Bródno 2000 | Collection Co–selection

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Paweł Althamer

Bródno 2000

project documentation; two leaflets in a frame; 40x60 cm

Bródno 2000 was one of Althamers first large scale social actions. The artist invited his then neighbours from an apartment block at 13 Krasnobrodzka St in the Warsaw district of Bródno, as well as scouts, local authorities, and many other people to participate. At a specific time on a given day, all residents switched the lights in their apartments on or off, so that the sign 2000 appeared on the façade of the building. The action was aimed at commemorating the turn of the century, but most of all it was a successful attempt to unite thousands of residents of a typical apartment block around a single, simple cause. The event became a great celebration for the local community, but also for the entire city. At the same time, a festival with music, dancing, fireworks, and refreshments took place; more than 3000 people participated. In 2014, the artist invited his neighbours to take part in the Wspólna sprawa [Common Task] action together they flew to Brussels in golden overalls to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Polands accession to the European Union.

Paweł Althamer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, in the famous Kowalnia studio run by Grzegorz Kowalski at the Department of Sculpture, whose graduates include, among others, Katarzyna Kozyra, Artur Żmijewski, and Jacek Adamas. Apart from sculptures, Althamer creates installations, films, and actions. He is also the initiator of many social activities, to which he invites his family members, neighbours, various communities, excluded people, and other artists. Many of his actions can be described as social sculpture. This term, coined by Joseph Beuys, encompasses creating new social roles and contexts with the participation of groups of people or individuals.