Agnieszka Kalinowska – Heavy Water

Pedestrians walking around the city centre will come across jugs made of clay. They are hand-made replicas of vessels coming from countries recently fled by the largest number of people: countries stricken by war, struggling with economic crisis or ethnic conflicts. The refugees have sought shelter in safer countries, also in Poland.

Exhibited jug patterns come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Ethiopia or Eritrea. They are covered with drawings of running people, making references to figurative renditions on vases and jugs. Vessels for water and food found by archeologists have provided a vivid trace of the history of human migration. People have always left potsherds carrying information about their lives and their place of origin.

The artist expects the audience to distribute the jugs among themselves. In this manner, the project will continue to live its life in the urban space also after the festival is over, however in a relational form; people will pass the items to each other in a more personal context: in private homes, public places, street fairs. This relational aspect is highly significant for the artist, as her integration-oriented art project will become a component of the real life, and political and social problems. In the act of creation, the artist gives her work back to reality. This draws our attention to what it means to take somebody in, to accept them and to give them some space.