One-Way StreetWarsaw Antiquities I Was The First Polish Surrealist! Works From 1929-39
The work was created especially for the exhibition Deliberations on Economics Cooked Up In the Back Room. 30 Years of Wschodnia Gallery at the Museum of Art (Muzeum Sztuki) in Łódź.
In One-Way Street published in 1928, Walter Benjamin focuses on detail – a childhood memory, street detail – and its materiality, constructing a kind of phantasmatic archeology of capitalism. It takes the form of a flickering passage leading from the oneiric dream to the concrete commodity – and back again.
The starting point for this stroll along another “one-way street” – Wschodnia Street in Łódź – is the catalog of the Eastern Circle exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle from 1991, where the last pages advertised their neighbors: shops, businesses and bars from this street (meat, grocery, gardening, haberdashery …). This marginal thread is the starting point for reflection on the place of the independent gallery in the economic and neighborhood circulation of the street in Łódź. Is it not a paradox that a non-profit gallery exists as it did, and only one out of a dozen of shops and companies advertising in that catalog has survived? The background for these parallel stories – the gallery and the street – is therefore the history of transformation and economic changes of the last 25 years.
It is also a starting point for the analysis of the Wschodnia Street semosphere: street signs, “anachronistic” remnants and traces of wild capitalism of the 1990s – what can we read from these signs and clues? Do these signposts show any other way?