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dzieło - działka. The art of the allotment

The ticket for the exhibition is a small papperbag with mysterious seeds. We present many intriguing photographic portraits of gardeners taken by Alexander Duraj (some of those photos were awarded in the prestigious contest in Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan). You can also listen to gardener's stories and see the items from the allotments collection that we are about to built.
We could talk about allotments forever. While undertaking the research, our unknown selves were revealed. What was it that intrigued us? The allotment is not a patch of earth, it is a situation. The ground is demanding of work. The plants need care. The body of the allotment gardener must forget about being in an upright position; it is all leaning across, bending back, squatting down, leaning over. On an allotment one has to work, in contrast to a state of inactivity, which in itself becomes as important.

The allotment is movement. The movement of the air breezing through the treetops, the rattle of the drink cans placed on rods to scare off moles. The ground moves when it is dug up by living beings in an eternal cycle, which can be noticed in garden allotments with greater ease than in the concrete jungle. It is also the movement in fresh air; well, not always so fresh, admittedly. It is the buoyant movement of gardeners which defend the allotments from the scheming eyes of property developers. Allotments are emotions. The happiness and satisfaction from the undertaken work, the beauty of the cultivation, the good times past.

The pain of the loss of those with whom one used to go to the allotments. The nostalgia emanating from the objects. The sadness or the ecstasy of isolation. The euphoria linked to the nurture of a sapling or new genus of tree (and yes, it is possible to graft a pear onto a willow!). Anger at vandals. A hope for a new life. It is an alternative lifestyle. A borderland. An inspiration for artists who photograph, film, organise events on their allotments. We present the pictures of Aleksander Duraj, an intimate narrative on making contact and creating a dialogue with the works of other artists, such as Jan Bujnowski, Andrzej Ślusarczyk, Jan Zegalski, Andrzej Jerzy Lech, Alicja Karska and Aleksandra Went, Mathilde Papapietro, whose works are also present in the book. The allotment is the unceasing acquisition of freedom. Such a small patch of earth, yet so many autonomous decisions.

A place where one can be oneself and at home, [continuously] expressing oneself anew. dzieło-działka : the art of the allotment comprises - research conducted between 2009-2011 in allotment gardens in Kraków, Wrocław, and Katowice, by a team of around twenty ethnographers, anthropologists, sociologists, ethno-botanists, art historians, cultural scientists, and linguists associated with the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków; - a book written based on the research; - photographic portraits of each allotment, taken by Aleksander Duraj; - a new collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków created by the objects retrieved from the allotments; - an exhibition; - a number of guerrilla gardens in the city of Kraków.

21st April - 21st October Muzeum Etnograficzne im. Seweryna Udzieli w Krakowie Dom Esterki, ul. Krakowska 46

regular: 7 zł
reduced: 5 zł
family: 2 people + children: 12 zł + 1 zł for every children
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013