A Place of Radical Opening: The Images of Lviv in The Art of Henryk Streng

A Place of Radical Opening: The Images of Lviv in The Art of Henryk Streng

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Dr. Piotr Słodkowski

Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

15.7.2021, 18:30

online / zoom / youtube

We invite you to the online lecture by Dr. Piotr Słodkowski on "A Place of Radical Opening: The Images of Lviv in The Art of Henryk Streng." This lecture launches the program "Urban Scraps: Space, Media and Visuality."

Where is L'viv? There is no simple answer to this apparently simple question. In his lecture, focusing on the interwar works of Henryk Streng and the artes group, Piotr Słodkowski reflects on the place of L’viv in Polish (and Polish-Ukrainian) memory and art history. From this perspective, L'viv appears to be an important metropolis for the region with representative streets and squares in the city center and, at the same time, a fascinating suburban space, where a rich Polish-Jewish popular culture developed. It appears as a dynamic artistic center and at the same time as a periphery: a city distant not only from Paris, but also – after World War II and Yalta Agreement – distant from the previous close relations with Krakow or Warsaw. A reflection on L'viv inevitably touches upon the problem of cultural and political boundaries that co-create the work of the canon of Central European art. It also prompts us to consider how to think about these issues over narrow national (and nationalist) categories, building rather trans-regional narratives. Using these optics, Słodkowski looks at the representations of the city in Streng's art, especially his early work "Street" (1924) and the late series "Musicians" (ca. 1937). A close reading of these projects will show that they are inextricably linked with the geohistorical specificity of the place and reveal the potential of L'viv as a rich cultural base for the inventive work of Central European modernists.

Discussants –Vita Susak, Bohdan Shumylovych.

Moderator – Sofia Dyak

The event will be delivered on an online platform zoom. To join the discussion, please, register.

Live streaming on Youtube will be available.

Working languages – Ukrainian and Polish (with simultaneous translation)

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Piotr Słodkowski

An art historian working at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Słodkowski’s research focuses on Polish and Central European art of the 20th century in relation with contemporary thought in the humanities. He is the author of the book “Modernizm żydowsko-polski. Henryk Streng / Marek Włodarski a historia sztuki” (2019, Jewish-Polish Modernism. Henryk Streng / Marek Włodarski and the History of Art). Co-editor of the three-volume edition “Czas Debat. Anthology of Art Criticism 1945–1954” (2016) and the editor of the volume “Przestrzeń Społeczna” (Public Space).

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Vita Susak

Art critic, independent researcher, member of the Swiss Academic Society for the Study of Eastern Europe (SAGO). Research interests: Eastern European (Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish Russian) art of the XIX-XX centuries, avant-garde art, artistic emigration in the XX century, Paris school, identities and identifications in art, art of Lviv of the interwar period; contemporary Ukrainian art. Author of the monograph Ukrainian Artists of Paris. 1900-1939 (Kyiv: Rodovid, 2010).

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Bohdan Shumylovych

Historian and art historian. At the Center for Urban History (L’viv) he coordinates the Public history program, gives lectures, participates in the development of the Centre for Urban History’s thematic exhibitions, and carries out research. The main focus of his work is media history in East Central Europe and the Soviet Union, as well as media arts, visual studies, urban spatial practices, and urban creativity.

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Sofia Dyak

Historian, researcher, director of the Center and the head of the Foundation in Ukraine. Her research interests include postwar urban history, heritage practices, and city branding in Eastern Europe. Her new project looks at mid-level urban professionals from the areas incorporated into the Soviet and socialist realm after 1945 involved in developing infrastructure in the cities of emerging states across Africa and Asia, and their individual and professional trajectories after involvement in such projects.

"Urban Scraps: Space, Media and Visuality" is a series of lectures on the city, culture, and history implemented in partnership by the Center for Urban History (Ukraine) and Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland).

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