In November 2009 we spent two days in Auschwitz – Birkenau concentration camp. The photographs we took there evoke the aims of “Road Monument” by Oscar Hansen. The project was created for the exhibition "Moore and Auschwitz" in the Tate Britain Gallery in London, which formed an annex to the retrospective exhibition of Henry Moore.
“Road Monument” was a project created in 1957 by the team of polish architects (led by Oscar Hansen) for the purpose of the international competition for a monument in commemoration of the victims who died in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The authors proposed the construction of a black asphalt road about one kilometre long and 70 metres wide which would run diagonally across the camp. The idea behind the project was to preserve all the buildings and remains of the camp which lay within the boundaries of this road, while leaving everything outside to decay over time and sink back into the nearby forest. Although never given an official first prize, since as Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, a specialist on the reception of Henry Moore’s sculptures in Poland and cold war art relates, “the Jury chaired by Henry Moore never managed to nominate a winner”, it outclassed all the other (circa 400) competition entries .
The photographs in Winterreise cycle show that the project original intention that parts of the camp will be gradually overgrown by the surroundings forests has been realized even without the construction of Road Monument. The cycle can also be perceived as a kind of personal diary, an intimate record of two November days in Auschwitz-Birkenau, in the search for micro-expressions of life in the place marked by the traumatic past.
"Moore and Auschwitz" exhibition
Tate Britain 08.03.2010-13.06.20.10
Curator: Ewa Toniak
Number of works: 45
Format: 13x19,5 cm
Technique: dibond, lambda, plexi
The exhibition has been organized by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw as part of POLSKA! YEAR (a year of contemporary polsih art in UK).
The exihibition is accompanied by the catalogue "Moore and Auschwitz".