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Art and Freedom: Psychoanalytical Reflection on the Significance of Art

The publication Art and Freedom: Psychoanalytical Reflection on the Significance of Art has been produced as part of the international project The Desire for Freedom, co-financed and sponsored by The Council of Europe. The project originated at and was co-ordinated by the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, where in the autumn of 2012 the first edition was presented of the 30th Exhibition of the Council of Europe The Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945. The subsequent editions took place in Milan (Palazzo Reale) and Tallinn (Eesti Kunstimuuseum – Kumu Kunstimuuseum). At MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the Polish partner of the project, a new version of the exhibition was presented (it ran from 18 October 2013 until 26 January 2014), curated by Delfina Jałowik, Monika Kozioł and Maria Anna Potocka. On display were works by 47 artists from 17 European countries.

The exhibition became the starting point for a multidimensional education project Art and Freedom, as part of which on 12 April 2014 a psychoanalytical conference took place at MOCAK under the same title as the project. The patron of the conference was the Polish Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association. It was devoted to the relationships between creativity, the reception of art and the development of individual and collective freedom. The aim of the conference was to reflect on what exactly takes place during creative artistic processes as well as on the role of cultural education and the meaning of creativity for the development of the individual and society. During the conference the participants were offered insights into the potential of an in-depth understanding of these phenomena offered by the contemporary thinking derived from clinical practice. The speakers at the conference were: Lech Kalita, Ewa Modzelewska-Kossowska, Bartosz Puk and Elżbieta Sala.

The conference was accompanied by the exhibition Inner Space, curated by Magdalena Mazik and Elżbieta Sala. It presented works from the collection of the oldest psychiatric institution in Krakow, the Józef Babiński Specialist Hospital in Krakow, which is also the patron of the event. The exhibition demonstrated the significance of art in various spheres of life as well as the functions that it can play in the process of the development of inner freedom.

From 7 October until 3 November, the exhibition Inner Space will be presented at the Art Gallery of the District Museum in Leszno, and from 17 November it will be transferred to the Książ Palace in Wałbrzych. Both events will be taking place as part of the Wielkopolska Days of Mental Health, organised by the Concordia Foundation.

The publication presents the cross-section of the activities undertaken within the project The Desire for Freedom by MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. It contains a short text by Maria Anna Potocka The Awareness of Enslavement Is the Beginning of Freedom, which was originally published in the catalogue of the Polish edition of the exhibition. The part Art and Freedom contains texts of the lectures given at the conference and articles written for the purposes of the publication, by Tomasz Fortuna, Stephen Frosh and Andrzej Werbart.

In the next section of the book we present the curator’s text and the documentation of the exhibition Inner Space. The appendix comprises the biographical notes of the artists whose works were presented at the exhibition. The publication demonstrates the complexity and the many directions of the Museum’s initiatives taken up in the cause of analysing and promoting of the idea of freedom. Reflection on the nature of freedom is essential to enable relevant activities on behalf of those suffering various kinds of limitations.

Art and Freedom: Psychoanalytical Reflection on the Significance of Art

managing editor: Elżbieta Sala
language of publication: polski, angielski
translation: William Brand, Lech Kalita, Anda MacBride
english text editing and proof-reading: Anda MacBride, Lech Kalita
biographical editing: Karina Jarzyńska, Magdalena Mazik, Elżbieta Sala
graphic design, DTP: Rafał Sosin
number of pages: 160
format: 170 x 230 mm
ISBN 978-83-62435-34-0
publication date: 2014

Out of print

The 30th Council of Europe art exhibition The Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945 has been organised with the support of the Culture programme of the European Commission.

Project The Desire for Freedom has been co-financed by the European Commission. The project reflects exclusively the ideas od the authors. The European Commission is not responsible for its content.

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