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Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland
Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute /
The Polish Cultural Institute New York present

Joanna Malinowska and C. T. Jasper
Halka/Haiti. 18°48'05" N 72°23'01" W

Saturday, May 9, 2015 - Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Polish Pavilion
at the 56th International Art Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia
Venice, Italy

The Polish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale of Art will have the pleasure of presenting a panoramic film projection of the opera Halka by Stanislaw Moniuszko, as it was staged in February for the inhabitants of Cazale, a village situated in the mountains of Haiti.

Winners of this year's contest for official Polish representation at the Biennale, artists C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska and curator Magdalena Moskalewicz all three based in New York City, were inspired by the mad scheme of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, who wanted to build an opera house in the Amazon , and decided to stage the opera in Haiti. Fascinated by Fitzcarraldo's faith in the universal power of opera, but not uncritical of the colonial aspect of his actions, they decided to both highlight and undercut its romanticism by confronting a set of very specific geographic, historical, and sociopolitical realities.

The destination for their quest was Cazale, a village inhabited by the descendants of Polish soldiers who had fought for the independence of Haiti. Sent to Saint-Domingue by Napoleon in 1802-1803 to put down the slaves rebellion, the Poles who had joined Napoleon to fight for the independence of their own country united with the local insurgents. As a result, these soldiers were granted honorary legal status in the newly-independent country. Still today, people from Cazale identify with their historical motherland and bear creolized last names from their Polish ancestors.

Polish Pavilion Commissioner: Hanna Wroblewska

Deputy Commissioner: Joanna Wasko

Exhibition Curator: Magdalena Moskalewicz

Exhibition organized by Zacheta  National Gallery of Art

Polish participation in the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice was made possible through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. The exhibition is organized by Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and with support from, among others, Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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