OPOLNO 
2071

The Land of Zgorzelec 

Opolno-Zdrój,

August 6th-8th 2021

In July 1971 in Opolno-Zdrój, a former spa town located at the edge of the infamous Turów coal mine, the ecological artistic plein-air in the history of Polish art took place. The event was entitled “The Land of Zgorzelec 1971: Science and art in defence of the natural environment of man”. The symposium was attended by the most important polish artists of the time, scientists, experts as well as the representatives of the local community - inhabitants of Opolno-Zdrój, miners and managers of the mine. The meeting was one of the many artistic plein-airs of the 1960s and 70s. The main idea of the events was to present different trends of contemporary art in the context of specific sites as well as stimulate creative, artistic discussions on scientific discoveries, new theories and current changes in social and political life.

The theme of “The Land of Zgorzelec 1971” plein-air was ecology. The event played a crucial role in the development of environmental awareness among the arts community in Poland. The imminence of the mine, powerplant and industrial landscape as well as the ecologically-focused program of the event inspired the participants to come up with environmentally-focused artworks and discuss the difficult relationship between humans and the planet.

On the 50th anniversary of the first Polish ecological artistic plein-air, artists returned to Opolno-Zdrój. During the three-day long symposium entitled “The Land of Zgorzelec: OPOLNO 2071” a group of artists, curators and researchers, together with the representatives of the local community, continued the discussions and activities started in 1971. However, this time, instead of warning or speculating about the imminent apocalypse and commenting on the destructive drive of homo sapiens species, artistic tools and creative imagination were used to generate a vision of a common, green and climate-just future for Opolno-Zdrój. The theme of the 2021 plein-air is speculative fiction in which the mine and powerplant are just a vague memory of a distant past, while Opolno-Zdrój returns to its traditions of a futuristic spa and a recreational arts residency center.

The plein-air took place between August 6th and 8th 2021. On August 6th the artists open the “Well-rested Curator” an artistic pop-up cafe serving drinks from local herbs, cakes and pierogies. The visitors to the cafe had a chance to participate in workshops for children and adults, sent a postcard from the future and watched films in the open-air cinema. During the plein-air, we collectively carried out a number of actions and interventions in the Opolno-Zdrój and nearby area. The event symbolically closed on August 8th with a spectacular parade with music and costumes designed by us artists during the event.

 

“The Land of Zgorzelec: OPOLNO 2071” plein-air was organized by the Office for Postartistic Services, together with the representatives of the Opolno-Zdój community - administrator Anna Wilczyńska and Na Trójstyku Association as well as Wrocław Contemporary Museum and Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław. The event is a part of the program of celebrating the 50th anniversary of “The Land of Zgorzelec 1971” plein-air, lasting between June and October 2021.

Participating artists: 
Ola Arent, Julia Ciunowicz, Jaroslaw Czyszczon, Kuba Depczyński, Marianna Dobkowska, Kuba Falk, Maja Janczar, Alicja Kochanowicz, Mateusz Kowalczyk, Maciej Kwietnicki, Diana Lelonek, Martyna Miller, Arek Pasożyt, Karolina Pawelczyk, Amy Pekal, Anna Ptak, Patrycja Stefanek, Bogna Stefańska, Wiktoria Wojciechowska, Weronika Zalewska

THE WELL-RESTED CURATOR

The opening of the Cafe "Well-rested Curator"

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Photography courtesy of Alicja Kochanowicz

1971 to 2071

Visitors to the plein-air were invited to engage with the multiple artistic interventions. workshops and performances taking place in Opolno- Zdrój.

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Photography courtesy of Alicja Kochanowicz

OPOLNO 2071 PARADE

A closing parade through Opolno with costumes made of naturally dyed fabrics, with props made of papier-mache and banners ("Opolno is the Future") - the kids joined us, and the residents mainly watched from windows and balconies.

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Photography courtesy of Alicja Kochanowicz