Making plans for 2021 from the perspective of a prolonged isolation, various forms of social quarantine and with the awareness of the unpredictability of the situation, we try to see the impact and changes these events may have, not only on our ad-hoc functioning in the future, but also how they will affect us in the long-term. One of the many pillars of social life, so far undisputed and violently verified by the covid-19 pandemic, is the identification of freedom and the right to movement.
The year 2020 drastically interrupted the European episode of free movement of people in the Schengen zone, returning to the questions about the importance of national borders and their usefulness in managing the crises, not only biological, but also social and these pertaining to identity. Not leaving and staying in one place has turned out not to be a choice, but a necessary way of life founded upon remaining in an exceedingly shrinking field. Acceptance of the limited freedom of movement in the name of protecting life outlines an area of inquiry into redefining and re-evaluating what “here and now” might mean.
From this obligation to stay put – which for many of us meant sitting in front of the screen for weeks – and from this claustrophobically diminishing life space – be it closed airports or florists – a question arises about a new understanding of the local. What we recently begun to see as a conscious choice in terms of the care for environment and sustainable production has rapidly evolved into an oppressive and necessary immediacy. One of the pandemic transformations of our lives is how we begin to experience, perceive and define our immediate surroundings, both from an individual and social points of view.
Until recently, mobility – understood as cosmopolitanism, flexibility, travel and dynamism – was one of the expressions of social and also artistic positions. From the perspective of the art world, networking and being everywhere constituted the preconditions for success, and belonging in different places and contexts was one of the elements of building visibility and symbolic capital. Such dynamism of building relationships and functioning is questioned not only because in isolation it seems to make little difference whether the interlocutor seen on the screen is a street or a continent away. Stillness turns out to be a new way of functioning.
In the past, one of Europe’s largest factories of machinery and carriages, now under transformation into services and residential area, the buildings and the history of Pafawag offer an important context for the slogan “You ain’t going nowhere.” The space, can be understood both as a trace of a different regime of production and direction of development, as well as a literal study of the history of mobility. While these are important contexts, we do not intend the exhibition in 2021 to be strictly devoted to Pafawag itself. When submitting a proposal, we ask you to take into account the character of the available spaces; due to the large volume of open spaces and the difficulty in separating a room for individual projects, we are interested in site-specific proposals that take a close look at the particular place. We also consider displaying art projects outside of the building.
OPEN CALL | 22.12.2020-14.02.2021
Since 1912, Linke-Hofmann-Werke has been the largest industrial plant in Wroclaw. The factory was created by combining smaller machinery and rolling stock factories (Gotffried Linke Railway Car Factory, Gustav Ruffer’s Machine Building Factory, Hofmann Brothers’ Railway Car Building Factory), whose beginnings date back to the mid-19th century. Before this merger took place, the owners of Linke’s factory started to move production to the village of Muchobór Mały near Wroclaw in 1895, where soon, several huge production halls were built and an impressive administrative building and other facilities on the area of 196 hectares. The factory employed up to 4 thousand workers, which also made it the largest employer in interwar Wrocław. It had a huge production capacity, becoming one of the largest suppliers of rolling stock in Europe. It produced literally everything that could move on the rails (locomotives, railway cars of various uses, cars for mountain railways, etc.), but also trams, tractors, machines for the food industry. The quality of products and timely execution of orders made the wagons and locomotives from Wrocław exported to many countries around the world. They also won numerous awards and distinctions at exhibitions and fairs. In June 1920, the factory produced a two thousandth locomotive. The management of the plant took great care to ensure good working conditions and social care for its employees. In their free time, they could also use the sports or holiday facilities belonging to the plant. During World War I, Linke-Hofmann-Werke produced LFG Roland C.II “Walfisch” reconnaissance planes, and during the following war, armoured railway cars and armouring components, including parts for V-2 rockets. In the 1940s, a labour camp AL Breslau II was created on the factory premises, where over 1000 forced labourers from Poland, France and the Czech Republic worked.
In 1945, the powerful Linke–Hofmann Werke rolling stock factory turned into a huge pile of rubble within just a few days. The first Polish group of workers that went into the factory estimated its destruction at 80%. However, the reconstruction of this largest production plant in Wrocław was a priority task. Its relaunch was of great importance for propaganda at the time. For Wrocław, it was a symbol of the city’s reconstruction and rebirth of local industry, and for the whole of Poland, a hope for rapid development of railway connections. In 1953, the factory produced the first post-war Polish electric locomotive and a year later, the first Polish electric traction car. The State Railway Car Factory (PAFAWAG) quickly became the pride of Wrocław and the whole of Silesia. Machines and vehicles from PAFAWAG made a great career. As before the war, they were exported to many countries. Until the 1980s, the Wrocław factory, employing 6,000 people, was the largest supplier of rolling stock in Europe. Yet, on 14 December 1981, no machines or production lines were started. People came, but instead of working, they joined the strike. In the united factories of Pafawag and Dolmel, the Regional Strike Committee of “Solidarity” trade unions for Lower Silesia had its headquarters. The committee members left the plant on the fifth day of martial law, when the halls were occupied by armed ZOMO units (Motorised Reserves of the Citizens’ Militia). Today, the former Linke-Hofmann-Werke/PAFAWAG under the name Bombardier Transporter Poland employs ten times fewer people than in its glory years, while at the same time being one of the few factories in the city that is over 100 years old and still operates in the same place.
You ain’t going nowhere
Kotłownia, ul. Fabryczna 14, Wrocław
We invite you to submit proposals of art projects for the 19th edition of SURVIVAL Art Review, which will take place from 25 to 29 June 2021 in the boiler room of the former Pafawag factory (previously Linke-Hofmann-Werke). “You ain’t going nowhere” is the slogan to which the proposed applications should refer.
When submitting a proposal, we ask you to take into account the character of the available spaces; due to the large volume of open spaces and the difficulty in separating a room for individual projects, we are interested in site-specific proposals that take a close look at the particular place. We also consider displaying art projects outside of the building.
The deadline for submitting proposals expires on 14 February 2021. Proposals can be sent by completing the form available on www.survival.art.pl and the attachments to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The SURVIVAL curators will then choose artworks to be presented in the chosen venue.
SURVIVAL 19. Art Review| Nigdzie stąd nie pójdziecie / You ain’t going nowhere
Fabryczna 14, Wrocław
Curators: Michał Bieniek, Anna Kołodziejczyk, Małgorzata Miśniakiewicz, Ewa Pluta
Sound Art Forum curator: Daniel Brożek