Progress and Hygiene

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
free entry

Progress and Hygiene conference

The conference will close the exhibition of the same name presented in Zachęta from 29th November 2014, gathering, summarising and broadening the themes present in the exhibition.

In the various presentations will be raised themes dealing with diverse aspects of modernism, the history of eugenics, the means by which laws are adopted and the consequences of implementing the idea of progress in today’s world.

Those invited to participate in the conference include: Marius Turda, Piotr Juszkiewicz, Ewa Łętowska, Magdalena Gawin, Andrzej Leder and Andrzej Wajs. The panels will be moderated by Hanna Wróblewska, Magdalena Gawin and Anda Rottenberg.

In the evening after the conference, a performance will take place by Indian artist Sonia Khurana who deals in her art with problems connected with the situation of women in India.

11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Modernism, hygiene, eugenics

  1. Hanna Wróblewska – Introduction and Moderation
  2. Dr. Marius Turda – Modernism and Eugenic Visions of Human Improvement
  3. Prof. Piotr Juszkiewicz – Modernist Dreams of Hygiene
  4. Dr. Hab. Gabriela Świtek – Architecture and Hygiene

1.15–3.15 p.m.
Social Engineering for the General Good

  1. Dr. Magdalena Gawin – Introduction and Moderation
  2. Father Wojciech Lemański – An Attempt at an Interpretation of Vadim Zakharov’s Installation “The Philosophers’ Ship Restaurant” as a Parable
  3. Prof. Ewa Łętowska – The Traps of the Use of Law in the Service of Ideology
  4. Prof. Magdalena Fikus – Genetics, Eugenics, Art

4.15–6 p.m.
The Mythology of the Other

  1. Anda Rottenberg – Introduction and Moderation
  2. Prof. Andrzej Leder – Hygiene, Purity and Child’s Imagination and Dr. Andrzej Wajs – Mythologies of Otherness
  3. Prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska, Minister of Culture and National Heritage – Reflections on the Conference

7 p.m.

  1. Sonia Khurana – Performative Lecture

The conference will have simultaneous Polish-English translation.


event accompanying the exhibition
  • 29.11.2014 – 15.02.2015
    Progress and Hygiene

    The exhibition presented in Zachęta, “Progress and Hygiene”, is devoted to the pitfalls of modernization in the context of the idealistic faith in progress and the possibilities of “betterment” common to both art and science at the beginning of the 20th century. It was conceived as an essay which critically analyses such phenomena as genetic engineering, eugenics or research into the purity of races, also drawing attention to their continued impact on today’s world.

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