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Quadratum Nigrum (Mateusz Okoński, Jakub Skoczek, Jakub Woynarowski), koordynacja: Monika Grula

Mateusz Okoński

He graduated from the Sculpture Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. He received a scholarship form the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for his outstanding study results, he also received Primus Inter Pares Student of the Year award in 2008. Okoński is a member and co-founder of an artistic collective STRUPEK. In 2010, he entered into cooperation with the Malopolska Institute of Culture where he deals with the promotion of contemporary art. He is the originator, founder and artistic director of the Institute's art gallery, Zbiornik Kultury. In his work, he emphasizes the idea of the general availability of art, extending the audiences through searching for unusual exhibition sites. His projects address social and political problems and emphasize the importance of the artists’ contribution to social dialogue.

Jakub Skoczek

He was born in 1983 in Krakow. He studied at the Faculty of Industrial Design (graduated from Professor Władysław Puta’s studio in 2007) and Faculty of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, as well as at the Laboratory of Paper and Book at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Brno University of Technology.
He is a graphic artist, designer, and a curator. He creates interdisciplinary projects in the form of installations, films, design, street art, and conceptual art.
He has exhibited his works at, among others, Galeria Starmach (Sensulia, 2008), Galeria Floriańska 22 (Orbis Pictus, 2009), within the framework of Zbiornik Kultury project (Quadratum Nigrum, 2010) and at Ersatz Gallery (Mundus Subterraneus, 2012).
He is a lecturer at Studio of Digital Imaging at The Faculty of Graphic Art at Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.
He also works on graphic designs. His specialty are poster and book designs.
He has cooperated with, among others, with: the International Centre of Culture in Krakow, National Museum in Krakow, Malopolska Institute of Culture, Centre of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, Ha!art Publishing House and Krakow Festival Office.

Jakub Woynarowski

He was born in 1982. He studied at the Faculty of Graphic Art and Faculty of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, he currently teaches at the Studio of Narrative Drawing there.
He is an independent curator (Quadratum Nigrum, Body in the Library, Orbis Pictus, White cubes / Black holes). He is a designer and illustrator; he creates comic books, art books, visual atlases, films, installations, he also initiates site-specific activities within the public space. He is a co-author of gonzo curating projects (Wawel Castle Centre of Contemporary Art within the framework of the 4th Grolsch Artboom Festival). The author of books: Manggha and The story of gardens; the visual editor of Wunderkamera. Kino Terry'ego Gilliama.
He executes projects on the border of art theory and application. He deals with issues related to institutional critique, archaeology of avant-garde, and post-humanist philosophy.
He has cooperated with, among others: TVP Kultura, NCK, the Conrad Festival, Polish Radio Choir, the National Museum in Krakow, Malopolska Institute of Culture, the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Bunkier Sztuki Art Gallery, and Korporacja Ha!art.
He lives and works in Krakow. He is related to the AS Gallery.

Flags made by: Poczwarka (Irena Kalicka, Marta Sala)

Civitas munita

Civitas munita was a site-specific artistic project executed in Krakow’s district of Podgórze by the Quadratum Nigrum collective. It was carried out within the Sól project which focuses on the prevention of gentrification processes which is visible in Krakow. Sól – by supporting small shop owners – also refers to the traditional guild structure which was once one of the constituents of urban identity.

The Latin term civitas munita means a fortified town and alludes to the history of Podgórze which, in fact, never had its own defensive walls. The project’s aim was to symbolically consolidate Podgórze through an attempt at reconstructing the walls which existed only in heraldic images known from Podgórze’s first coat of arms. The element that was supposed to bring the district’s independence back was not an architectural barrier, but a visual identification designed especially for this purpose, which refered to traditional emblems.

Each quarter neighbouring with Rynek Podgórski was marked with colourful flags. Emblems on these flags reflect, on the one hand, abstract forms visible in decorative floors (which constitute firm ground for us and yet stay invisible) of historic houses, on the other hand, to symbols connected with guilds.
Copies of all flags was displayed in the Podgórze town hall in a form of patchwork in which individual fragments were combined into an emblematic chessboard and, at the same time, into a symbolic map of a hypothetical urban organism.

What additionally tightens the two parts of the project was an installation which was set up in Podgórski Market Square and was related to the town’s other emblem (visible on the town hall’s front wall). Due to the incorporation of graphic prints, two poster pillars, symmetrically located, was resembled columns, while a centrally situated information board was turned into a chessboard imitating the pattern of the floor in St. Joseph’s church.

Pictures: Michał Ramus,

Phase I
exposure in urban foothills
(Podgórski Market Square and Limanowskiego Street region)

Phase II
exhibition in the Ratusz Podgórski

7/06/2013 - 21/06/2013

Civitas munita

Podgórski Market Square, Limanowskiego Street region and Ratusz Podgórski