Fine Arts in Warsaw
profesor Lech Majewski
Neighborly relations can be very difficult, and not just in dilapidated apartment buildings, our reluctant inheritance from social realism. They can also be difficult in newly-built guarded housing estates. In such places we do have far fewer occasions to see our fellow residents’ talents with a spray-can, a fact to which Karolina Witowska’s “Mieszkaństwo” [Inhabitude] work alludes.
This is a fairly enigmatic project, on the fringes of design, illustration, and artistic action, created for the inhabitants of these contemporary termite colonies. The visual convention is based on street language: stickers, stencils, and the typographical work of “vandals.” Witowska locates her performance in the staircase, in her words, “the gateway from the outside world to the private one”. This free newspaper describes the “neighbor” whom, on the one hand, we do not want to know, but who sometimes turns out to be near and dear to us. The paper includes stickers and a ready-made stencil with the inscription “Building for the People!” To our mind, the play with convention and idea of the paper for apartment residents illustrates an existential reflection and is, perhaps, a pretext for artistic or social actions binding a housing community.