Diversity/ Inclusion | DIY | Other | Participation | Sustainability
DIY exhibition in 10 primary school in Poland
"Primary Forms" is an exhibition that is being installed within school spaces, in classrooms and corridors, gyms and playgrounds. It can be executed numerous times and interpreted in various ways, in the selection of fragments, scale, colours etc. With "Primary Forms", working closely with children and teachers we try understand what can we do with art, what can an exhibition be, what can we learn from artists, and finally, how to understand art or enjoy the experience of not understanding it.
“Primary Forms” is an annual programme of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw designed for pupils from the fourth through the eighth grade of primary school, carried out in cooperation with the Roman Czernecki Educational Foundation. Works by contemporary artists are placed in a box resembling an architectural model of a school. In 2021 ten boxes were delivered to 10 schools in bigger and smaller towns in Poland. The boxes in the first edition contain exercises, tools and instructions created by Paweł Althamer, Kasper Bosmans, Gabo Camnitzer, Sharon Lockhart, Goshka Macuga, Mikołaj Moskal, Ramona Nagabczyńska, Agnieszka Polska, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Slavs and Tatars, and Olga Micińska. The works executed at the schools may become teaching aids, decoration, an event, or part of the school’s infrastructure. The decision on the installation site, the method of execution, and the function is taken by the users of the exhibition and in relation to the school’s architecture.”Primary Forms” is an exhibition that arises within school spaces, in classrooms and corridors, gyms and playgrounds. It can be executed numerous times and interpreted in various ways (in the selection of fragments, scale, colours etc). “Primary Forms” alludes to the programme School Prints, which was founded in the UK after the Second World War. An identical set of lithographs created by a group of well-known artists were presented to primary schools and exhibited in classrooms. The project also alludes to numerous experiments in art and education undertaken in the 20th and 21st centuries, such as “Pure Consciousness”, a series of exhibitions at preschools of works by Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara, launched in 1998. His paintings could be used as instructional tools helping pupils learn numbers and the days of the week. “Primary Forms” is inspired by exercises and methodologies of such artists as Joseph Beuys, Cornelius Cardew, Jef Geys, Anna Halprin, Oskar Hansen, Luis Camnitzer, K.G. Subramanyan, and many others who worked at schools or founded their own educational institutions. The format for the exercises, tasks and tools included in the box allude to Marcel Duchamp and his travelling exhibition-in-a-suitcase, as well as “Fluxkits’’—boxes prepared by artists affiliated with the Fluxus movement, containing music scores, audio recordings, games and puzzles, intended for activation, play, reading or use.
Letter from the curators: Dear friends! We don’t know each other, but we’ll meet soon. We’ve prepared a box of surprises for you. We’re sure it will bring you much joy and keep you from getting bored! The box you’ve just opened contains an art exhibition. It’s not ready yet, and you will be the ones to put it together. This will require some patience and work, and the effects may vary a lot. Do things your own way. Each sack contains a set of objects that will help you complete one of the tasks prepared by a group of artists. You will paint on the walls, make stamps, plant trees, read books, hike, or perhaps even crawl around the nooks and crannies of your school. Art means a lot of different things! You will discover this by unpacking the parcel. All the objects you’ll find here have been prepared especially for you. The exhibition that these objects form can be shown in the classroom, corridor, gym hall, basement, cloakroom, or perhaps even outside the school building? One thing is sure, you won’t see this exhibition in any museum in the world. As you’ve probably noticed, the box with the exhibition looks like a school building. You might want to paint it, decorate it, or build additional classrooms, to make it look more like your own school? Or perhaps you would prefer it not to resemble anything you’ve seen before? It’s all in your hands. You’ll find instructions below that will tell you what to do with the contents of each sack. Whatever happens, write to us, to the Museum. You might want to send a message to the artists whose works you’ve found in the box? There are postcards inside with a stamp and the Museum’s address. It’s enough to write your message and throw one into the postbox. We promise to answer every letter! We hope it’s just the beginning of our acquaintance and many adventures await us. Do it yourself! Or let’s do it together! Sebastian and Helena Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw