Terrain conflict. An exhibition of OUT OF STH VI. Space Absorbency

Terrain conflict
artist-in-residence and interdisciplinary programme and exhibition

new opening date will be announced soon

BWA Wrocław Główny Gallery
the mezzanine of Wrocław Główny railway station
105 Piłsudskiego Street


The sixth edition of the festival, themed Space Absorbency, will be devoted to analysing Wrocław as a special urban-social case. The artist-in-residence programme of the OUT OF STH International Urban Art Festival will include interdisciplinary research of phenomena resulting from limited absorbency of urban areas, as well as local conflicts arising from it.

According to Zipser’s paradigm of spatial decisions – one of the key categories of mathematical perception of urban planning and settlement processes – absorbency is a feature defining the amount of activity possible to be carried out within a given area. It is no coincidence that the term is associated with soil water retention. In the course of intensive rainfall, after exceeding a limit value, the ground no longer absorbs water, which results in minor local flooding. If the absorbency of an area is low, its attractiveness high, and the number of those keen on accomplishing their activity – considerable, then the space becomes scarce for some of its users. This leads to local conflicts – minor flooding. Or sometimes floods.

The sixth edition of the festival, themed Space Absorbency, will be devoted to analysing Wrocław as a special urban-social case. We want to emphasize the necessity for a continuous narrative revision of the city and encourage to use mathematical models of human behaviour in processes preventing social antagonisms. What generates a spatial conflict? Can we pinpoint the characteristics of urban areas which increase the likelihood of its occurrence? Can we identify the phenomena which precede it? Or predict when it will break out and whether it will spill over larger areas?

The artist-in-residence programme of the OUT OF STH International Urban Art Festival will include interdisciplinary research of phenomena resulting from limited absorbency of urban areas, as well as local conflicts arising from it. A simulatively generated Map of Wrocław’s Absorbency will be our exploratory signpost – a mathematical model representing conflicts of activities among city dwellers, a simulation study marking ten critical areas reflecting the key spatial problems of European cities.

Inventories of critical areas, urban planning documentation, conflict characteristics, demographic data, photographic and video materials will serve as starting points for the Artists. During their two-week residencies, they will each analyse a selected flashpoint with its respective conflict. The effects of their work – diagnoses, proposals for coexistence models, interventions, gestures and documentation of their work process – will be presented at the post-residence exhibition.

Artists: Yuriy Biley, Piotr Chuchla, Gabriela Kowalska, Karina Marusińska, Jacek Słomski

Researchers: Karolina Domańska, Ganna Grudnytska, Katarzyna Sienkiewicz, Paweł Rajca, Ewelina Jatczak 

Curators: Hubert Kielan, Joanna Stembalska


6th International Urban Art Festival OUT OF STH. Space Absorbency

The International Urban Art Festival OUT OF STH is a project of cyclical presentations of practices referring to urban space and covering activities which often fail to be assimilated by critical artistic discourse.

The 6th edition is devoted to analysing the city as a special urban-social case using patterns of spatial human behaviours in social interaction. We will be looking at spatial contexts, urban enclaves, self-organized flashpoints on the city map, tendencies in grassroots and civic shaping of public space – all collectively responsible for the organization of the city.

Curators of Urban Art Festival OUT OF STH. Space Absorbency: Hubert Kielan, Joanna Stembalska

Curator of the International Urban Art Festival OUT OF STH: Joanna Stembalska

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