30th September to 10th January For his first solo exhibition in the UK, Polish artist Robert Kusmirowski transforms The Curve into a replica of a World War II era bunker. Renowned for meticulous simulations of historical settings, Kusmirowski’s installations challenge the notion of the real. A hybrid of the artist’s imagination and personal memories of actual places and those depicted in films and photographs, these labour-intensive projects bring together found objects with elements constructed out of wood, cardboard, paint and other materials.
For two weeks at the beginning of the exhibition, 30 September till 14 October, the public will have a rare opportunity to view Kusmirowski working alongside three assistants on the final touches of this installation. The entire exhibition will open to the public on 16 October.
Kusmirowski’s works often respond to the charged historical circumstances of the places where he exhibits. For Bunker , he draws on the Barbican’s concrete architecture and its location on a site devastated by bombing during World War II. Although inspired by London Kusmirowski’s Bunker is ambiguously situated in Central Europe. Derelict industrial machinery, discarded paraphernalia and the fragments of signage in the space suggest German and Soviet influence, alluding to their political and military presence in wartime Poland.
Kusmirowski’s installations, structures and objects delve into the personal and collective past, unearthing complicated histories and questioning memory. In his recent project The Collector’s Massif , 2009 at Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow, Kusmirowski displayed his vast inventory of objects from previous installations alongside a private collection of toys. At the New Museum in New York, he constructed Unacabine, 2008, a replica of the remote cabin in Montana where Polish-American terrorist Theodore Kaczynski conceived his mail bombing campaign against universities, airlines and other companies. Kusmirowski’s Wagon, 2006, exhibited in the Berlin Biennale, was modelled after train carriages used to transport detainees to Auschwitz.