European Culture Congress


Design: 2010

Construction: 2011

Client: National Audiovisual Institute

Location: Wroclaw, Hala Stulecia, Poland

Team: Marcin Mostafa, Natalia Paszkowska, Boris Kudlička, Iwona Borkowska, Bartek Popiela, Agata Woźniczka

The European Congress of Culture took place in Wrocław in 2011. Some unidentified objects will appear over the premises of the Cenntenial Hall. They released some sondes which transmited data to all the most remote parts of the world. For a short moment Wrocław, and especially the area of the Cenntenial (People’s) Hall, became a centre of the cultural universe.

The installation pregnant with a very powerful narration, balancing on a verge of a joke may instigate a question: who are the creators of European culture in today’s world? Are they those incomprehensible strangers appearing sporadically in our grey reality or maybe the culture of today – more unostentatious and unrestrained than ever before – is the effect of the creative process at the grass-roots level, the result of interacting, operating together of millions of elements – both creators and recepients of culture. The designed saucers seen as the sign of present times, exceptional for the development of culture, are in deep contrast with the Cenntenial Hall erected to mark the centenary of Napoleon’s defeat or the Spire – the symbol of the Regained Territories Exhibition and the World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace – which are characterized by monumentality, permanence and a precisely defined form. The floating saucers are ephemeral objects, and their final shape results from the co-existance of a large number of small elements.

The aim of the designed scenography is not only to emphasize the prestige and singularity of the event, but first of all to guide – discreetly but efficiently – its participants through the space used by the Congress. The flying objects will distort an axial chaaracter of the Cenntenial Hall’s premises, but their positioning will not be accidental. They will be landing in the focal points in order to mark most important places of the Congress events: the main entrance into the Cenntenial Hall, the accreditation pavilion situated between the entrance colonnade and the Hall, the courtyard of the Four Domed Pavilion – the venue of nightly concerts and RCTB building which will hold most debates. The biggest of the flying objects will sink into the mass of the Cenntenial Hall and will fly inside it, thus accentuating the place of the inaugural lecture by prof. Zygmunt Bauman and the concert by Krzysztof Penderecki.