Lublin’s Bureau for Art Exhibitions (Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych – BWA) was established in 1956. The ‘80s of the 20th century were the crucial period which considerably influenced the institution in its more than a half-century old history. In 1981 Andrzej Mroczek became the director of the Bureau. In BWA he pursued his proprietary program executed in the Galeria Labirynt led by him since 1974. Labirynt promoted contemporary art, focusing on the formal experiment.

BWA gained nationwide and worldwide recognition as the artists’ meeting place. After the introduction of martial law, it was one of the few public institutions still not under a boycott. This constituted a proof of trust put in Andrzej Mroczek by independent Polish artistic milieus.

In 2010 Waldemar Tatarczuk was nominated as the director of BWA. Similarly to Andrzej Mroczek, he added to the gallery’s programme assumptions realized by the Performance Art Centre (Ośrodek Sztuki Performance) run by him in the years 1999 – 2010.

The Galeria Labirynt to a great extent pursues the profile constructed by Andrzej Mroczek – by presenting the classics of contemporary art and works of the artists linked with his program, taking an intense look at the present day and searching for universal values in art. Hence, the Gallery undertakes to be an attentive observer of the transformations in the field of art and an active and open to new phenomena participant of artistic processes. In the Gallery’s programme recurs the performance art which becomes as essential as the exhibition programme itself.

The notions of ‘locality’ and ‘borders’ as well as still current motif of ‘searching’ constitute the ideological basis of the Galeria Labirynt. They determine the nature of the exhibited art and initiated artistic events.

Gallery is for us the place to discover the art and experience with it an adventure. By referring to the figure of labyrinth, we read its construction ‘the other way round’ – not as a closed structure which is difficult to get out of, but as a space which – thanks to the fact that it is winding – increases our watchfulness and sharpens our senses. Still, we remain faithful to the act of ‘getting lost’ inherent in the labyrinth’s nature. Labyrinth is for us both a game in finding the way as well as the responsibility similar to this of a guide to the unknown terrain. The labyrinth is a metaphor for the contemporary art, it represents perseverance in overcoming the obstacles and curiosity about what is out of sight.


The Program Council



photo by Wojciech Pacewicz