The 7th international Art Moves Festival, this year devoted to freedom, begins on 1 September in Toruń!
The only billboard art festival in the world – the Art Moves Festival – will be held in Toruń for the seventh time. This year’s festival motto is “More or Less Freedom?” The theme of freedom is ubiquitous – we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first free elections, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Moreover, the situation in Russia and Ukraine also brings the issue of freedom to the fore. The theme of freedom and its limits is a fascinating area that allows artists to show their talents. A multi-faceted picture of freedom we can experience in contemporary global society is emerging from the works presented during the Festival. Freedom is a paradoxical word. This is one of the fundamental ideas that drive individual and social life. In the history of mankind, great and wonderful, but also tragic things happened in the name of freedom. Paradoxically, freedom is most easily defined and appreciated when one tastes its lack (e.g. in a totalitarian state). When we have it, we do not notice it and it rapidly loses its real value – we take it for granted. So, what is freedom then? Is freedom essential to life? Should it be unlimited or have some limits? Can other people limit our freedom – because they also have a right to feel free? Is freedom responsibility or rather doing what one feels like doing?
The Festival is created by the artists, Joanna Górska and Rafał Góralski, from the Rusz Gallery. This year, they celebrate the 15th anniversary of their artistic activity. They move both hearts and minds. They concentrate on what is important. On what concerns a contemporary person and the contemporary world. They show art in the city by means of advertising media. In the contemporary world, where everything is very fast, superficial and temporary, we need to stop for a while to contemplate and think. Therefore, artists fill the space of the city with “thinking” art for thinking people. If we do not think for ourselves, others will think for us!
The world has caught up with Toruń and billboards are more and more often used to present art – in 2013 and 2014, in Great Britain, two vast exhibitions entitled “arteverywhere” took place, whereas this year a similar event is held in the USA.
The artists from the Rusz Gallery invited artists from all over the world to think about this year’s topic. 566 artists from 67 countries entered the contest “More or less freedom?”. We received 1007 artworks from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Zimbabwe, Chin, South Korea, India, Indonesia, France, Portugal, Vietnam, Turkey and many others!
The jury panel composed of artists and curators, including: Susan O’Malley (artist, USA), Christine Wong Yap (artist, USA), Joanna Górska (Art Moves Festival art direktor, Poland) selected 10 most interesting projects which will be exhibited on billboards. We are happy that this year as many as three distinguished artists are from Toruń! The jury decided to confer The Main Award of 3000 PLN to Monica Fraile Morisson from France.
The winning work of a French artist, Monika Fraile Morisson, shows freedom that emerges from the accumulated money. At the same time, the picture of this freedom is poorly visible. And this is when one of the key questions, important for the contemporary consumer society, appears – does wealth bring us freedom or take it away?
In the work of a duet, Agnieszka Popek-Banach and Kamil Banach, the paradox of contemporary freedom manifests itself in the fact that having too many orders, we no longer move freely in a particular direction. Another threat to freedom may be a different way of understanding freedom in different countries, even the ones so close to each other, like Poland and Russia. Krzysztof Białowicz’s work makes us realise that even if a word ‘freedom’ has the same number of letters in two related languages (Polish and Russian), it is understood in a completely different way!
10 best competition works will be displayed on billboards placed, as usually, on Pl. Rapackiego (Rapacki Square) and along ul. Chopina (Chopin Street).
The Festival’s novelty is the display of the works on citylights. We will display 10 works on citylights placed at the bus stops in various districts of Toruń. This way, we will engage all the city into the Festival space of art. On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the Rusz Gallery has prepared a series of works devoted to freedom, that will also be displayed on citylights.
In this edition of the festival, we will exhibit the works of 16 artists from 7 countries:
Monica Fraile Morisson / France
Aleksander Bąk / Poland
Filip Tofil (syfonstudio) / Poland
Marcelina Krzemińska / Poland
Krzysztof Białowicz / Poland
Nicholas Knight / USA
Nikodem Pręgowski / Poland
Justin A. Langlois / Canada
Geo George / India
Agnieszka Popek-Banach i Kamil Banach / Poland
Joanna Górska (Galeria Rusz) / Poland
Rafał Góralski (Galeria Rusz) / Poland
Mina Bakliza / Serbia
Elisabeth Ajtay / Germany / USA
Mariusz Janusz Wolny / Poland
Sasha Pes / Ukraine
The official opening ceremony of the festival will take place on September 5, at 12 pm on Rapacki Square, Toruń, Poland.
September 1–September 7 – expositions of art works on citylights (whole city)
September 5, 12 pm – festival’s opening (Rapacki Square)
September 5, 12 – 1 pm – Galeria Rusz’s artistic performance
September 5–October 7 – expositions of art works on billboards competition exhibition (Rapacki Square, Chopin Street)