Paulina Olowska (PL) "Natasza, Workers Canteen and Flowers" Part of Utopia and Monument II
24/09 - 02/10, Andreas-Hofer-Platz
What are three old neon signs from the 1950s and 1960s in Warsaw doing on the roof of the listed gas station building built over an underground car park in Graz?
Paulina Olowska lobbies for the restoration and reconstruction of old neons that once gave the city of Warsaw its unique “face” – an image that ran counter to the drab picture that the “West” likes to paint of Eastern Europe. Humorous and sprightly flickering advertising messages with their own symbolism that put a modern, cosmopolitan face on dreary Stalinist buildings in the Polish metropolis during Socialist times. The “Reklama” company is said to have built 1617 neon signs in Warsaw in the 1960s. As a performance conceived by Olowska, an employee of the Polish company that built the reconstructions for Graz according to original plans will read out all of the names of the neon signs from the roof of the gas station on the evening of the opening. A nostalgia of the erased poetry of the jargon of advertising in Socialist Eastern Europe? Now that the roofs of Warsaw have been taken over by the aggressive consumer world of the West?