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Zachęta's publications
Poland — a country of folklore?
80,00 zł

editor: Joanna Kordjak
graphic design: Błażej Pindor
publisher: Zachęta - National Gallery of Art
ISBN 978-83-64714-19-1

The book is available only in the Polish version. You can read the English version here - https://zacheta.art.pl/en/mediateka-i-publikacje/polska-kraj-folkloru-6

The publication accompanying the exhibition at the Zachęta addresses a complex and ambiguous topic of interest in folk art in Poland after the war and in the first two decades of communism. An important point of reference is the history of exhibitions that took place in the 1950s and 1960s at the CBWA (Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions).

The authors focus on showing the unusual phenomenon of misalliance between Young Poland’s interest in peasantry and Socialist Realism. The theme of the book which covers various fields of art (architecture, design, music, exhibitions) and popular culture is the countryside and its inhabitants as seen by the city: an image limited to folklore, ‘folk’— with the city deciding what is folk and what is not — and the then present phenomenon of self-folklorisation, creating an ‘export’ image of Poland as ‘a country of folklore’.

The book, just as the exhibition, describes also the phenomenon of large-scale ethnographic research conducted in those years, which became a stimulus, for i.a. designers, as well as the subject of folklore as an important category to which modern artists referred to.

The publication’s editor is Joanna Kordjak, it contains essays by Błażej Brzostek, David Crowley, Piotr Juszkiewicz, Ewa Klekot, Piotr Korduba, Gabriela Świtek and Monika Weychert Waluszko.