The Europe that was Lost – Thoughts on Central and Eastern European Modernism
6. In Poland. Polish Dada, Witkacy, the Polish Avant-Garde, and Nationalism
205 6. In Poland Polish Dada, Witkacy, the Polish Avant-Garde, and Nationalism Like the Nowej Sztuki exhibition in Vilnius, the Bazaar exhibition in Prague would be followed only one year later by an additional two as spectacular as epoch-making exhibitions united by a similar idea of mixing high and low, “se- rious” art with various everyday objects. At the same time the other of the two exhibitions was directly connected to and could also be regarded as an immediate result of the Vilnius exhibition by the fact that it showed works by five of the total seven artists exhibiting in the ancient Lithuanian capital. The fact that both of the exhibitions furthermore may be linked to Italian Futurism as well as Dadaism, at the same time they also signaled that Constructivism in all its seriousness was about entering the Polish art scene as well was no coincidence, but rather a mani- festation of the same kind of “eclecticism” or yearning for an all-integrating syn- thesis that characterized most of Central and Eastern European Modernism and Avant-Gardism. At the same time, this synthesis would be permeated with spe- cific nationalist ideological aspirations to a much greater extent than elsewhere, due to the special historical past of the country ever since the end of the 18th cen- tury and throughout the whole 19th century, up to the moment when the country regained its sovereignty in the wake of the Great War and passed a parliamentary constitution in 1921 after the war with...
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