Lukasz Jastrubczak's exhibition is the result of nearly two years of virtual exploration of Argentina and Chile, using google street view and researching the culture and history of South American countries. Jastrubczak shifts his interest from the country-empire-US, which his earlier works focused on, to the so-called periphery, which is exploited in global structures.
South America as a whole, drained for years under colonial structures, remains to this day in close dependence on empires - the US, China or international capital. The result of the heavy dependence of the economies of Latin American countries on the United States is the enormous social stratification and low standard of living of a huge number of citizens, as well as the devastation of the continent's environment. However, neo-colonial dependence also determines the emergence of alternatives - from the communist revolution in Cuba, Salvador Allende's socialist solutions, to contemporary political projects such as "Buen vivir" in Ecuador, or the effective cooperative actions of workers taking over Argentine factories after the 2001 crisis and Brazil's massive landless farmers' movement. Jastrubczak wants to make these phenomena visible, also for purely didactic purposes, but on the other hand he transfers the tension of neoliberalism-socialism of the 21st century to the plane of individual artistic practice. In essence, the artist, through the exhibition, once again asks himself and us the question of work ethics. Should we devote our energies to imagining a different world, differently constructed, and try to locally organize it? Or rather, come to terms with the status-quo, a situation in which a small minority lives at the expense of the large majority?
Is the essence of practicing art to participate in the universal language of aesthetics and compete for one's place in an exclusive market-institutional world? Is it possible to organize artistic work on a different basis? So, do we recall the next exhibition, fascinated by its aesthetic values and stylistic nuances? Or we take part in an exhibition that will be the last one, after which a memory will remain, of turning point that outlined a different perspective for us.
The exhibition was curated by CentrumCentrum. The activities of this institution are stretched between growing plants, vegetables and fruits, building collections and research work on the relationship between the peripheral countries and the so-called center. The research activity covers the field of art and economics. Within its framework, CentrumCentrum seeks solutions for artistic practice that are alternative to the model in which individual entrepreneurship and the artist's brand, are placed above cooperative action and distributed authorship. CentrumCentrum is located in the allotments "Friendship" in Szczecin.
10. For the past two years, you have been watching mostly movies produced in South America.
9. For the last two years you have been getting to know Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan cities using google street view.
8. You don't watch movies produced in the US.
7. You forget what US cities and villages look like, even though you've actually been there.
6. You know what Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan cities and villages look like. It seems to you that if you appeared there for real, you would have a constant sense of déjà vu.
5. You think the whole world revolves around South America, even though everyone around you thinks so about the United States.
4. You get to know South American artists and model your style after theirs, even though they think there is no such thing as a universal South American style.
3. However, you are convinced that the style of South American artists is the dominant style, not the peripheral style as everyone else thinks.
2. You want to become a South American artist - aware of the crimes that international capital, the U.S. government, has been committing on this continent, treating it as "their" territory, rich in raw materials and cheap labor - who will create critical, socially and politically engaged works.
1. You don't understand why everyone around you thinks otherwise and claims that the culture of the United States is worthy of replication. After all, U.S. politicians, economists and military strategists are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam; it is their corporations that have drained these countries of raw materials, devastated their economies and environment; while they have driven millions of people to the brink of poverty.
0. Friends don't recognize you, people on the street don't understand when you ask : ¿dónde está plaza de la revolución?