We have the pleasure of inviting you to a Q&A within the ¿Underground/Independent? 2020 festival:
20 years of the Galeria Rusz Q&A
March 5th, 2020, 8:15 PM
Fama club, 5 Legionowa Street
Galeria Rusz (Joanna Górska and Rafał Góralski). Both were born in 1973, they live and work in Toruń, Poland.
Galeria Rusz is an artistic group, specialising, above all, in creating and presenting art in the urban space. Since 1999, the artists run their own billboard gallery, located at 37 Szosa Chełmińska in Toruń. It is the longest ongoing project of this type in world, presenting art continuously on one billboard. The artists exhibit a new work on the billboard every month. They treat this systematic interference with the space of everyday life as a very important artistic experiment. This experiment transcends the narrow boundaries of contemporary art and broadens its range of impact on society. The artists transfer art into the urban space, the sphere of everyday life, in order to make it available also to those, who do not visit traditional galleries and museums.
The group creates billboards, murals, organises poster campaigns, artistic interventions and social actions within the urban space. Up to this date, the artists have created more than 400 artistic billboards. Their work is concerned both with the private, individual sphere of life (which might be, in a simplified manner, called a psychological sphere) and with the external, collective sphere (which might be, in a simplified manner, called a social sphere). This division is rather symbolic and blurry – it is to underline the fact that through their work the artists try to describe the complex situation of the human being, who is both an individual and a member of a larger community, with all the dependencies stemming from this fact. Their works provide a new frame for different fragments of reality, a frame allowing for new interpretations. The artists encourage the viewer to frame their perception of certain phenomena in a new way, to play with the frames providing context for the interpretation of a given phenomenon.
The artists from Galeria Rusz promote the idea of art that provokes reflection, art that MOVES. According to the group, art should be a resonating device, inducing individual vibration in its viewers, showing them new aspects of reality and encouraging them to think about themselves and their surroundings in a new way. Reflective art constitutes a mirror of sorts. Just as a mirror allows us to see our own back, art shows us something that we do not usually see, even though it is an integral part of ourselves. Reflective art allows the viewer for an in-depth, multilayered analysis of the surrounding reality. It investigates the complicated relationship between the “subjective”, internal psychological processes and the “objective”, external social processes. It concentrates on the viewers as human beings and their complex existential position in the contemporary world.
Another very important artistic project by Galeria Rusz is the International Festival of Art on Billboards “Art Moves” (since 2008). The festival is organised in co-operation with outstanding artists from around the world. The festival gathers artists (both the experienced ones, with many achievements on their name, as well as the ones who are still at the beginning of their artistic journey) involved with the idea of reflective art which is genuinely interested in the psychosocial reality. During the festival, important artistic events are initiated and coordinated in the public space of the city, allowing outstanding works of art to reach a very wide audience.
Contemporary art is more and more often promoted through events of a purely commercial nature, while at the same time it fails to catch the interest of a wider audience. The Art Moves Festival addresses this issue and attempts to remedy the situation. It provides an experimental platform for an exchange of experiences and a search for solutions. This is so because the festival’s organisers strongly believe that art should not be reduced to gadgetry and luxurious good sold in “superARTmarkets” (that is, art galleries and art fairs). Art has a mission that is way more important than that. One of its roles is to provide alternative voices and opinions, thus making the viewers more sensitive to the surrounding psychosocial reality and helping them communicate better with themselves and with the outside world.