At the heart of the European Peninsula, Poland – Turkey
The Polska In Between presentation and subsequent co-creative workshops celebrate th 600th anniversary of established diplomatic relations between Turkey and Poland. Powered by Culture.pl, this event challenges the East-West border of the European Peninsula to showcase a curated selection of designers and brands from Poland. TLmag interviewed curator Magda Kochanowska, an active promoter of design from Poland.Lise Coirier: Culture.pl aims at developing some qualitative relations between Polish and Turkish high end designers and artisans. As co-curators of this exhibition, what has been your subjective approach to be able to bridge the talents from Poland and Turkey? Magda Kochanowska: The main idea of the Polish programme during this special year was to get to know Turkey and its culture better. Design is one of the most fascinating forms of researching and expressing the richness of cultural diversity. It is a field which involves everything around us and gives a deep understanding of context. That is why I was excited by the idea of bringing the work of Turkish and Polish chefs, designers, calligraphers and artisans together. A series of workshops gives each of these artists the unique possibility to dig into each other’s culture and to breath it in. I am sure the experience has already influenced their sensibilities. LC: Calligraphy, culinary pleasures and artisanal-design are three of the core activities which will be highlighted during this event. How will they be connected to the Istanbul Design Biennial programme ? MK: The theme of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial being “The Future is Not What it Used to Be,” encourages interaction and participation and is focused on the changing scope of design across various practices. Food, craft and written text are great areas of experimentation, they are strongly linked to local traditions. Connecting Polish and Turkish chefs, artisans, calligraphers and designers, we were looking for new values and possibilities merging from a mixture of different techniques. LC: Can you give us some concrete examples of how you define being at the crossroads of east and west while exhibiting Polish design in Istanbul? Being in between, connecting people and places? How do you emphasize the border between these two cultures? MK: One of the most beautiful and meaningful objects we show as a part of the exhibition entitled ”Connecting. Design from Poland” is the ”Mezuza” project. The work by Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar is heavily affected by the search for traces of turbulent Jewish history in Poland. Their aim is not simply to recall tragic events, but to find a way to build a new Polish-Jewish relationship which incorporates remembrance and respect for the past. LC: Please describe the exhibition design developed by Jakub Marzoch & Gosia Pieniak? MK: Polska in Between has two distinct parts. The first part is formed by the exhibition titled ”Connecting – Design from Poland” and concentrates on presenting contemporary Polish design. The second part is dedicated to Turkish-Polish workshops. Each part has its own color code. In the center –in between these presentations – a big table will serve as a meeting place.