The name of the project refers to the album recorded by Republika entitled “Republic of Dreams”. It is also a starting point for the artists from the Rusz Gallery, whose works suggest a fresh look at the artistic output of Ciechowski and Republika. They have developed a series of works, which were presented in the public space of Toruń and Warsaw in December 2015 – on billboards and public transport vehicles. Here is what Rafał Góralski says about the works: “The word republic means an ideal world, a land where dreams come true. The cult and distinguishing mark of Republika are white and black stripes, which represent the confrontation of dreams with reality. Such black and white world often exists in our minds. We often don’t understand the complex and complicated contemporary world – we’re uncritical of its threats and don’t make use of opportunities it offers. We miss banana republic – an ideal world, a land of dreams. Still, we paradoxically do our best not to reach this land of dreams. Under Communism we missed idealised freedom. We thought that when we had it, all our problems would disappear. Freedom brings a lot of opportunities, yet, it also requires effort, work and facing up to problems to be able to fully enjoy it.”
“The Republic of Our Dreams” combines the history of the 1980s and 1990s with contemporary times. This is the need to commemorate the heritage of that period as well as the figure and artistic output of Ciechowski and Republika. The band’s artistic output remains one of the most important phenomena on the Polish music scene, not only of the 1980s and 1990s, but generally. It has not become outdated at all, which is why it is worth taking a fresh look at it. Here is what Joanna Górska says about the project: “We grew up in the 1980s – dull, gloomy, black and white years. We idealised the Western world and longed for it. Now we can say we were fascinated with rubbish – we collected carrier bags, advertising prospects, cans. For us, Poles, the Western world of consumption was a paradise. Somehow this has become routine. This childlike, uncritical idealisation continues today. We’re chasing the world we see in commercials, we’re mistaking fiction for reality. We aren’t making use of real opportunities our contemporary, multi-coloured world offers. Therefore, in our works, white and black stripes shade into colourful ones to show that the contemporary world, apart from white and black, has also many other colours.”
Rafał Góralski adds: “If we don’t see the dark sides of our life or reality, we also won’t see the light ones. The world is neither black, cruel and bad, nor pink, beautiful and good. It contains all of these shades. The point is to notice all of them and to find our own place in this complicated, often oppressive world, and try to be ourselves.”
In their works, the artists from the Rusz Gallery wish to confront what we were dreaming about under Communism with contemporary times, inviting recipients to deep reflection: Is the contemporary world the one we wanted to have? To what extent is the world we live in the one of fulfilled dreams and to what extent is it the world of unfulfilled and abandoned dreams? To what extent did we manage to build the republic of our dreams we were dreaming about in People’s Poland? What is the republic of dreams for us, the people of 2015?
The works of the artists from the Rusz Gallery were exhibited in the public space of Toruń and Warsaw:
1-31 December 2015 – the works were showned on billboards in Toruń (ul. Szosa Chełmińska and Bulwar Sztuki (the Boulevard of Art), near the Centre of Contemporary Art “Znaki Czasu”) and in Warsaw (in selected points of the city)
7-20 December 2015 – the works ware showned on the bus and tram in Toruń
The project has been funded with support from the Commune of the City of Toruń and the National Centre for Culture under the programme Kultura – Interwencje 2015