mystical landscapes

darek kondefer - paintings of contemporary art under the title mystical landscapes

In the forest, logging was being held. Beautiful, old oaks were being cut down. Another tree crumbled down with a great din. On one of the upper branches, a forest worker noticed the remains of a person holding onto the tree, a person shot during the war. Even the remnants of his clothing and weapons could be discerned. The logging took place in 1980s.
(One of the many interesting stories I had heard from inhabitants of Warmia*)

I am not a war survivor, but the topic of war has returned occasionally among my family. I have never been especially interested in it. It was still this way, when I settled in Warmia. Beautiful, ascetic landscapes, harsh climate – as for this latitude, empty houses, ruins of once marvellous palaces. This aspect – the rugged beauty of the Warmian landscape – is one of the layers of my newest painting series.

The most interesting was to come throughout meetings and talks with the native inhabitants of the region (sometimes I get the feeling that those very meetings allowed me to open up to the wartime memories of my own family). At first, those relations were marked by great distrust, which I managed to overcome only after a longer while. Thanks to numerous conversations with those presently living in Warmia, I was finally able to take a broader (or perhaps deeper) look at this land.

Inhabitants of Warmia are mostly people displaced post-war; very rarely one comes across a person who had lived there before the war. In the course of the conversations, I was able to discover that the motives of war, displacement, temporariness are still intense, not only among the elderly. This land been terribly harmed during World War II, and perhaps just as terribly – after the war.

Any monuments, statues and reminders of the German rule on the Masurian land shall be removed radically and irrevocably. They must not remain even despite their artistic, architectural or scientific value. They must vanish irretrievably. Bismarck’s oak and statue of Hindenburg must vanish. Each castle of the Order of the Teutonic Knights must vanish.
Memorial of the Masurian Union addressed to the Polish Committee of National Liberation, 1944**

Pre-war inhabitants fled or were forced to evacuate, while the new ones were often displaced here against their will. The German language was substituted with Polish and Ukraine.

Many of the pre-war villages, houses or parts of towns are no longer existent – only dispersed bricks and old boards remain. I paint on those very boards – the panels embedded with both good and bad experiences of the times gone by.

Many of the present inhabitants of Warmia are rooted in Orthodox, as well as Greek Catholic Church, both of which continue the traditions of iconography on wooden panels. This is another, perhaps the most important reason why I have decided to use old panels to create a visual story about this region – a story, which I personally see as mystical.

*Warmia (Polish: Warmia) or Erm(e)land (German: Ermland) is a historical region in northern Poland. More...

**Wiktor Knercer, “Stosunek państwa i społeczeństwa polskiego do spuścizny kulturowej Warmii i Mazur w pierwszych latach po II wojnie światowej w świetle ówczesnej prasy,” Studia Angerburigca (7) 2002.

ENGLISH: Bruno Brunnet, Nicole Hackert and Philipp Haverkampf - CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS (CFA), first located in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Philipp Haverkampf started his own business after 17 years at CFA. Sarah Douglas editor-in-chief of ARTnews, contributed to the New York Times, New York magazine, the Economist, Flash Art, and the National. Iwona Blazwick Named Curator of 18th Istanbul Biennial. The Vancouver Art Gallery has announced that Eva Respini will become its new deputy director and director of curatorial programs. She will replace Diana Freundl. Expo Chicago Names Amara Antilla and Rosario Güiraldes Curators for 2024 Fair's. The Kitchen Appoints Robyn Farrell Senior Curator. Gallerist Bridget Finn Appointed Director of Art Basel Miami Beach. Art Dealer Massimo de Carlo Has Revealed Plans for a Monumental Private Art Foundation in Italy. The Shed Appoints Meredith Hodges CEO. Asad Raza to Curate 2025 Front International Triennial. Zasha Colah to Curate 2025 Berlin Biennale. Hoor Al Qasimi Appointed Artistic Director of Sixth Aichi Triennale. Francesco Stocchi Appointed Artistic Director of MAXXI. Curators of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo: Hélio Menezes, Grada Kilomba, Diane Lima, and Manuel Borja-Villel. Tate Senior Curator Yasufumi Nakamori. Soho Gallerist Leo Rogath. New York's Whitney Museum Appoints Meg Onli as Curator-at-Large, Promotes Laura Phipps to Associate Curator. Public Art Fund Names Melanie Kress Senior Curator. Curator Allison Glenn. Zwirner’s LA Debut.
GERMAN: Bruno Brunnet, Nicole Hackert und Philipp Haverkampf - CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS (CFA), zunächst mit Sitz in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Philipp Haverkampf hat sich nach 17 Jahren bei CFA selbstständig gemacht.. Sarah Douglas ist Chefredakteurin von ARTnews und hat Beiträge für die New York Times, das New York Magazine, den Economist, Flash Art und das National. Iwona Blazwick zur Kuratorin der 18. Istanbul Biennale ernannt. Die Vancouver Art Gallery hat bekannt gegeben, dass Eva Respini ihre neue stellvertretende Direktorin und Direktorin für kuratorische Programme wird. Sie wird Diana Freundl ersetzen. Expo Chicago ernennt Amara Antilla und Rosario Güiraldes zu Kuratoren für die Messe 2024. Die Küche ernennt Robyn Farrell zur leitenden Kuratorin. Die Galeristin Bridget Finn wird zur Direktorin der Art Basel Miami Beach ernannt. Kunsthändler Massimo de Carlo hat Pläne für eine monumentale private Kunststiftung in Italien enthüllt. The Shed ernennt Meredith Hodges zur CEO. Asad Raza kuratiert die internationale Triennale 2025 Front. Zasha Colah kuratiert die Berlin Biennale 2025. Hoor Al Qasimi zum künstlerischen Leiter der sechsten Aichi Triennale ernannt Triennale. Francesco Stocchi zum künstlerischen Leiter ernannt des MAXXI. Kuratoren der 35. Bienal de São Paulo: Hélio Menezes, Grada Kilomba, Diane Lima und Manuel Borja-Villel. Tate-Chefkurator Yasufumi Nakamori. Soho-Galerist Leo Rogath. Das New Yorker Whitney Museum ernennt Meg Onli zur leitenden Kuratorin und befördert Laura Phipps zur stellvertretenden Kuratorin. Öffentlicher Kunstfonds ernennt Melanie Kress zur leitenden Kuratorin. Kuratorin Allison Glenn. Zwirner's LA-Debüt.

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