The presentation Living Storages: Didactics was created as a result of a discussion about the items in the Zachęta’s collection that were the most interesting to the guides and educators working with people of different ages, backgrounds, and needs. For them, designing and preparing an exhibition from start to finish and then bringing it to the public was a new challenge — previously their job had been to talk about the works, curatorial ideas or contexts helpful in guiding exhibition tours.
It turned out that in the Zachęta’s storage rooms one can find several works that share the theme that is close to didactics, sometimes understood traditionally, sometimes ironically, and sometimes at a certain distance. Quite rusty as the concept may be, it has become the starting point for the story, even though initially they view it with suspicion. This is so because in their daily activities they are moving away from purely didactic relationships. They are trying to bring down the hierarchy built in school and focus on collaboration and sharing ideas at every stage.
The works presented at the exhibition are linked in various ways to the teaching aids familiar to anyone who has experienced learning at a Polish school. School charts, reproductions, display cases, preparations, and photographs viewed ad nauseam. How do pictures function when they are reduced to the role of teaching tools? How much is their visual layer subordinated to serving educational goals, and to what extent do they remain autonomous? Can we see them as an embodiment of the school system itself in order to ask questions about its validity and effectiveness? The exhibition raises more questions than it brings answers. It creates space for reflection, looking for solutions, but it also leaves room for doubt. It also opens room for nostalgia — because memories and emotions inevitably affect our thinking about school.
artists and artists: Zbigniew Dłubak, Dorota Podlaska, Leszek Rózga, Andrzej Tobis, Twożywo group
collaboration: Maria Świerżewska and Monika Zaleszczuk
realization: Anna Muszyńska and team