The main theme of the exhibition has been inspired by the museum’s collection. It was quite a challenge to accommodate in this historic building numerous works by Witkacy and other paintings, sculptures, textiles and posters created by 20th century Polish artists that constitute the museum’s collection.
It took us a long time to get an idea how to combine the figure of the Zakopane artist with the granary in Słupsk. We wanted the colour and grotesque motif to be visible in industrial spaces, but at the same time, not to overwhelm the historic interiors. Our goal was to make Witkacy’s world parallel to contemporary world and accompany you during sightseeing.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. The prices of grain are going up. Good for us. Welcome to the exhibition.”
We have made every effort to make each of the exhibitions presented in the building unique. By differentiating the rooms in terms of colour, letting daylight in or darkening the windows, allowing for free sightseeing or creating a very specific path, we wanted to keep the viewer curious and active.
In Witkacy’s room we have emphasized the colour of pastels. The main path is intentionally dark and raw in expression. You pass the symbolic Zakopane, where there is a regional accent having a form of folk cut-outs.
“On the left, the nudes, on the right, the landscapes, and at the back, Mr Witkiewicz offers some vodka.”
In order to introduce Witkacy’s spirit into the building, in the hall space we have arranged a multimedia presentation of the characters from the drama “Country House”. Actors in disguises talk to each other in several independent scenes. The characters try to make contact with the visitors, thanks to which the exhibition space comes to life.
Designing in a historic building was extremely inspiring for us. In the conceptual design, we tried to emphasize and bring out the beauty of the building’s architecture. An important challenge was to find the spirit of the former granary and to present it by means of minimalistic artistic procedures. Wooden constructions are an inseparable element of the general spaces. The historic architecture has become the frame for the collection of Polish art of the 20th century located on the third and fourth floors.
“And you, visitors, should be polite and obedient, otherwise the director says to chase you away. ”
The exhibition hall on the top floor has been dedicated to local themes. In the darkened rooms, rich photographic material documenting the history of Słupsk and its inhabitants, from the pre-war period to the present day, has been presented.
In order to diversify the message, while presenting exhibits and prints, we used both traditional means and modern solutions, i.e. projections and interactive applications on touchscreens.
Particularly noteworthy is a mural depicting the profiles of famous and distinguished Słupsk residents.
The processed grain ear motif has been used in the decorative elements of floor identification, as well as in the furniture. Another reference to the industrial character of the object is the font used in the identification, inspired by the old plaques existing in the building.
To make it easier for visitors to move around the facility, we have applied intense colours. We have differentiated the floors with colourful prints and furniture. In addition, we have placed plaques in key places to make it easier to find yourself on a particular floor.
In the building, there is a room for the youngest visitors. The motives of children’s corners have been taken from the history and iconography of Słupsk.
Thanks to the new spaces, you can see works from the museum’s collection that have not been exposed so far. However, the works presented in the exhibition halls are only the tip of the iceberg. For the remaining works, there is a place in the warehouses. Seemingly inaccessible rooms have been divided into open and closed warehouses. This allows the visitors to peep into the museum from behind.
Behind the glass panels, on specially designed sliding nets, paintings were hanged, waiting for their time in the main exhibition. What you will not see at the exhibition and in the warehouses, you can see on the screen, since one of the rooms is equipped with computer stations allowing you to get acquainted with the collection in a virtual way.
The educational path presenting the works of the Zakopane artist is complemented by quotations from his works.