‘City of Art’ – old is also good!


The 28th of September 2014 – the Little Academy of Design organized a walk around the Slowacki Housing Estate (designed by Oscar Hansen) and Mickiewicz Housing Estate in search of …art. These are unique, old estates filled with sculptures and friendly public spaces.

The walk around the ‘city of art’ started at a neglected, degraded place – the amphitheater of Oskar Hansen, on Słowacki Estate. Hansen wanted to make it a lively place – a meeting spot of the residents, a theater of open form, where the background for people was supposed to be made of the surrounding buildings. The architect’s design was build on a hill, made of earth that was carved out for the foundations of the buildings, but it came out to be a complete fiasco. During the later part of the trip, the participants learned about the mosaics in the pathways through the buildings on Balladyny Street, made by Zdzisław Stanek from Katowice, who was inspired by Władysław Strzemiński’s ‘Theory of vision’ and experimented with light creating abstract forms, mysteriously luminating in the dark backgrounds. The next stage of the walk was taking a look at the gallery of sculptures on Filaretów Street, an excellent example of the solutions from the 70’s. Considering today’s art strategies, when art in public space uses camuflage, surpise or is a form of criticism, the lyrical set of sculptures from the 70’s becomes a relict of the past era worh preserving. The educational walk gave the participants knowledge about their surroundings, made it more understandable (‘more human’), and also rehabilitated the old and good, but sometimes forgotten spatial solutions from our close surroundings.