NY based Polish artist, Agata Oleksiak ‘Olek’ has created a temporary art installation, adding crocheted coverings to the Plac Bohaterów Getta chairs.
Olek, is originally from Silesia, but moved to New York after completing her studies in Poznan, and has gained worldwide recognition for her work, especially using crochet as an art form.
Recent political events, and in particular the rise in racist incidents, plight of refugees and immigrants, and intolerance made an impression and lead to Olek returning to Poland.
Olek previously collaborated with sculptor Karol Badyna, the sculptor commissioned to create the Plac Bohaterów Getta Chairs in 2005, and was drawn to the memorial which commemorates the dreadful history of the Jewish wartime victims in Kraków.
The artist explains her aims for the project:
‘Now, in 2017, given the current political climate and growing trends of nationalism, it is imperative that we cultivate empathy and break down the barriers that separate us from one another. My intervention on the square is about recognizing that we share the same sense of home and of family as those most foreign to us, and that anyone can lose everything in the blink of an eye.
My mission is to remind as many people as possible that we must never forget the past so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Seventy years ago, many people did not react to the tragedy of Jews during the Holocaust, and today, many do not notice the tragedy of immigrants. In recent years, I have been working with refugees on many of my projects and their stories are beyond devastating. I seek to remind a generation that we cannot allow another massacre and all that goes with it to happen again.
‘Olek’ spent three weeks, in the middle of the Polish woods, crocheting sections for 33 of the chairs while her grandmother recounted wartime stories, which she described as poignant points of reference for the project.’
There is no information available on how long the installation will remain.
You can find out more about ‘Olek’ on her website.
This temporary installation aims to remind us about the lives that never had a chance to fully bloom.