'Smolensk Street 22/8' is an exhibition in progress, as well as an artistic performance that tries to include the artists in the social discourse about depopulation of European cities' downtowns. The purpose of the exhibition is to focus both the tourists' and inhabitants' attention on political and social mechanisms that cause the irreversible process of Krakow's gentrification. The placement of the project isn't coincidental - Smolensk Street 22/8 is the address where Justyna Koeke and Cecylia Malik, sisters and curators of the project have been living with their families for 30 years. The new owner of the property forced all the tenants to leave. The apartment, days before the families leave the building, will become an open art workshop for artists from Poland and Germany. The project includes workshop for Krakow's art students, meetings with artists participating in the exhibition, live music shows and a lecture by Imke Hansen - a political science major at Hamburg University.
The purpose of the exhibition is to focus both the tourists' and inhabitants' attention on political and social mechanisms that cause the irreversible process of Krakow's gentrification, as well as to include the artists in the social discourse about depopulation of European cities' downtowns. The project includes both Polish and German artists with their disparate viewpoints. The process is well realized and in effect in Germany for years, but in Poland it’s relatively new and rapid. The viewpoint of artists coming from a family that’s been forced to move will be emotional and personal. The German artists, on the other hand, will try to comment on the topic in a distanced way, as observers who aren’t actively involved. Both groups will work at the eponymous Smolensk Street 22/8, and the apartment is to be vacated at the end of March 2010. Every piece of work exhibited will be created especially for this project and will function in context of the issue. The apartment will become an open workshop. The exhibition will deal with various art forms: music, video art, photography and performance. Smolensk Street 22/8 will be inaugurated with a lecture by Imke Hansen, a political science major from Hamburg University. The lecture will deal with the gentrification problem. Smolensk Street 22/8 Project is both an exhibition in progress and an artistic event. The German artists will create a housing space in one of the rooms, where they will live for the duration of the project. That way the project will discourse with the history of this spot, where everyone in the household used to live and create. Life and art coexisted and there was no border between. The Polish artists, on the other hand, either belong to the Malik family or know it well as friends and visitors. s. The new owner of the property forced all the tenants to leave. The project will also include workshops for Krakow's art students, meetings with artists participating in the exhibition and a live music show by three bands: Negradonna and two bands that are friends of the family: Dr Lecter and Zberny 3000. The concert will take place in a room where music equipment has been an everyday sight and Negradonna used to practice there. The concert will also serve as a farewell to a room where the artists lived since their childhoods and created their music; a new Negradonna album will be presented there as well.