Polish films as part of 'Watch Me Move: The Animation Show'


15 June 2011 - 11 September 2011,
Time: Open daily 11am-8pm
(except Wed until 6pm and Sat 10am-8pm)
Thu until 10pm,
Barbican Art Gallery,
Silk Street,
London, EC2Y 8DS,
Tickets: Standard £10 online/£12 on the door,
Concessions £6-7 online/£7-8 on the door, Under 12s free,
Book online

Featuring a number of Polish animators and filmmakers, the exhibition is a fascinating story of animation and examination of how contemporary artists and filmmakers have appropriated the language of animation for their own purposes, with an insight into the history of animation from the development of the moving image.

Watch Me Move: The Story of Animation is a major showing of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years - from Snow White and Mickey Mouse to Avatar. The exhibition aims to tell the story of animation as an essential and unique element in the dynamic of contemporary visual culture. The show features over 170 works, iconic clips to lesser-known masterpieces, divided into seven themes: Apparitions, Characters, Superhumans, Fables, Fragments, Structures and Visions.

The exhibition brings together a number immensely important and groundbreaking Polish animators and filmmakers, and key Polish film artists. Zbigniew Rybczyński’s famous 1983 Academy Award-winning animated short film “Tango” (1980), which was produced in collaboration with the renowned Studio Se-ma-for, is featured in the “Structures” section of the exhibition. The section’s aim is to explore the underlying formal and conceptual structures of animation as well as show important examples of experimental animation. Rybczyński’s film is shown as a key example of the ways in which filmmakers have used the language of animation to subvert time and space in film. A collage of overlapping time and space, the film shows individuals entering a claustrophobic room, repeatedly, until it fills with a crowd of people, each seemingly oblivious to their neighbours.

Another contemporary Polish filmmaker whose works are shown is Jerzy Kucia, a renowned graphic artist and animator, and currently a professor in the Animation Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. His critically acclaimed 1992 film “Przez Pole” is showcased in the “Fragments” section, a section devoted to exploring the use of animation as a medium for conveying complex and poetic dream visions.
The exhibition also includes videoworks from Polish industry pioneers. Laidlaw Starewicz’s 1930s film “Le Roman de Renard” is featured in the section devoted to animated fables. The exhibition presents the work of film director Walerian Borowczyk, particularly his surreal animated film “Les Jeux des Anges”, which the artist produced in France in 1964. The filmic work of Polish émigré couple Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, their experimental abstract film “Oko i Ucho”, made in London between 1944-1945 is featured in “Structures” section.

On July 14, 2011 the exhibition opens the Polish School of Animation: Its Observers and Continuators - special screenings of topical Polish animated films together with a panel discussion led by important specialists on the subject such as David Crowley, Andrzej Klimowski and Marcin Giżycki. Polish artists such as Jan Lenica, Jerzy Kucia, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Walerian Borowczyk, Jozef Robakowski come under the spotlight in a world premiere retrospective of a four-part film programmes charts the history of Polish animation from the 1950s to the present day.

For more information please visit: www.barbican.org.uk

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