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Kichka: Life Is a Cartoon

Henri Kichka was born in Brussels in 1926. In 1942, he was arrested by the Gestapo, together with his parents and two sisters. He spent three years imprisoned in various concentration camps. His mother and sisters were murdered. His father died on the way to Buchenwald, from which Henri was liberated in 1945. After the war, Henri Kichka returned to Brussels and married. He had four children: Hannah, Michel, Iréne and Charly.

His son Michel was born in Seraing in 1954. At the age of 20, he moved to Israel, started a family and embarked on a career as cartoonist. In 2012 he published the comic Second Generation. This is a graphic novel devoted to Michel’s younger brother, who committed suicide. The main theme, however, is the relationship between the son and the father, who had been a victim and witness of the Holocaust. The book shows that such a trauma determines the psychology of all the members of a family.

Both Henri and Michel Kichka are the characters of this film.

Directed by: Delfina Jałowik
producer: Jürgen Kaumkötter
screenplay: Delfina Jałowik, Jürgen Kaumkötter
camera and editing: Adam Uryniak
sound: Stanisław Najmiec
consultation: Maria Anna Potocka
duration: 75 min
year of production: 2018
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Center for persecuted arts in Solingen

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Daniel Spoerri. Art Taken Out of The Ordinary

Daniel Spoerri is a great artistic discoverer. His main inspiration has been culinary ‘art’ – what we eat, what we eat on, how we arrange our meals and what is left behind. His works from the series Snare-pictures are a great event in the history of art; these are works that are not only witty, ironic and nostalgic but also invested with a touch of existential angst linked to transitoriness. The motif of ‘human left-overs’ inspired Spoerri to produce further series of works.

Spoerri perceives the world of objects as a great dictionary that conceals sophisticated meanings; it is one that he has mastered to perfection. His ear for meaning, combined with the philosophical sense of humour, characteristic of Fluxus artists together with the gift of beautiful excess, a trait of true gourmands, all combine into his artistic flair. Thanks to this exquisite combination, his works are sagacious, touching and beautiful.

Film made by: Delfina Jałowik, Martyna Sobczyk, Adam Uryniak
camera, editing: Adam Uryniak
photo of works: Rafał Sosin
sound: Stanisław Najmiec
duration: 11 min 25 s
year of production: 2017
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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The Josephinum Institute for the History of Medicine in Vienna boasts the impressive collection of close to 1 200 wax models of the human body and its organs. The collection is exhibited in cabinets made with rosewood and Venice glass. The experience of the exhibits created with astounding attention to detail and artistic expression inspires reflection on our corporeality and transience.

Film made by: Adam Uryniak
co-ordinator: Adrian Kowalski
duration: 5 min 9 s
year of production: 2016
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

EVA & ADELE. Gesamtkunstwerk

EVA & ADELE are an artistic couple, whose life and work transcends the confines of gender. Their life’s motto is: WHEREVER WE ARE, THERE IS A MUSEUM. EVA & ADELE function in public space as a work of art. The artists treat their bodies as a living sculpture, the streets as galleries, and important art events as a museum.

Film made by: Delfina Jałowik, Adam Uryniak
duration: 25 min
year of production: 2015
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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Robert Kuśmirowski, untitled

Robert Kuśmirowski replicates objects from the past with exceptionally painstaking meticulousness in a way that induces a feeling of discomfort in the percipient and upsets chronology and the linear nature of time. He refers to memory and to history, reconstructing its impermanent objects and raising the theme of transience.

Film made by: Adam Uryniak
camera: Przemysław Filipowicz, Paweł Labe, Adam Uryniak
sound: Krzysztof Nowak
editing: Adam Uryniak

duration: 7 min 14 s
year of production: 2015
production: Muzeum Sztuki Współczesnej w Krakowie MOCAK

Patchwork Families

Using rag dolls, two children illustrate different family variants; in these, besides the parents, children and grandparents – there also feature mother’s boyfriend and her girlfriends as well as the father’s girlfriend and boyfriend. Animals are also considered family members. The easy, natural way in which the children approach the task points to changing awareness in what constitutes a family.

author: Małgorzata Markiewicz
camera, editing: Adam Uryniak
duration: 5 min
year of production: 2015
production: MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

Michel Kichka: Second Generation

Recording of the performance in which the Israeli draftsman created a mural at MOCAK. While working, the artist tells the gathered viewers the circumstances in which he created his comic book Second Generation.

Michel Kichka’s book is devoted to his complex relationship with his father, Henri (born in 1926, in 1942 he was taken to Auschwitz, where he spent 21 months). The narrative, presented from the son’s point of view, demonstrates that the father’s experiences at Auschwitz and other concentration camps had a great impact on the many aspects and the fortunes of the individual members of his family.

Michel Kichka is one of the most renowned Israeli cartoonists. Born in Belgium in 1954, at the age of 20 he emigrated to Israel, where he holds the post of a professor at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. His works have
appeared in such international media and newspapers as CNN and “Courrier international”. He is a member of the organisation Cartooning for Peace.

Produced by: Adam Uryniak
Project curator: Delfina Jałowik
duration: 21 min
year of production: 2014
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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I, Krzysztof

Krzysztof Niemczyk (1938–1994) was a legendary artist from Krakow: a writer, pianist, performer and an unconventional artistic actionist; he was close to the Foksal Gallery and Krzysztofory Gallery circles and was a friend of Tadeusz Kantor and Henryk Stażewski. He was the son of the violinist Wacław Niemczyk, the brother of the actress MonikaNiemczyk and nephew of the actor Leon Niemczyk. He operated on the artistic fringe.

He was open about his bisexuality; in his performances he often opted for nudity. Due to his provocative lifestyle, a number of times he was arrested and put in a psychiatric hospital.

The film combines a plot consisting of scenes based on fragments of Krzysztof Niemczyk’s diaries with a recording of the performance which took place in MOCAK. In the space of the video installation, the actress Monika Niemczyk playing the part of her brother moves in between the viewers seated in the hall. Directly to them she delivers the text which consists of fragments of Niemczyk’s letters sent from the arrest cell at the Montelupich Street in Krakow and from the psychiatric hospital in Kobierzyn.

Directed: Natalia Korczakowska
Script on the basis of Krzysztof Niemczyk’s diaries: Natalia Korczakowska
camera, editing: Adam Uryniak
stage design: Ewa Mroczkowska
sound: Krzysztof Nowak
music: Marcin Lenerczyk
makeup: Magdalena Kij
costumes: Marek Adamski
production manager: Jagna Strama
assistant cameraman: Paweł Labe
casting: Monika Niemczyk, Tomasz Wygoda
duration: 1 hr 3 min
year of production: 2014
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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Orchestra PDP: Spokojna Tour Now

Recording of the performance by students from the Studio of Spatial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, conducted by Mirosław Bałka.

The young artists took on unaccustomed roles and, for a short while, became musicians. During the performance a group of individualistic personalities had to gel into an orchestra.

The performance of PDP Orchestra in 2013 inaugurated the activities of Re Gallery, designated for exhibiting the work of students.

Film made by: Adam Uryniak
camera: Mikołaj Syguda, Adam Uryniak, Przemysław Filipowicz
editing: Adam Uryniak
project co-ordinator: Katarzyna Wąs
duration: 19 min 28 s
year of production: 2013
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

Wilhelm Brasse: Photographer 3444. Auschwitz 1940–1945

In March 2010 Maria Anna Potocka conducted an interview with Wilhelm Brasse. One of the outcomes was a film in which the prisoner and chief photographer of Auschwitz talks about the years that he spent in the concentration camp.

Directed by: Maria Anna Potocka
camera: Mikołaj Łebkowski
editing: Maria Anna Potocka, Adam Uryniak
project co-ordinator: Delfina Jałowik
duration: 43 min
year of production: 2011
production: MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow

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We also encourage you to read the recordings MOCAK at the museum YouTube channel [see video >>>]
Documentary: Adam Uryniak