14th – 30th of September 2020.

The International Art Symposium “It Was, It Is and It Will Be. Beautiful times” is yet another chapter of a periodic artistic event.

This year’s motto – “beautiful times” – is far from unambiguous. It relates to the past and the future. It both settles scores with history and is a projection of upcoming events. The catchphrase is linked with a sentimental perception of what is gone and what, through the closure of a certain stage and the ending of a certain epoch, can be viewed from a distance. Its meaning also comprises an unsettling potential. What for some people seems like an idyllic time, for others may be an unrecognised phase of change, a still relative stability of the familiar world which is inevitably drawing to an end.

The place where me weet today becomes such a pivotal point from which we look back and evaluate the past, constantly perceiving it in two different dimensions: the individual one and the collective one. Despite having many coordinates, we are not able to precisely predict the future. It seems that today addressing collective memory and group experience poses a problem. Without them, though, a dilemma emerges – one connected with the construction of a vision of the future.

The year 2020 is extraordinary, so this year’s symposium is also going to be exceptional. The meeting of artists in the Morawa Palace will be substituted for the meetings in and near the city of Wrocław. We do not want to alter the character of the symposium. We are planning a series of spontaneous visits in the studios of some of the participant artists. These visits will be broadcast on social media and our website.

The invited artists will make their works in the places where they usually create. The photographic documentation of the resulting works will also be made in the contexts of those places: in the artists’ studios, homes and gardens.

The unique character of this year’s symposium involves shifting the focus from the making of the exhibition to the broader issues related to the reflection on the work of art, the source of its idea and its value in the context of the artist’s creative process.

The International Art Symposium “It Was, It Is and It Will Be. Beautiful Times” aims to activate new areas of artistic and theoretical explorations and to initiate a series of shows of the resulting artwork in both Polish and foreign cultural institutions in the future. How distant this future is going to be depends on the organisational circumstances. However, we do not lose hope that soon it will be possible to hold live shows. In this way, the symposium will continue the fundamental principle of the series and will stimulate other activities that integrate the artistic community.

The symposium is organised by the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław and is funded by the City of Wrocław.