photo: W. Pental
Nowa Huta, captured in photographs by Henryk Makarewicz and Wiktor Pental, exhibited in the burgher Hipolit House, is part of the Perfect City dispersed exhibition, carried out in many locations around Krakow. This research and artistic activity, involving a number of cultural entities, is an attempt at verifying the heritage of Nowa Huta through photography. It is also the first such a broad review of Nowa Huta’s history and significance, broken down into a dozen or so locations around Krakow and Lesser Poland. The unique collection of photographs by Wiktor Pental and Henryk Makarewicz illustrates the rise of the socialist city and the first "heroic" decades of its functioning, both as an independent industrial center and a creation that is always compared to Krakow.
Perfect City is an attempt at getting a modern-day view of Nowa Huta and emphasizing the fact that it is an inseparable part of a complex network of meanings and contradictions contained in Krakow, its inhabitants, architecture and space. The exhibition aims to show the evolving identity of the remote district, with reference to the region as well as the city and its center.
As a city that has its own founding myth, Nowa Huta itself gave rise to a number of stories and is subject to stereotyping to this day. A similar thing happens with the center of Krakow, its bourgeois myth and a plethora of clichés, some more truthful than others.
Although they can function as a sort of viruses, wedges struck into the cultural formation of the bourgeois Krakow, which has been evolving gradually over the centuries, the works of photographers Witkor Pental and Henryk Makarewicz scattered between the sections of the permanent exhibition at the Hipolit House, give rise to seeking natural connections between both worlds and urge to look for similarities. Placing specific images of Nowa Huta in the space of the former burgher home leads to the merging of both seemingly distant concepts and their actual human aspect.
Artists: Henryk Makarewicz, Wiktor Pental
Conceptual cooperation [Hipolit House]: Michał Hankus, Joanna Strzyżewska, Barbara Świadek
Organization: Imago Mundi Foundation, Łukasz Trzciński
Partners of the Perfect City dispersed exhibition: Museum of Photography, Museum of Krakow, Archeological Museum, Polish Aviation Museum, Museum of Municipal Engineering, Juliusz Słowacki Theater [Miniatura Stage], the Małopolska Garden of the Arts, BWA Tarnów