The eleventh edition of the Art Moves Festival started on 7 September in Toruń, Poland!
The International Art on Billboards Festival Art Moves is organised in Toruń for the eleventh time. This year the event is held under the slogan of “Who governs our lives: we ourselves, other people or algorithms?”. Like every year, during the festival, we show the works of talented debutants and renowned international artists in the city space of Toruń. The festival will be ended at 9 October 2018.
Over the past few years, billboard art has become a cultural “must have”. Billboard exhibitions are being held from Teheran and Mexico City to Paris, Los Angeles and New York. Toruń is one of the pioneers of this trend – Art Moves is the first, and so far the only, cyclical festival promoting this kind of art in the world. “Billboards are unequivocally associated with advertisingall over the world, but not in Toruń – for a few autumn weeks the billboards become anti-billboards, as a manifestation of thought contesting consumerism as well as any forms of intellectual and spiritual submissiveness. England has its conscience-pricking Banksy, and we – thethought-provoking Art Moves festival” – Piotr Sarzyński wrote about the festival in “Polityka” magazine. – Now we work with those ubiquitous, open or hidden advertisements and propaganda – Rafał Góralski from Rusz Gallery, co-creator of the festival, says. Billboard art is like an antidote, a respite and time for reflection in this crazy hurried world. Billboards have a wide coverage, reaching everyone, being pro-democratic and egalitarian, going beyond the life andinformation niches people operate in. They change the city into a large art gallery where art can be usedfree of charge, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, with no limits or barriers. – The festival has 3 levels of influence – Joanna Górska from Rusz Gallery, co-creator of the festival, says – we make up a theme and direct it to artists from all over the world, who respond to our question and create their own works. The best of the works are presented in the city space of Toruń. And people, inspired by these works, can find their own ideas for a festival theme. So, we combine what is global with what is local.
This year works relate to the leitmotiv of the entire event: “Who governs our lives: we ourselves, other people or algorithms?”, and are presented on billboards, citylights and LED displays. This competition slogan can be treated as a metaphor of all the processes taking place in the world today. The human world is a collection of individuals that form small groups, societies and the entire human community. What and who decides what we are like and what we do? We ourselves, by making everyday decisions and choosing our own paths of development? Other people, e.g. neighbours, family, politicians, and celebrities who impose their own opinions and preferences on us? Or maybe corporations that use soulless algorithms to follow our lives and invisibly gather any information about us, to tell us what to do, how to behave, what we should look like, who we should vote for, who we should like, and who we should not like? Is there any space for real individuals in the world that apparently praises any individualism, but at the same tries to average all the phenomena, including individual life, and subordinate them to statistics and algorithms? Is development, both individual and collective, possible at all in such a world? Are we doomed to stagnation and omnipresent control? Is life outside the box possible at all in such a world? Or maybe there is some way out? Maybe you know the answer? Who governs our lives: we ourselves or…?
As always, the festival consists of a competition phase and then a presentation of the artists invited by the organisers. The best works are presented on billboards. 562 artists from 76 countries entered the competition, we received 1024 artworks from Ukraine, USA, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Russia, Cuba, Great Britain, Iran and many others!
The jury panel composed of artists and curators, including:
Christine Wong Yap / artist / New York, USA
Adam Niklewicz / artist / North Haven, Connecticut, USA
Małgorzata Augustyniak / art historian, vice-president AMS SA / Warsaw, Poland
Joanna Górska / artist, curator, Art Moves Festival art director/ Toruń, Poland
selected 10 most interesting projects which are exhibited on billboards during the Art Moves Festival 2018. The jury decided to confer the main award to Ying-Hsiu Chen and Hsiang-Ying Chen from Taiwan.
The winning work presents the paradox of contemporary culture. Not so long ago we had the impression that we were living in the best world possible – where democracy prevailed, human rights were our bread and butter, we were basking in prosperity, and the future seemed only better. However it has turned out that it was only a dream that we are starting waking up from, and our real reality is much more complicated, revealing its dark sides. We spend a lot of time every day immersed in digital reality and the line between the virtual and the real is getting blurred. What we perceived as the paradise of freedom and free access to the Internet and digital goods turns out to be something completely different. The Internet is a place where we are being tracked all the time, subjected to pressure and propaganda, and our personal information is collected secretly and used for unclear purposes. Unfortunately this reminds us of an old proverb: “You get nothing for nothing”. This paradox has been perfectly demonstrated by Taiwanese artists. It turns out that we can pay a heavy price for what is apparently free, that is wifi.
Overloaded with fake news and isolated in information bubbles, we stop distinguishing life from a lie – this is perfectly depicted in the work by Cristian Brinza from Moldova.
Maybe we should resign ourselves with our digital addiction and update the classical picture, giving it a shape suggested by Łukasz Mesjasz from Poland?
Maybe we are able to find an antidote for the black side of the digital world? It’s high time to start using our brains and ask more questions.
Maybe it is worth believing in our subjectivity, finding powers in ourselves, and stopping living according to others’ expectations. Maybe it is worth not abandoning hope? Maybe let us not be seduced by algorithmic-based reality and think that the best is yet to come?
Not only do artists came to grips with the festival slogan. Our spectators were also able to join in the creation – as part of Art Moves Workshop, where workshops for teenagers was conducted. There are also special interactive billboards that allow recipients to take an active part in the festival.
In this edition of the festival, we exhibit the works by 20 artists from 11 countries:
Ying Hsiu, Chen and Hsiang Ying, Chen / Taiwan
Felipe Jácome / Ecuador
Łukasz Mesjasz / Poland
Serra Unal / Italy
Katarzyna Łyszkowska / Poland
Mabi “SELF” Lusala / Czech Republic
Oksana Fedun / Ukraine
Cristian Brinza / Moldova
Adam Bejnarowicz / Poland
Katherine R. Paz and Erick Ginard / Cuba
Wojciech Mazur / Poland
Lakwena Maciver / Great Britain
SpY / Spain
WRDBNR / Spain
Morley / USA
Anthony Burrill / Great Britain
Joanna Górska, Rafał Góralski (Galeria Rusz) / Poland
01.09 – 30.09 – exposition of artworks on citylights located at bus stops (the entire city)
01.09 – 30.09 – exposition of artworks on LED displays Kraszewskiego / Matejki Street, Szosa Chełmińska / Czerwona Droga Street, Skarbka Square)
06.09 – 09.10– exposition of artworks on billboards (Rapackiego Square, Chopina Street, Wały gen. Sikorskiego Street / CCA, Szosa Chełmińska Street / City Market)
06.09 – 09.10 – Art Moves Workshop / workshops for teenagers / interactive billboards for children, teenagers and adults (Rapackiego Square)
Art Moves Festival is held under the honorary patronage of Piotr Całbecki, Marshal of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region and Michał Zaleski, President of Toruń
The festival has been co-funded by the Local Authorities of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region and Toruń Municipality
Partners and media sponsorship: