Winter Holiday Camp: Bringing Crisis to the Ministry of Culture

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Minister of Culture
Bogdan Zdrojewski

We, a group of artists and activists, the audience of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, turn to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage because we recognize that the institutions entrusted with the protection of artistic expression are in crisis.

The main points of crisis at CCA are well known. Employees are in a years long dispute with the management: director Fabio Cavallucci, vice-director Joanna Szwajcowska, and vice-director Adam Wroblewski. The Solidarity union has given voice to this situation publicly in a number of letters. Local and international artists have also called attention to an abuse of power. Numerous articles have appeared in the press.

Recent developments at the CCA have further complicated the situation. We interpret the blasphemy trial of artist Jacek Markiewicz and curator Marek Goździewski from the British British Polish Polish exhibition as an attack on freedom of expression that has resulted in pressure on the Ministry and the management of CCA from the right.

In this situation, we lend our unequivocal support to the entire community and institution of CCA. Given this impossible situation in which an historically important art institution finds itself, we think it is imperative for you to join the CCA, to strengthen rather than dilute artistic freedom, and to stand firm against the forces of violence and intimidation that seek to silence voices that cause them discomfort rather than engaging in dialogue. Culture is the most valuable and often vulnerable asset in any society. History shows that when it is used as a political target, societies at a crossroad march along the path in the opposite direction from freedom.

Therefore, we petition the Ministry of Culture to support the CCA in their mission to promote artistic freedom.

Members of Winter Holiday Camp:

Paweł Althamer, Raquel Gomez Amborosio, Tal Beery, Imani Jacqueline Brown, Antonio Calleja-Lopez, Maureen Connor, Gabriella Csoszó, Noah Fischer, Federico Geller, Zuzanna Ratajczyk, Dorota Sajewska, Igor Stokfiszewski, Joulia Strauss, Paula Strugińska, Martyna Sztaba, Zofia Waślicka, Katarzyna Wąs, Artur Żmijewsk

DebtFair: Artist Meetup at Abrons Arts Center

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DebtFair: Open Letter to Art School Deans

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Open Letter to the Deans of Art Programs on the Occasion
of the “Fix” of Student Loan Interest Rates

Dear Dean,

The educational product you currently offer is misleading, and it’s having a toxic effect on our culture in the form of debt.

DebtFair: Art Market for the Debt Crisis

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Full Website:

As New York City and the art world 1% gear up for the Frieze Art Fair opening Thursday, two solo shows for Jeff Koons, a favorite if the 1%, opening Friday, followed by the Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillip’s auctions just a few days later, many are expecting well over a billion dollars to be exchanged for contemporary art works.

Despite the booming art market these events headline, this economic prosperity is limited to a miniscule minority of artists and arts professionals. This further contributes to the staggering economic inequality dividing Wall St. and Main St. In response, Occupy Museums and new friends are developing DebtFair, which will take place throughout New York City this September. DebtFair models a sustainable cultural bailout rooted in economic reality rather than luxury escapism. Collectors will buy art by writing checks directly to artists’ loaning banks, a mutual aid relief of impossible debt burdens.

DebtFair is a series of experimental market-actions to address the massive debt crisis in art today. Decentralized, on- and off-line, crossing institutional hierarchies in both public and private spaces, artists contextualize their work within the narratives of their actual economic lives. Collectors receive artwork in exchange for checks directly to the artist’s loaning banks.

In DebtFair, Art = Liberation.


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