Courtesy of Museum of Art, Łódź
Atlas of Modernity is an exhibition that allows to see the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in a different way, but, more importantly, it is also a story of modernity and its meaning from a contemporary perspective constructed with the works included in the collection. It's not a coincidence that modernity becomes the object of reflection in the Muzeum Sztuki. There is no other museum in Poland, whose relationship with modern culture would be equally strong.
The end of modern era and the advent of new times – the times when new paradigms were to be applied – has been announced on numerous occasions. However, the world we live in is still to a large degree defined by phenomena, processes and notions that appeared in modernity. Culture, models of scientific knowledge, social reality, forms of politics, economic mechanisms, our ideas of ourselves and, finally, our desires and fears have all been shaped by modernity. Learning about modernity becomes necessary if we attempt to understand the contemporary world and want to find our place in it.
The exhibition at ms2 does not report the history of modernity put in chronological order, neither does it present the history of modern art. It focuses on the most important phenomena that are commonly connected with that which is modern, such as: emancipation, autonomy, industrialisation, capital, urbanisation, experiment, mechanization and revolution. By creating a ‘collage’ of artworks from different periods, representing different aesthetics and artistic attitudes around these notions the exhibition poses questions about how the character of the phenomena changed, how the way they were perceived altered and, most importantly, to what extent they shape contemporary reality.