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The 7th Grolsch ArtBoom Festival has ended

During the 7th Grolsch ArtBoom Festival art faced off with public space under the motto “Transformation of the village into the city”. It may be said that this year’s battle of art with the streets and squares of Krakow reached both for the past and the present. On the one hand, the city was the origin place of peasant-mania, the artistic phenomenon that appeared among Polish intelligentsia at the end of the 19th century, which manifested in a delight with folklore, folk customs and a call for a return to nature. The result of this mania were the marriages of painter Włodzimierz Tetmajer with peasant-woman Anna Mikołajczykówna and painter Lucjan Rydel with Jadwiga Mikołajczykówna. The second marriage was the inspiration for the famous Polish play The Wedding, by Stanisław Wyspiański. Several of this year’s Grolsch ArtBoom Festival projects referred to the drama, including Anna Królikiewicz’s Honey/Moon, in which the artist turned the walls of Zwierzyniecki House into edible “honeycombs”.

This year marks one hundred years since the plan to create Greater Krakow was finalised. Between 1910 and 1915, neighbouring towns, including several villages, such as Zwierzyniec, were incorporated into the city. It was the first regulation plan in the history of Polish urban planning, several years ahead of the similar plans for Greater Lviv and Greater Warsaw. The idea theoretically served to bring order to new territories, but it resulted in many areas losing their original character. This phenomenon was shown in, among others, Oliver Ressler’s Failed Investments billboards and Mykola Ridnyi’s In Pieces.

It should be emphasised that this year, many valued artists took on the subject of the village. One of the best known Polish painters, Leon Tarasewicz, presented the installation Waliły-Kraków-Waliły, which was a striped (in the fashion of folk fabrics) bridge between the train station and the exit to the city. At the corner of Czarnowiejska and Kijowska Streets was the Living Lantern, created by Piotr Lutyński. The abstract installation was a call-back to a bygone time, when, on the one hand, the tradition of shrines was alive and well in the Polish countryside, and on the other, there was no shortage of the so-called lanterns of the dead in Krakow. All these projects show that art skilfully handled such problems as the topos of modernisation.

It is worth noting that the Grolsch ArtBoom Festival captures the trends present in today’s artistic world. It gladly encourages sensual projects that engage all the senses. It crosses the boundaries between image and sound, combining media and genres.
The festival also values young artists, who are only just entering the art world. This is why, for the past six years, the Fresh Zone competition has been part of it. This year, the winners of this section of the festival were: Karolina Balcer for the Private Property project, Aleksandra Goral and Aleksandra Korzelska for I woke up like this and Anna Pichura, Jolanta Nowaczyk and Błażej Kraus for the Modular Allotment of the Future.

The festival is organised by the Krakow Festival Office.

A full description of the festival projects can be found at