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Paweł Althamer

Paweł Althamer, Guma (Rubber), 2008, polyurethane elastomer, polyurethane foam, steel, steel spring, plastic. Installation view, Warsaw, 2009. Photo: Bartosz Stawiarski.

MY PRACTICE IS FOCUSED LARGELY on mediating between the collective and the individual, so the museum plays an ambiguous role: It can either present an obstacle or serve as a productive site of interface. One of my primary objectives as an artist, therefore, is to forge alliances with institutions, temporarily channeling their potential.

I like to think of the museum as a space station, a distant outpost inhabited by artists and scientists. Every now and then, visitors arrive and encounter gamelike situations, some of which are active, others of which are dormant. Since the scientists tend to move more slowly than the artists and visitors, the ideal station would be open and mobile, able to accommodate distance, contact, and tension among its many inhabitants.

In this sense, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is an intriguing case. Although still under development, the museum has

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