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Monument gets erected when a clique rules in a small Polish town


boletus 30 | 1,366
27 Oct 2011 #1
[Similar things may happen anywhere in the world. I saw an abuse of democracy in one of the prettiest little towns in Canada too, where its mayor treated it as his own property. But what is Polish specific is this open disregard to feeling of others and this infatuation with monuments of dead people, who were not even heroes. - boletus]

Wołomin near Warsaw is the political bastion of PiS. The party of Jarosław Kaczynski has its own mayor, governor, and it co-rules here with the local right-wing committee. The struggle for independence is promoted here by the local ''Wołomin Voice - a free newspaper of patriotic right-wing circles of Poland and inhabitants of Wołomin Region'' and ''Patria'', which appears under the slogan ''Polishness - this sounds proudly''.

Recently, however, within the city and the internet one hears more and more about a protest regarding the bust of Lech Kaczyski in front of the town hall.

Only recently, a timid gossip began to circulate along the office halls. It grew louder on October 13 - the day when Wołomin's Municipal Wastewater Department began digging and laying of a new pavement just in front of the office.

Igor Sulich, a councillor from the PO opposition could not wait any more. He decided to identify the mysterious digging. He approached the mayor Madziar (PiS) during the nearest session of the city council.

Sulich: - I say to the mayor that I can see changes in the town square. I ask, if it is true that they are preparing the ground for the monument. And he answers me this: - It's good that you notice changes in our town.

- But what about the monument? - I inquire.
- You'll get an answer in writing at proper time - said Madziar.

A few days later, during a city council party the subject returned. - It was Saturday, October 15 - says Sulich. - A SLD colleague approached the mayor and asked: ''Rysiek, is this true about this monument?''. - Mr. Madziar just smiled and walked out.

Two days later Sulich wrote to the governor, asking - invoking the decree about access to public information - if the county has received a message about ''start of renovation, modernization and construction" in the centre square of Wolomin.

During the initial interview with "Gazeta" Governor Uściński (PiS) confirmed that he had heard about the project of ''Lech Kaczynski's monument''. But he adds that this is only the beginning of the project. He advises not to associate digging of that sidewalk with the monument. But during the conversation he finally admits that he is one of patriotic social activists who have decided to honor the memory of the former president of Poland.

And they were recently joined by Mariusz Blaszczak, Sejm deputy and head of the PiS club.

- All funds are collected by the founders, among whom I am as an individual - the governor explains in the end.

- And when will you enter as a governor, to fulfil formalities? - We ask him.
- I am going to answer with painful honesty: I do not know. But everything will happen in accordance with the procedure.

Councillor Sulich has another view. - The mayor's action, with the applause of the governor, is in my opinion a clear circumvention of the law. There is a clear plan and date of the unveiling of the monument, while no one gave a permission for its erection in the first place. I mean the city council, which is responsible for this sort of decisions.

The PO councillor warns that if this initiative fails the procedure laid down by law, this may end up with a complaint to the prosecutor office.

Yesterday afternoon, a Facebook page was created ''I do not want a monument of Kaczynski in Wołomin''. In the portal Petycje.pl there is a petition to the mayor from residents opposing the construction of the monument.


The monument is ready

County Councillor Ryszard Walczak, associated with the Law and Justice party, is the leading organizers of ''A cluster of organizers for the construction of the monument of Polish President Lech Kaczyński''. It is part of the nationwide Social Committee for the Construction of National Memorial for Victims of Tragedy in Smolensk.

Walczak has much experience with memorials. He erected monuments for Roman Dmowski in Warsaw and Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko in Ząbki. In this city has initiated construction of monument of John Paul II. Since one and half year he participates in monthly commemoration of the disaster at Smolensk, and he also accompanies Jarosław Kaczyński in the rallies outside the Presidential Palace.

About the Wołomin's bust of Kaczynski he says: - I have it at home, already cast in bronze, the sculpture is one and half meters tall. The granite pedestal is ready too. The monument can be erected within a week - he estimates. - The bust has been made by sculptor Jerzy ​Nowicki from Warsaw, on its own initiative. He gave its plaster version to the Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński.

We know now, that the bust is to stand in the center of Wołomin, in front of the town hall, on two-meters pedestal. Walczak stresses that the monument has gained a positive opinion of the Chairman of PiS. And according to unofficial information, it may already be unveiled on November 11.




Bartolome 2 | 1,085
27 Oct 2011 #2
Well, some build motorways, others build monuments.
I suppose this bust will be vandalised quite often. But sticking it in such a prominent place is provoking it.
gumishu 11 | 5,142
27 Oct 2011 #3
sure Wołomin should have built their own motorways already - and well actually they should have built half of the motorways Poland needs - why such an important Polish city evades it's responsibilities is beyond me
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
27 Oct 2011 #4
You're missing the point, but I'm not surprised.
gumishu 11 | 5,142
27 Oct 2011 #5
and the point is?
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
27 Oct 2011 #6
Setting priorities. Kaczyści have never been good with them. That's why you've missed it.
gumishu 11 | 5,142
27 Oct 2011 #7
where did you conclude that from the news - how do you know Wołomin is badly managed? - I don't know - but you seem to be able not only between the lines but also mile before and after the lines start and end
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
27 Oct 2011 #8
where did you conclude that from the news - how do you know Wołomin is badly managed?

I just think that this place (and Poland in general) doesn't need Kaczyński's monuments, since a)there are more important things to do; b) Kaczyński was such a controversial figure, that his monuments in public places will cause stir amongst locals. Also, the article clearly shows that PiS wants to erect this bust by an accomplished fact. The mayor evades an answer when asked about the issue. The formalities are not fulfilled.
gumishu 11 | 5,142
27 Oct 2011 #9
and from what I can gather the monument isn't founded by the town authorities but by private founders
Ironside 49 | 10,093
27 Oct 2011 #10
On the other hand thats all is a little presumptuous. All this the Wawel Castle funeral and building monuments and all. Even if Kaczynski was a good and patriotic president he wasn't that successful or important to warrant all that.

I guess thats says all about present Poland. Its sad really.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
27 Oct 2011 #11
and from what I can gather the monument isn't founded by the town authorities but by private founders

It doesn't really matter here. What matters is that it wil be put in a public, prominent place. If they like to waste their money for such doodle, they can even replace their tellys with such monuments if they like as long as it happens in their private confines.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
28 Oct 2011 #12
and from what I can gather the monument isn't founded by the town authorities but by private founders

Does that excuse the utter lack of transparency surrounding the building? I would have thought that PiS would be massively against private individuals going against the law for their own gain - I mean - it's utterly against what they claim to stand for.

Not that it surprises any of us, and obviously the local mayor is hoping for a seat in the next Sejm, but...

I'll give it a week before it's vandalised beyond repair.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
1 Nov 2011 #13
Well, Kaczynski is dead, so you should all be happy...It is common practice for dead politicians to have statues made of their likeness...It really doesn't mean much...In fact, now it gives you something to vandalize...What's the problem?
PWEI 3 | 612
1 Nov 2011 #14
Really Joe? So when's the Leper statute going up? And the Jazurelski statue (when he finally pops his clogs)?
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
1 Nov 2011 #15
What do you hate about Kaczynski?...Didn't the economy improve somewhat during his regime, and he certainly kissed the Jews ass enough...US rear end, also.

What is your political position?...Just curious...
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
1 Nov 2011 #16
His "regime" was meaningless, as the President of Poland only has ceremonial power, with a tiny hint of executive power (the ability to propose and veto legislation). What happened with the Polish economy during that time had nothing to do with him at all.

Typical Polack, you've got no idea about Poland.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
1 Nov 2011 #17
Typical Polack, you've got no idea about Poland.

Then why the whole brouhaha if he was so inconsequential?...We have a statue of Sylvester Stallone in Philadelphia and no one gets upset...He is just an actor, too.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
1 Nov 2011 #18
He was a disgrace to Poland, and was certainly not the "martyr" that certain circles try and make him out to be.
hythorn 3 | 580
1 Nov 2011 #19
He was a disgrace to Poland

come on Delph
fairs fair
he wasnt a disgrace to Poland

he was just some dumb bastard who was trying the make the most out a position
that he was not capable of undertaking properly - I think we have all been guilty of that
from time to time - well me particularly :-)

he was a buffoon but far better than his brother who for some reason
seemed to think that he was jackie kennedy post smolensk
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
1 Nov 2011 #20
Why was he a disgrace?...

He was far, far too partisan - the Presidency in Poland since 1997 has clearly been designed to be a ceremonial position, and he went against that. There was all the stuff designed to stir up tension with other countries, there was the needless vetoing of many things - the list goes on. As a President, his approval ratings were down around 20% - pathetic. Then there was the "opposing for the sake of opposing" - he had a very nasty habit of supporting the exact opposite to what the Government was doing for the sake of it. An example - Kosovo. Another example - EU meetings.

His only real success was with the Jewish community - something that often went unnoticed in Poland. It was probably the only thing that he carried on from Kwasniewski - and it was unpopular within his own party.

He was simply a very poor President who completely misunderstood what the Presidency was about.

And that's speaking as a centrist voter who is politically neutral in Poland (always voted for who was best in my area, not on the basis of national politics)

edited
Gustav 1 | 50
1 Nov 2011 #21
He was a disgrace to Poland,

A Lawyer and served as vice chairman of Solidarność post 1989.

8,257,468 votes in the 2005 Presidential election 2nd round, with 54.04% of the vote

Or should we believe a British keyboard hero in Poznań??

Unfortunately Delphia would be wise to study Latin : wisdom such as nil nisi bonum is sadly beyond him.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
1 Nov 2011 #22
He was simply a very poor President who completely misunderstood what the Presidency was about.

If this be true, it still doesn't make him a 'disgrace'...If some town where his supporters live want to build a statue, why not?

Now, the original article was unclear: Are they removing a bust of Walesa to make way for one for Kaczynski?
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
3 Nov 2011 #23
This "bust affair" was an example of unfair, or even scandalous, appropriation of public space.

Here is even more drastic example, when not only the public space is being appropriated but also a public institution. To make a long story short here is an open letter from six artists:

Open letter to Paweł Lubowski, the Director of the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) - Signs of the Times, in Toruń, and Kazimierz Piotrowski, the curator of the exhibition "Thymos. Art of Wrath ",

We the undersigned artists, participating in the exhibition "Thymos, Art of Wrath 1900-2011" in Toruń's Centre for Contemporary Art - Signs of the Times, wish to protest against the unfair use of our work by the curator of the exhibition Kazimierz Piotrowski. Knowing his achievements as a curator and art critic we agreed in good faith to participate in the exhibition organized by him. We have not agreed, however, for the exhibition to serve as a pretext for uttering conspiracy theories related to both world of art and politics. We do not want our participation in this exhibition to be understand as a support for the views expressed by the curator. The interpretation of the exhibition presented by him violates, in a drastic means, the autonomy of the artistic works, which is particularly important for the works of the diseased artists.

Respecting all kind of different views and supporting freedom of their expression we oppose using our works for proclamation of unambiguously political and xenophobic theses.

Undersigned:

Krzysztof M. Bednarski
Marcin Berdyszak
Hubert Czerepok
Ryszard Grzyb
Józef Robakowski
Aleksandra Ska
Marek Wasilewski


Excerpt:
The guide says: "When we examine the causes of the tragedy in Smolensk on 10 April 2010, one of the images which we see, is a secret network of relationships and interests, the alliance scrutinized and waiting for the scrutiny, the alleged activity of special services - in a word, the operation game of dossiers and agencies.

- Do you think that President Kaczynski was killed as a result of a conspiracy?

- I belong to a group of suspicious beings. I believe in the theory about the assassination, that most pessimistic scenario. The Toruń's exhibition wishes to show the scale of anger that was born after April the 10th - to present that it is still alive. You can of course discuss whether I am right. I encourage you to do so.

Ironside 49 | 10,093
4 Nov 2011 #24
This "bust affair" was an example of unfair, or even scandalous, appropriation of public space.

Blabbering again are you?
You sure that your little machine works right?

Krzysztof M. Bednarski
Marcin Berdyszak
Hubert Czerepok
Ryszard Grzyb
Józef Robakowski
Aleksandra Ska
Marek Wasilewski

Never heard of them, probably some gov funds sponges.Who cares except for GW and its sheepish readers.

We do not want our participation in this exhibition to be understand as a support for the views expressed by the curator.

Have they been afraid that their participation in exhibition would have had unpleasant consequences for them?

I belong to a group of suspicious beings. I believe in the theory about the assassination, that most pessimistic scenario. The Toruń's exhibition wishes to show the scale of anger that was born after April the 10th - to present that it is still alive. You can of course discuss whether I am right. I encourage you to do so.

Whats wrong with that? He presented his views. Do you find it blasphemous in some strange and twisted way?
You can dish out but you cannot take it eh?
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Nov 2011 #25
Blabbering again are you?
You sure that your little machine works right?

As long as you stay away from insults I am fine, the machine is off.

Blabbering? Let me see who is blabbering, Big Mouth. You need a little lesson in humility, which I am attaching below. Check the facts before opening your mouth. These people do not need any government sponsoring, they are well known and they are fine on their own. I admit, I did not know all of them, but I at least knew about Berdyszak, Bednarski and Robakowski. You, on the other hand, voluntarily admitted to complete ignorance about contemporary art in Poland. But that did not stop you from expressing your blabbering opinion. Here, I said it.

No other comments, other than I would be pissed off too if someone tried to twist my work to his ideology without my permission. And it does not matter, whether it comes from right, left, or from some other sect. I do not try to stop the curator of that museum from believing in his little green space beings, or whatever. This is not about his personal believes. But again, you did not care to read my text with comprehension, you just like to talk.

Never heard of them, probably some gov funds sponges.Who cares except for GW and its sheepish readers.

Marcin Berdyszak,14 exhibitions, professor and currently rector of Poznań Art Academy (ASP):

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcin_Berdyszak

Krzysztof M Bednarski, a sculptor, lives and works in Warsaw and Rome, about 24 individual exhibitions 1978-2008 in Poland and abroad, 14 permanent exhibitions in most Polish Museums, culture.pl/baza-sztuki-pelna-tresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/eAN5/content/krzysztof-m-bednarski

Hubert Czerepok, a visual artist, 21 individual exhibition, 40-50 collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad:

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Czerepok

Ryszard Grzyb, a painter, a poet, a graphic designer, 6 exhibitions in Poland and abroad:

culture.pl/baza-sztuki-pelna-tresc/-/eo_event_asset_publish er/eAN5/content/ryszard-grzyb

Józef Robakowski, Professor of PWSTViT in £ódż, art historian, photographer, author of movies about art, author of videos, drawings, installations, objects, conceptual projects and initiator of many important events and artistic activities. Presents a series of photographs devoted to the astral myths, problems of celestial bodies. He deals with the analysis of the media, their use for art. Associated with the avant-garde.

16 collections in Poland and abroad, 8 experimental short documentaries, 5 photographic cycles, 6 installations and objects, 5 documentaries about art.

culture.pl/kalendarz-pelna-tresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/L6vx/content/jozef-robakowski-fotografia-astralna

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Józef_Robakowski

Aleksandra Ska, forms of expression: the object, installation, photography. Several exhibitions

culture.pl/kalendarz-pelna-tresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/L6vx/content/aleksandra-ska-siedmiomilowa-kura

Marek Wasilewski is an artist, editor and writer.Marek Wasilewski is a graduate of Fine Arts in Poznan (1993) and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London (1998). He is currently Professor of Fine Arts in Poznan. He has lectured at universities in the United States and Great Britain. The British Council Scholar (1997-98), Fulbright (2000), Minister of Culture (2002), the Kosciuszko Foundation (2002-03). She practices the art of photography and video. He is currently editor of Czas Kultury and Zeszyty Artystyczne journals published by the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan.

culture.pl/kalendarz-pelna-tresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/L6vx/content/marek-wasilewski-gracze
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
4 Nov 2011 #26
As an artist, I will comment that when you get a bunch of artists and art teachers involved in petty politics, you have what is called 'Theatre of the Absurd':

Józef Robakowski, Professor of PWSTViT in £ódż, art historian, photographer, author of movies about art, author of videos, drawings, installations, objects, conceptual projects and initiator of many important events and artistic activities. Presents a series of photographs devoted to the astral myths, problems of celestial bodies. He deals with the analysis of the media, their use for art. Associated with the avant-garde.

Mój Bóg!
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Nov 2011 #27
As an artist, I will comment that when you get a bunch of artists and art teachers involved in petty politics, you have what is called 'Theatre of the Absurd':

That might be so. :-)
Stanisław Lem, in his "Jak ocalał świat" (How the world was saved), had similar opinion about the world of scientists. :-)

Mój Bóg!

I do not get this. Do you mean you do not like his art as a whole, or you were just irked by this "devoted to the astral myths, problems of celestial bodies"? I am not that particularly fond of the latter expression too, but then who am I to judge the artists? People consider computer art to be art as well, many images artificially created look like "problems of celestial bodies". :-) Look at the output of nonlinear equations, chaos, fractals, and all of this.

In either case, none of the above disqualifies the original these: "Do not mess with my works unless I give you my permission".

Józef Robakowski, Professor of PWSTViT in £ódż

Oh by the way, here is his portfolio, English version: robakowski.net/portfolio_ang.html
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
4 Nov 2011 #28
I do not get this. Do you mean you do not like his art as a whole, or you were just irked by this "devoted to the astral myths, problems of celestial bodies"?

I'm not familiar with is work; I was just laughing at the wording, which is the kind of 'claptrap' you would read in quasi-critical art journals.

But, I still don't understand: Are these artists upset because the piece of ground used for the statue was supposed to be used for sculpture, or some other art works?...Or are they just hostile to Kaczynski?

I understand that the bust of Kaczynski is certainly no great work of art.
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Nov 2011 #29
But, I still don't understand: Are these artists upset because the piece of ground used for the statue was supposed to be used for sculpture, or some other art works?...Or are they just hostile to Kaczynski?

Let me try it again. This latest issue I posted has nothing to do with the Kaczyński's bust in the city of Wołomin. This is about an art exhibition in the city of Toruń. I brought those two issues together to demonstrate the common running theme: the unfair appropriation either of the public space (Wołomin) or the public institution (Toruń). In the first case the people in power disregarded the rules of the city council decision making. In the second case the curator used the artists works under false pretence to illustrate his own private political views, contrary to those of the artists.

There is also a case of General Petelicki, the former commander of the Special Operation Force GROM, who found himself - without his prior knowledge and agreement - a member of a Honorary Committee of so-called Independence March to be taken place on November 11, 2011. Although he is a general supporter of youth patriotic movements, he does not like to have his name to be used for political reasons. Accordingly, he wrote a letter to the March organizers demanding this:

I categorically do not wish my name to be used for the political battle with which I have nothing in common. I have worked hard over the years for my reputation of GROM's general and I will defend it! So please withdraw my name from the Honorary Committee of the Independence March.

So the common theme at those three cases is: misappropriation of power, misappropriation of intellectual property, misappropriation of a good name.


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