<p>Jarosław Kozłowski, <em>European Standards - Polish Version</em>, 1999, courtesy of Galeria AT. This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, from the funds of the program for the popularization of scholarship in 2015.</p>
<p>Jarosław Kozłowski, <em>European Standards - Polish Version</em>, 1999, courtesy of Galeria AT. This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, from the funds of the program for the popularization of scholarship in 2015.</p>

No. 11: Capitalist Realism. Transformations of Polish Visual Culture in the 1980's and 1990's

Managing editor: Magda Szcześniak

Jarosław Kozłowski, European Standards - Polish Version, 1999, courtesy of Galeria AT. This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, from the funds of the program for the popularization of scholarship in 2015.

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Transformations of Polish Visual Culture

    ”Transformations of Polish Visual Culture”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/transformations-of-polish-visual-culture

    Introduction to the eleventh issue of "View".

Viewpoint

  1. Capitalist Realism in the Polish Transition

    Magda Szcześniak, Mateusz Halawa, ”Capitalist Realism in the Polish Transition”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/realizm-kapitalistyczny-polskiej-transformacji

    A visual essay outlining the concept of "capitalist realism" in relation to the Polish system transition of the 1980's and 1990's.

  2. Diamond Earring

    Justyna Jaworska, Agata Zborowska, ”Diamond Earring”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/diamond-earring

    A visual essay on Polish fashion in times of the transition.

  3. “All These Different Suits and Lacquers”. Fashion in Times of Transformation

    Justyna Jaworska, Agata Zborowska, ”"All These Different Suits and Lacquers". Fashion in Times of...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/all-these-different-suits-and-lacquers.-fashion-in-times-of

    Visual essay on Polish fashion in the 1980's and 1990's.

Close-up

  1. VHS and the Transitional Phase of Polish Capitalism

    Krzysztof Świrek, ”VHS and the Transitional Phase of Polish Capitalism”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/vhs-and-the-transitional-phase-of-polish-capitalism

    The presented article is an attempt to interpret the historical phenomenon of VHS during the economic transformation in Poland. This technology is understood here as an ideological complex, which functioned on three levels: of content distributed on videotapes, a business model, and an offer directed to a broad audience. Through films distributed on tape, VHS was a medium of capitalist realism: it showed capitalist social formation as a background for the way in which individuals experience their lives. VHS was also a transitory phenomenon: as a technology, medium of specific content and a practice it has lost popularity towards the end of the phase of capitalism, with which it was tied.

  2. Weak Images of the Middle Class

    Magda Szcześniak, ”Weak Images of the Middle Class”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/weak-images-of-the-middle-class

    The article analyzes the visual mechanisms of building the new Polish middle class during the system transition. During the transition, images and visual codes allowed the budding middle class to communicate their class status, as well as recognize other members (or aspiring members) of this new social group. Simultaneously images were used to distinguish middle class members from the working classes. The author analyzes both images belonging to the new "capitalist realist" visual genres - images promoting the rise of individualism and other middle class values - as well as visual mechanisms of distinction, which - as the transition progresses - serve to seperate the truly modern members of the middle class from those who have failed to absorb the dominant codes of "middle-classness".

  3. Polish Bayer. Images of Disco Polo in the 1990s

    Monika Borys, ”Polish Bayer. Images of Disco Polo in the 1990s”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/polish-bayer.-images-of-disco-polo-in-the-1990s

    The article regards the aesthetics of disco-polo popular genre in the period of so-called transformation of 1989. The author analyses different images, amongst them the Gala of Popular and Street Music in 1992, videoclips, covers of cassette recordings, visuals from the presidential campaign of 1995. She tries to define a performative strategy of disco-polo singers and to put disco-polo imaginary into a wider context of socio-cultural narrations on lower classes and their place in Polish society of the transformation time. The author arguesthat images of disco-polo society work across standard opinions about apathetic province; they actually try to transgress it. She also refers to the intelligentsia discussions  of 1990' and proves that – against common belief about post-romantic character of disco-polo genre – the style is deeply indebted in „romantic props magazine”.

  4. Playing Capitalism. The Polish People’s Republic, Constructing Memory, and Video Games.

    Mirosław Filiciak, ”The Capitalist Game. Digital Games and the Construction of Memory”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/the-capitalist-game.-digital-games-and-the-construction-of-memory1

    The article is devoted to practices of constructing narratives about the history of the Polish digital game industry and its connection to the system transition. The author analyzes both contemporary publications devoted to the history of Polish games as well as early examples of digital games and historical sources, such as advertisements and press articles from the mid 1980's to the mid 1990's. The juxtaposition of contemporary, heroic narratives and originary sources allows the author to deconstruct the story of the Polish gaming industry and propose a new way of writing its history, in the spirit of methods proposed by Mariana Mazzucato, Manuel Castells or Pekka Himanen.

  5. Authentic Ressentiment: Generic Discontinutities and Ideologemes in the „Experimental” Novels of George Gissing

    Fredric Jameson, ”Authentic Ressentiment: Generic Discontinutities and Ideologemes in...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/autentyczny-resentyment.-ciecia-gatunkowe-i-ideologemy-w

    Polish translation of fourth chapter of Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconsciouss. Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1981). The author analyzes the role of resentment in the novels of George Gissing, poinitng to the process whereby resentment ceases to produce ideological images and forces the reader to grasp the historical and social reality and to acknowledge the class consciousness.

Panorama

  1. Cruel Optimism

    Lauren Berlant, ”Cruel Optimism”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/okrutny-optymizm

    Polish translation of the first chapter of the author's book entitled Cruel Optimism (2011), devoted to the wearing out of the fantasy of the good life that has bound people to various kinds of intimate and political normativity despite their constant inadequacy to the fantasies that bring people to them. “Optimism” does not mean the emotion of optimism but the affective structure of attachment that enables people to survive and even flourish amidst the ordinariness of life-in-crisis.

  2. Can a Diva's Strut Through a Cinema Screen be Perceived as Film History, and why the Answer to this Question Should Be Affirmative

    Aleksander Kmak, ”Can a Diva's Strut Through a Cinema Screen be Perceived as Film...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/czy-spacer-diwy-po-kinowym-ekranie-jest-historia-filmu-oraz-dlaczego

    In the essay, the author examines the visual traditions of the French New Wave and their return in contemporary cinema, for example Sean Baker's Tangerine. According to the author, French New Wave directors perceived the image as an autonomous element, an element independent from the story. This break from the necessity of meaning opens the door examining the matter of the cinematuc image. The author uses the figure of the diva to describe this sort of "surface thinking". The diva is analyzed not as a character, but as a body functioning on the flat space of the screen.

  3. Builders of Ruins: Representations of Destroyed Warsaw in Drawings and Exhibitions of the 1940s

    ”Builders of Ruins: Representations of Destroyed Warsaw in Drawings...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/budowniczowie-ruin-reprezentacje-zburzonej-warszawy-w-rysunku-i

    The aim of the paper is to analyze drawings rendering the vast destruction of Warsaw created in the aftermath of the Second World War, to bring attention to the distinction of ruin and rubble, and the simultaneous relationship between the two. As early as 1945 the National Museum in Warsaw organized an exhibition of drawings and gouaches titled “The Ruins of Warsaw”, and a portfolio of drawings by Tadeusz Kulisiewicz, titled “Warsaw 1945”, was one of the most topical art works of the period. I approach these renderings of the city in ruins in the context of museological practices, contemporaneous poetry and prose lamenting Warsaw and consider the ways in which these constructed the image of heroic ruins out of Warsaw’s rubble.

Perspectives

  1. Persistent Looking in Times of Crisis. Nicholas Mirzoeff in Conversation with Magda Szcześniak

    Nicolas Mirzoeff, Magda Szcześniak, ”Persistent Looking in Times of Crisis. Nicholas Mirzoeff ...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2015/11-capitalist-realism.-transformations-of-polish-visual-culture/persistent-looking-in-times-of-crisis.-nicholas-mirzoeff

    Conversation with Nicholas Mirzoeff revolving around the themes from his latest book How to See the World (2015).

  2. The Changing World

    Nicolas Mirzoeff, ”The Changing World”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/swiat-sie-zmienia

    Excerpt from the Polish translation of Nicholas Mirzoeff's How to See the World (London: Pelican Books, 2015).

  3. Postcards from the World. Edward Żebrowski and Krzysztof Zanussi

    Jakub Socha, ”Postcards from the World. Edward Żebrowski and Krzysztof Zanussi”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/pocztowki-ze-swiata.-edward-zebrowski-i-krzysztof-zanussi

    Excerpt from the forthcoming book by Jakub Socha on Edward Żebrowski ro be published by Wydawnictwo Czarne in 2017.

Snapshots

  1. Art Workers Don't Go to Heaven

    Jakub Majmurek, ”Art Workers Don't Go to Heaven”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/robotnicy-sztuki-nie-ida-do-raju

    A review of the exhibition "Bread and Roses" at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, curated by Łukasz Ronduda and Natalia Sielewicz.

  2. Patricipation on the Peripheries

    Agata Pyzik, ”Patricipation on the Peripheries”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/partycypacja-na-peryferiach

    Review of the Polish translation of Claire Bishop's Artificial Hells. Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012).

  3. The Stake of Non-Totality

    ”The Stake of Non-Totality”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/stawka-nie-calosci

    Critical analysis of Kuba Mikurda's book Nie-całość. Żiżek, Dolar, Żupanćić [Non-Totality. Żiżek, Dolar, Żupanćić] (2015).

  4. Number One and Number Two

    Monika Talarczyk-Gubała, ”Number One and Number Two”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 11 (2015), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2015/11-realizm-kapitalistyczny/numer-jeden-i-numer-dwa

    Review of the Polish translation of Kaja Silverman's and Harun Farocki's Speaking about Godard.