exhibition

Polana Interiors

Tymek Borowski, Magdalena Karpińska, Hanna Krzysztofiak, Róża Litwa, Olga Micińska, Dominika Olszowy, Stach Szumski, Bartosz Zaskórski

November 29–December 7, 2019

Polana Institute

There's interior design, and then there's decorating interiors with art. Neither of these bring to mind exhibition design, and yet the turn towards interior design is gradually dominating exhibitions of contemporary art. We display sculptures inspired by furniture. We echo the styles of past eras. We stage shows in furnished offices, apartments, and retail spaces. We display artworks in hotels, office buildings, banks, and the homes of collectors. Our artists make wallpapers, murals, furniture, fountains, pottery, and folding screens. We're curious to see the insides of the homes of Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Georgia O'Keefe, while collectors' private quarters draw the greatest interest from art fair attendees.

San Francisco's exclusive FOG design and art fair showcases the world's top artists in a setting decorated with products from high-priced interior design companies. Meanwhile, we decorate our own apartments, dumpster diving for furniture, reupholstering it, collecting Polish glassware, and attending weaving workshops. Our favorite color this year is powder pink. It pairs well with Art Deco, Italian Modernism, and even 80s and 90s design. The Blob and the pale-pink body of the Alien will continue to inspire us throughout the decade.

Our inward turn towards private spaces appears to be an attempt to shirk political involvement. However, it can also be read as a way of preparing for the harder battles ahead. Bringing order to our immediate surroundings is a form of self care that helps us regain control: first over our own clothing, then over our emotions, in the long run, and finally over the world.

The interior design revolution sweeping exhibitions is likewise an outcome of the officially concluded "Curtain Wars," the rivalry between architects and interior designers that had simmered since the 18th century. Gone forever is the judgmental distinction between logical, dominating architecture and "intuitive" interior design. Now that the personal (the feminine or queer) has been ushered into the public sphere, we can bid goodbye to binding conventions.