Józef Robakowski: The Handshake
Exhibition view Józef Robakowski
16.06.2012 – 30.09.2012

Engaging in dialog with other artists while at the same time rendering this visible in and through art has been one of the key aspects in Józef Robakowski’s (*1939, Posen) oeuvre from the 1960s. With this as its point of departure, the exhibition covers, above all, the wealth of Robakowski’s ideas and methods in his collaboration with other artists. The political dimension of Robakowski’s art is revealed with pieces that were produced during the period of martial law in Poland (1981–1983). Robakowski is shown as a creator of experimental work responding to the specificities of context, working outside the official museum and gallery system to present politically critical works. Important issues of trust, collective expressions, and shared experiences are shown through activities and actions initiated by the Exchange Gallery established by the artist in his own apartment in Lodz in 1978.

The exhibition brings together films and video works such as »Market«, 1970 (in collaboration with Ryszard Meissner and Tadeusz Junak); »Attention Light!«, 1981–2004 (collaboration with Paul Sharits and Wieslaw Michalak); »Art is Power«, 1985 (music by Slovenian avant-garde group Laibach) and »Oratorio for Katarzyna Kobro«, 2011. Robakowski’s curatorial models are represented through documents and photographs showing the activities of the »Workshop of the Film Form« and photographic documentation from the exhibition »Lochy Manhattanu« (Lodz, 1989). The exhibition also presents a selection of books, catalogs, and ephemera produced by and drawn from the collection of the Exchange Gallery, Lodz.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst

Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw; MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New York; Arsenal Gallery, Białystok