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Next stop | Collective exhibition

Gallery Nowa Scena UAP,  28 Marcinkowskiego Ave.   
Opening: 11.05.2024, 18:00
Duration of exhibition: 11.05-20.05.2024

Curator: Marc Tobias Winterhagen (DE)  

Assistant: Irina Caia (RO)

Sonja Beckmann (DE)
Berkem Bulut (TR)
Vanessa Wing Yan Chu (HK)
Dilan Demir (TR)
Laura Dimarco (IT) 
Ioanna Dimosthenous (RO)
Alexandra Cristina Duță (RO) 
Hannah Fylkesnes Tomaszewicz (NO)
Nehir Kaytanlı (TR) 
Chenhong Li (CN) 
Marie Lunkenheimer (DE) 
Siyuan Peng (CN)
Merve Sandıkcı (TR) 
Luís Silva (PT)
Damla Ünlü (TR) 
Zhao Zhang (CN)  

International students’ exhibition
Studying abroad is a great opportunity to gain inspiring experiences and connect to new people. But it also means leaving comfort you normally have at home behind: your family and friends, your culture and language, your daily routines and safe spaces. You exchange your comfort zone for an unknown and unpredictable level of discomfort. You are permanently surrounded and influenced by a new culture and experiencing language problems which lead to certain communication issues and misunderstandings.

I’ve always found the perspective of outsiders who observe from the inside very intriguing and worth presenting, especially because art students are able to transform this experience into art. Moreover, they integrate themselves into their works as traces of this cultural clash. Their own cultural and personal background mixes with the Polish influence on them. These artworks hold up a mirror of the way we act and think to us. It’s the bundled feedback of how they felt and feel as our guests. A wide spectrum of art works made by different art students from various countries and cultures maximizes the effect of that feedback.

Just as the exhibition gives our visiting students the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts, I involve them in team work and decision making. During regular meetings they discuss their ideas, present their progress and finally choose the title for the show. I see myself more in the role of an organizer and supporter, taking care that the students get what they need to manifest their visions.

Next stop…

Although the students arrive on their own in Poznan, they do not embark alone on that adventurous journey which lies ahead of them. They find people around them who are in the same boat as them. They too have come from somewhere else, they too have left everything behind. And they too will make new friends and expand their networks in Europe, Asia and around the world. Some of these new companions might become your best friends forever.

Just as the journey is the destination, the next stop is always the place of longing. Ours includes 16 stops. We travel by foot and by tram. We are the flâneur, the observing visitor, enjoying the views of the city, the nature and the people. But we also feel like a traveler from outer space, alienated, uncomfortable in our own skin, lost in translation, at times cold and sad, alone and helpless, at other times like an exhibit or an animal in a golden cage.

Because everything around us is unfamiliar, we try to find fixed points and parallels to home, something to hold on to, traces of home and a sense of belonging. Like the sun, it’s everywhere the same. But is it? The winter in Poland is colder and the days are shorter than at home. The lack of sunlight causes us to experience a winter depression for the first time in our life. “It will get better,” they say as we buy gloves and try to adjust.

Where is home? We start reflecting on other places we passed through in our life, a diary of misplaced memories, trapped in time, somewhere between the real and the unreal. We look through windows and see shattered glass, life fractures. We visit green parks with colorful flowers spreading with the help of the wind to find suitable places to take root. Can we find a sense of home in this unfamiliar land or does the new environment perhaps bring us greater comfort? Or are we losing the feeling of belonging anywhere no more. Until we know our next step and where the next stop in our life will be: It will get better. Eventually. Just remember to hug yourself.

Marc Tobias Winterhagen

  • Author: o.petrenko
  • Published on: 06.05.2024, 09:56
  • Last edit: 10.05.2024, 08:51