Welcome to Creative Arts Centre in Wrocław. Twice a year you can enroll to the variety of courses we offer. We organize concerts, exhibitions, meetings, occasional workshops, plein-air sessions and more. We publish art books and release our own records. If you are interested in our activity feel free to get in touch wit us.
Monika Orpik – Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road
Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road looks at the moment of change when the most idyllic scenario becomes a horror of a political regime. From picking apples in the orchard to tear gas on the street. The book combines photographic material and texts that revolve around the permanent in-between state that is inseparable from the notion of migration. What happens when you’re forced to leave something behind and start anew elsewhere? What tools do you use to visualise the loss and the absence? How do you build your identity when the dialect you speak is rejected as a language? Despite being focused on stories of a specific community, the book makes visible what is universal in the context of transition.
Being aware of the discrepancies of representation within the political apparatus of photography – who is looking and who is being looked at – Orpik choses to work on the basis of invitation and collaboration rather than stepping into something one doesn’t belong to. For her the encounter itself was more important than its outcome. The community was portrayed in the way they decided for – leaving their traces only in text or photographed objects and landscapes that surround them on a daily basis. The process of Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road became a reflection on what constitutes neighbourhood, the experience of migration and how the values of diversity can bring people together.
With regards to the 2020 elections in Belarus and the subsequent wave of protests or the ongoing refugee crisis evolving on the Polish Eastern border, the questions on the notion of intersectional solidarity and the border are recurring in the public debate. The neighbours seen by the European citizens as strangers became familiar faces. Orpik decided to move away from Polish, in which the interviews were conducted, and leave English and Belarusian translation as the base of the book. It was important for her to make the stories accessible and at the same time refer to a language which for many symbolises Belarusian freedom.
Curated by Monika Orpik & Łukasz Rusznica
Design by Agata Bartkowiak
Excerpts of interviews conducted by Monika Orpik
Colour proofing and prepress Krzysztof Krzysztofiak
Proofreading of the text in Polish Anna Wacławik-Orpik
Editing of the text in Polish Anka Herbut
English translation Jakub Gutkowski
Proofreading of the English translation Sara Pearce
Translation into Belarusian Adela Dubaviec
Proofreading of the Belarusian translation Adela Dubaviec
Published by Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych (OPT) 2022
First Edition, 500 copies
Printed in EU
20 x 29 cm
Copyright © Monika Orpik, 2022
Copyright © Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych for this publication, November 2022
Gabriela Piasecka – Porcelain
In high school, I always had a sense of finitude and predictability about what was going to happen to me. It felt like the atmosphere of college would never leave me until the end of my life. I guess everyone thought that way. In those days you didn’t yet know that this particular time, atmosphere and the way you looked at things would eventually disappear but not what awaited outside the safe space of the school. However, each and every one of us was in a hurry to leave and to be on the other side of the gates.
We sort of disliked each other didn’t create strong one another for the next three years. Maybe it was just me being in a rush? Each of us was fragile, that’s for sure. Very strong in our own adolescence but truly fragile. During this time at high school, everything was “for good”, everything was “forever” and “certain”. Despite us being rather disparate than in sync, we were able to support each other anyway. It wasn’t solid support – it couldn’t be when everyone felt like a piece of porcelain.
Being an annoyingly confident 18 year old, you do not notice this slow process of leaving a safe ground. You do not see this is actually happening. There is no way to avoid growing up but at least you can try to delay it whilst also want to simultaneously speed it up. Wishing to become an adult, but just a little bit. Grow up at your own speed, at what is comfortable for you.
There is also a flip side to that reality.
We didn’t only move in our own circles though. Everyone came from different homes and brought something or nothing from them. And from all of these surpluses and defects, we tried to build a group where we could test ourselves and one another. Tried to simulate the unknown which was behind school gates (it didn’t matter if those trials were relevant to the reality of the outside world).
The more I distance myself from those years, the more I see, in the growing up process, the role of family. You cannot get away from it. Every time you do it – it would prove you still have strong connections with your past.
For me, a picture of the family seems to be inconclusive, deeply ambivalent. I am composing it from a collection of my personal experiences and from those borrowed from my school colleagues. Home should be a safe place full of trust but often it was a first, cruel training ground for assertiveness. I tried to be completely self-sufficient as quickly as possible because interdependence I saw as a weakness.
I didn’t know yet that total self-reliance, as I perceived it at that time, doesn’t exist.
Photographs and text: Gabriela Piasecka
Sequence (selection): Gabriela Piasecka, Joanna Smołka
Artistic supervision: Filip Zawada, Krzysztof Solarewicz
Design: Joanna Smołka
Translation: Katarzyna Suchar
Proofreading: Katarzyna Skop
Publisher: Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych
Year of publication: November 2022
Printing and binding: DRUKMANIA S.C. N. Łuczak K. Łuczak
Printed on: Arctic Volume White
Beata Bartecka & Łukasz Rusznica – How to look natural in photos
“How to Look Natural in Photos” is a book about a totalitarian system which uses photography for its purposes. It includes reflections on the mechanism and relationships connected with looking and photographing, observing and being observed, describing and being described. Violence begins in the nervous system, from an impulse that runs through the body and makes someone press the shutter. It ends in an archive, the place where information and images are stored. This basis reveals who interprets the collected data, and consequently – who controls the facts. The book also tells a story of spies, agents, guards, AI algorithm programmers, surveillance subjects, suspects, archivists, convicts and accidentally photographed passers-by. They interact on various levels, all comprising one huge machine, inordinate and dispersed.
All the photos in the book come from the archive of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (IPN), which investigates the history of Poland between the early 20th century and the fall of the totalitarian system. The book contains descriptions of photographs based on archival notes, and an essay written by Tomasz Stempowski, historian and archivist.
Curated and Edited by Beata Bartecka & Łukasz Rusznica
Design by Joanna Jopkiewicz (Grupa Projektor)
Essay by Tomasz Stempowski
Colour proofing and Prepress by Krzysztof Krzysztofiak
Published by Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych & Palm* Studios
Wroclaw – London 2021.
First Edition, 500 Copies
Printed in EU
Creative Arts Centre
Creative Arts Centre [Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych (OPT) in Polish] is a municipal cultural institution. Our main purpose is to educate through art and cultural activities. We offer workshops that allow creative dialogue and thought exchange. We fully support the growth of your artistic awareness, we develop your creative mindset, we inspire you to think independently.
We release publications of our course leaders, participants and people connected with the Creative Arts Centre. We believe, that each creative process deserves the sense of closure by confining all abstract content into a physical form thus becoming the official culmination of the entire process from the birth of the concept to its realization.
Creative Arts Centre offers also commercial activities. We rent adequately equipped and multifunctional meeting room for conferences, lectures or business meetings.