Anna Orłowska


Wschód, Warsaw
21 September - 20 October, 2018

Anna Orłowska embarks on a disjointed search for architectural figures through the photographic medium, displaying a strong and substantial ability to organize and arrange her findings. She uses architectural structures to perform detached analyses of the spaces she studies. Orłowska formulates her narratives around the resonance that emerges between the space and its functionality, restoring the dynamism, complexity, and distortions that have been inscribed into its history. Futerał — which accompanies a publication by the same title and contains essays by Anna Orłowska, Agnieszka Tarasiuk, and Katarzyna Wąs — brings into focus the convoluted histories of several Polish castles and palaces: their transformations, architecture, intended purpose and actual uses.

As a result of the forced nationalization campaign carried out in Poland following World War II, all castles and palaces were taken away from their rightful owners. The practice of adapting them to new uses intensified, marking the start of a new chapter for many buildings. Their functions changed over time, leaving visual traces in the appearances of these once-exquisite homes. The user replaced the owner, but the fascination with the vie de château never disappeared completely. The post-war authorities appropriated what they failed to destroy or exploit, making the palace a symbol of their prestige. Some properties were turned into museum-residences; in other instances, their form and contents were borrowed in part and transferred to newly constructed public buildings. Futerał is a perverse reconstruction of the contemporary status of these strategies, one that brings to light the transformative capabilities of architecture.