legitimate part of them? Is it possible to build communality around a collection of artworks?
- The exhibition has been produced as part of Bik Van der Pol’s artist residency at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre of Contemporary Art.