In the Dust… Part Three: Alicja Rogalska, Attempt

“If we want everything to remain the same, everything must change”. (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampdeusa, Il Gattopardo)

National Museum
Kraków, Poland
16:00 22 September - 16:00 28 September 2015
Curator: Agnieszka Kilian
Cooperation: Dominik Kuryłek

We invite you to the third event in a “In the Dust…” series!

This time: Alicja Rogalska, Attempt


The word “attempt” contains in itself a whole range of meanings: experiencing, exploring, but also announcing an event which is to take place in the future, or, more properly speaking, will perhaps occur in the future. During an attempt we confront a certain situation, experiencing it as, so to speak, “borrowed” from the future. “Now” is not now, and yet during an attempt it “becomes” the present when certain conditions are fulfilled: the suspension of temporality and a peculiar anticipation. Alicja Rogalska uses this temporal discrepancy in order to explore its potential in the context of a particular kind of event, that is protest and its actors, parties of a dispute.

The artist prepared an installation composed of props usually associated with protests and strikes.

They do not have the nature of exhibits, they are rather auxiliary objects, ready for use. These objects are accompanied by a screenplay based on the structure of a collage; a screenplay of protest, dissent, an opportunity to express a grievance. Based on fragments, it is meant for the museum staff, leaving them room for manoeuvre. Rogalska’s gesture brings out what is important in the conduct of debates and disputes: a full awareness, but also acceptance of the risk of disagreement from the other party. The right to protest, but also to refuse the demands, makes it possible to treat the other person not instrumentally, as an executor of our will, but as a partner. This awareness is also shared by the artist.

Alicja Rogalska does not impose the decision to make an attempt at taming the potential situation, even by making a mistake (which is not allowed in an actual situations).

For an attempt exhibits a dual nature: it is not public, but it is also not entirely private.

In this sense the artist wants to overcome the binary (oppositional) division into the private and the public, it is important for her that also the conduct of disputes, the motives of disagreement and protest, have a complex nature, both public and private. Rejecting private motives and leaving them outside the range of debate or conversation leads to the exclusion of large number of important questions, namely about the values behind the social order. Through her exploration of attempting and confronting, Rogalska analyses the role of art in enlarging our thinking about agency and commitment, including our own.

More / credits

Into the Dust…

History does not drive camels anymore but it’s still eating dust. Etel Adnal, "Seasons"

Curator Agnieszka Kilian
Cooperation Dominik Kuryłek

Agnieszka Kilian

The co­-curator of the Place Called Space program.

Alicja Rogalska

Her practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses both research and production with a focus on social structures and the political subtext of the everyday.