- MaterialMixed Media
- On viewGround floor
- CopyrightPaweł Althamer with Paweł Buchholz, Marcin Leszczyński, Michał Mioduszewski, Daniel Hans, Sławomir Mocarski, Julia Matea Petelska, Jędrzej Rogoziński, Bródno People, 2010. Courtesy Sammlung Goetz, München © Paweł Althamer. Photo: Elisabeth Greil, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Museum Brandhorst
More about the artwork
Polish artist Paweł Althamer often includes people from his own immediate environment in his artworks. The life-size group of figures, “Bródno People,” is based on Auguste Rodin’s “Les Bourgeois de Calais” (The Burghers of Calais, 1889) and its depiction of the joint sacrifice of six citizens in 1347 to save their town. Here, Althamer creates a contemporary interpretation, together with people from the prefabricated housing estate in the Bródno district of Warsaw, where he himself grew up. Each figure represents a self-portrait of one of the neighbors and of Althamer himself. Reminiscent of science fiction films, the figures, like cosmonauts, land in the museum space on their wheeled undercarriage. Through the use of found materials, such as stuffed and silver-sprayed clothing, pieces of scrap metal, and plastic wrap, they take on their own futuristic character while emphasizing the social and political circumstances of the work. With its origins in collective practice, “Bródno People” tells both of a past and a present in post-communist Poland, and of a possible shared future.