2018 Edition

the 8th International Festival of Ephemeral Art CONTEXTS, 26-30 July 2018, Sokołowsko

The theme of the 8 edition of Contexts is the Foreign Body to be looked at from various perspectives. We will take into consideration the problem of the status of art and artist in the contemporary world. We will ask whether art and artists are a foreign body in society, or whether they are its integral element. Can ephemeral art, which refers to the essence of real-time life and provides a universal message, have the power to heal? The place of the festival is Sokołowsko, a pioneering spa with traditions dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, hence being an inspiration to realize projects which focus on the healing nature of art. We also want

The art presented in the festival to serve the integration of artists with the local community, to provide an educational platform for young and upcoming artists, as well as establish contacts between artists representing different countries and cultures. We believe that the multiplicity of points of view favors understanding of complex phenomena, overcoming alienation and constructive creation of higher values.

Topics suggested to artists and critics:

The role of artists and art in the contemporary world, global culture. The problem of the artist’s identity in the era of virtual reality and multiplication of fictitious entities. A sense of strangeness is born at the moment when separateness, difference, alienation, lack of understanding arise: are we alien, because the environment does not accept us or because we do not accept the environment? Visionaries and precursors underestimated by contemporaries.

The question of relation to one’s body: in performance art, the artist’s body has become the object of art (body art). We present an international group of artists from this area, proposed by the festival’s co-curators VestAndPage (Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes, Germany / Italy), renowned performance artists, who also deal with art criticism, realize pro-social projects, and are organizers of the Performance Art Week Biennale in Venice.

Following the last edition’s practice, the festival will feature Open Platform. Polish and foreign artists are asked to submit their proposals to be presented at Konteksty accepted by the Foundation Art Board.

The 8th edition of Konteksty is a tribute to Józef Robakowski, an eternal experimenter, possessed by the “urged to create visions”. The nestor of Polish art, author of pioneering artistic realizations and strategies of action, whose work has its roots in the tradition of the Polish inter-war avant-garde. We present the artist’s works as well as a collection from his Exchange Gallery.

The festival features performances, sound pieces, installations, interventions in public space, interactive pieces, projects involving local community, screenings, exhibitions, talks, discussions and workshops.


Bożenna Biskupska and Zuzanna Fogtt, Fundacja Sztuki Współczesnej In Situ

Małgorzata Sady, curator


Contexts festival – art at your fingertips

Crowd at the gates, artists visible only on giant screens, performances seen from behind the back of other taller viewers? You will not experience that during Contexts – one of the most interesting festivals of performance art in Poland. You can count on direct contact with top artists from the world and seeing art from only a few metres away. What is more, you will not spend a fortune on tickets because Contexts festival is free. The eighth edition of Contexts festival will take place in Sokołowsko on 26-29 July and is going to be impressive thanks to invited artists such as Bałka, Masłowska, Zweintopf duo, Kentridge or Hochuli.

Performance, installations, interventions

Over 50 artists from five continents, some of whom are coming to Poland for the first time. Performance activities, sound productions, installations, interventions in public spaces, open stage for young creators, film projections and exhibitions. All of that is included in the 8th edition of Contexts festival, whose theme is “Foreign object”. Artists participating in the festival will attempt to answer the following question: “is art a foreign object in society or is it its’ integral element?”. The first ones to face the main theme of the festival will be performers invited by the curators of the festival to Sokołowsko – an Italian and German duo VestAndPage; an Austrian duo Zweintopf, who love absurd; a laureate of the Swiss Performance Award – Gisela Hochuli; the most prolific performance artist from Asia – Gim Gwang Cheol; a Chilean performer from Par de Patos collective – Alvaro Pedro Roa and Márcio Carvalho – a visual artist, performer and co-curator of the first biennale live art in Africa. We will also see a video installation by one of the most prominent contemporary sculptors – Mirosław Bałka, a sound production of a multidisciplinary duo from Łódź – Przepraszam and a voice performance by Josef Spinzak from Israel. The programme of Contexts also includes a meeting with writer Dorota Masłowska presenting her video clips, and multilevel activities of a five-person artistic group from Australia – Piano Bloom.

A strong emphasis on film

This year’s edition of Contexts festival is dedicated to a legendary artist Józef Robakowski, who will present an original set of films. The festival guests will also get a chance to participate in a multimedia exhibition “Facebook blood” opening the festival, through which Robakowski exposes the Poles’ amazing creative potential. That is not the end of film theme during Contexts. In Sokołowsko’s own Zdrowie cinema theater we will be able to see films by William Kentridge – an artist called “the last living genius”, whose animations were shown during the Edinburgh or Cannes festivals. This year’s edition of Contexts festival is also an opportunity to get familiar with the work of Marek Serafiński’s studio.

Open platform

This year, for the second time, Open Platform will be launched. Its aim is to enable young artists to present their work. A dozen young creators, whose work will be displayed for the entire duration of the festival, will participate in the Open Platform. Young adepts of contemporary art, who will be present at the Contexts festival, include Wykwitex group from Wrocław and others. The festival will be closed with a collective performance led by Andrea Pagnes from VestAndPage duo with the participation of artists chosen by the performer.

Sokołowsko – a mecca for artists in Lower Silesia

Sokołowsko is a small village in Lower Silesia located 15 km from Wałbrzych. It was discovered again by In Situ Foundation, who gave it a second life by creating Laboratory of Culture. It is a mecca for artists from the whole world, a place for festivals, exhibitions, projections, shows and meetings devoted to contemporary art, film and experimental music. Pack your tents, pitch them on the hill right by the forest or between the sanatorium and  stream to spend a few days in July amidst the haze of ephemeral art.


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