Organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, In Between: Art from Poland, 1945–2000 is a major survey exhibition curated by Anda Rottenberg in Poland along with Susan Snodgrass and Bohdan Gorczynski in the United States. It is a citywide collaboration, which consists of a major retrospective of 38 artists’ work at the Chicago Cultural Center, as well as several satellite exhibitions taking place concurrently at other institutions. These exhibitions include Pawel Althamer at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Katarzyna Kozyra: The Rites of Spring at The Renaissance Society, the University of Chicago; Miroslaw Balka: Salt Seller at The Art Institute of Chicago; and Marta Deskur and Robert Rumas at Gallery 400.
Krakow–based Marta Deskur’s work in the exhibition includes charged, spare allegorical images of her Family series in large-scale light boxes and videos. Gdansk-based Robert Rumas’s sly, invented street signs depict unexpected pictograms of everyday activity and taboo subjects, evidencing social structures and the limits of public discourse. Deskur and Rumas reveal the radical change in Polish social life since the collapse of Communism. Deskur’s work portrays an invented and ever-growing “family” life, illuminating the evolving definition of and relations within contemporary “family” life. Rumas’s sign project Urban Maneuvers assumes the guise of civic communication—the ubiquitous signs of our everyday life that warn of danger, prohibit or define behavior, or highlight cultural spots. Urban Maneuvers demonstrates one aspect of the structuring of everyday life, as well as the limitations of current public discourse.