Duck-rabbits against fascism. On the usefulness of art in hard times – lecture by Kuba Szreder

Lecture in Polish translated into Polish Sign Language (PJM)
Admission free

Can art be useful? What does it offer to people who are struggling with the challenges of modern times? Does it remain ‘only’ art, something that is to be exhibited and collected? Or maybe it turns into something else, something we do not have a good name for yet, into the art used every day, without unnecessary swung but with bang? And how does a nineteenth-century drawing of a pet that sometimes looks like a duck and sometimes like a rabbit relate to this all? Looking for answers to these questions, Kuba Szreder talks about new forms of acting in art and beyond. Focusing on these emerging as response to the current political, economic, and ecological crisis. He presents artists who not only create paintings, but also put them on demonstrations, set up artistic companies involved in production of lemonade, or conduct investigations on the subject of ecocide. Inviting viewers to reflect on the benefits of art, Szreder refers to classics such as John Ruskin, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Jerzy Ludwiński. The speaker calls attention to contemporary debates about the practice and theory of art fulfilling its potential in the full scale of social life and political imagination.

Kuba Szreder – lecturer at Faculty of Management of Visual Culture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. After completing degree in sociology at the Jagiellonian University, he worked as an independent curator of interdisciplinary projects on the borderline of art, public activities, critical reflection and social experiments. He is the editor of many books and catalogues and the author of texts in the field of sociology and art theory published in Poland and abroad. His first original book ‘ABC Projektariatu’ was released in 2016 by Bęc Zmiana. In 2009, he initiated Wolny Uniwersytet Warszawy (Free University of Warsaw), where he conducted a number of research programs regarding contemporary systems of cultural production. In his theoretical work, he analyses current forms of cultural production in the context of late capitalism. In 2015, he defended his doctoral thesis on the political and economic aspects of independent curatorial projects at the Loughborough University School of the Arts. Currently, he is involved in organising the Anti-Fascist Year.



A cropped photo from the last demonstration of paintings (reproduction of Henryk Streng’s ‘Demonstracja obrazów’ painting at image display organised as part of ‘Dość rasizmu i faszyzmu’ (No more racism and fascism) annual demonstration, Warsaw 2019)