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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Crime In Art Expo @MOCAK

Dearest hearts,

A week ago I had the pleasure of taking a tour with my lovely husband at MOCAK. You may ask yourself, if you never were in Poland/Krakow, what is MOCAK. Well, my friends, MOCAK = Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. This lovely place opened its gates on the 1st of February 2010 and even though I lived in Krakow for more than 3 years now, I managed to visit it (partially) just now. Each time I was going to the Schindler's Factory - which is the building right next to it, on Lipowa 4 - I said that I would go in, but each time something would come up...
MOCAK - picture was not taken by me, unfortunately :(
The project of creating a Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, which had been discussed for years both within the artistic community and local government, finally became reality towards the end of 2004, when Gmina Miejska Kraków (the Municipality of Kraków) took over and bought the land and buildings on the site of the former Schindler’s Factory at Lipowa Street 4, with the intention of providing a home for the future institution. 
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In 2007, an 11-strong jury, led by Professor Konrad Kucz-Kuczyński, concluded the competition for the design of the Museum building by selecting the design by Claudio Nardi and Leonard Maria Proli. The project, produced by the architectural office Claudio Nardi Architetto, involves erecting a new building on the site of the old Schindler’s Factory, and adapting six other existing buildings. The design will provide a total of about 10 000 m2 of usable floor space.
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On the 19th May 2011 a formal opening of the Museum took place, as well as the presentation of the first six exhibitions. Thousands of visitors came to MOCAK on the day, including the President of Poland - Bronisław Komorowski.
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If you wish to visit the museum, you can always buy a combo ticket Schindler's Factory + MOCAK => I, for one, really recommend that as Schindler's Museum is my personal fav :) But if you are interested only in Modern Art and you wish to visit only MOCAK, you may want to know that a normal tickets costs about 10 zloty (at the date the post was published). A group ticket for minimum 7 persons costs 5 zloty, so the more the merry :) Children under 7 go in for free. If you wish to have a guided tour, you can pick from 3 languages: Polish, English and German (Polish for 50 zloty and English/German for 80 zloty).
The Exhibition that we went to is a temporary one. It is called Crime in Art and it is the 4th exhibition to date in MOCAK’s series which combines art with the most significant civilisational themes such as history, sport, science and religion. To date, three exhibitions have taken place: History in Art, Sport in Art and Economics in Art. The series aims to demonstrate how many creative inspirations and how much symbolic potential there lurks in the everyday reality. The most recent show, where we shall see works of 40 Polish and foreign artists, reveals various thematic, symbolic and critical possibilities that crime contains.
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The exhibition features, among other works, a collection of police portraits dating back to early 20th century, which documents criminals from one of Sydney's poor districts. The photographs do not reveal their offences, leaving room for speculation. Andy Warhol's prints from the Electric Chair series (1971), in turn, constitute a presentation of a specific witness of crime: an object set up in an empty execution room, which becomes a symbol of violence and loneliness of death. Warhol found the photograph of an electric chair so fascinating that he used it in many of his works. A special place in the exhibition will be occupied by the works of the Belgian artist Danny Devos, whose art reveals fascination with the theme of crime and serial murder. Among his other works the exhibition presents those referring to Ed Gein, a serial killer, who made utilitarian objects from dissected corpses, Ted Bundy, Dean Corll known as Candyman and an installation referring to the much-publicized case of actress Elizabeth Short, nicknamed The Black Dahlia, murder.
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We were part of a 10 people guided tour and it was interesting to hear the stories behind the pictures/paintings/works of art. Some I really liked and I found touching. It was a pleasure seeing an Andy Warhol. And I found very interesting the story of The Black Dahlia and her smile that was streching from one ear to the other... it is true that the expo was not made for the weak-hearted and some stories would make your skin prickle and your hir stand up straight so I will not tell them here. 
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Another piece I really liked was Cops and Robbers - a series of pictures taken from a police manual. Taken out of the context you cannot figure out if the cop is defending himself or if he is beating sonmeone. This draws the image that someone can be, in turns, both good and bad. As the game cops and robbers was played... when one was caught, they would exchange places... But that is enough for today :) You let me know if you are planning on going to check out MOCAK. I know I shall, as I want to check out the regular expo :) 

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Very Much Interested In Art