On "A Summary"

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[PL] It is perhaps safe to assume that the heated atmosphere around the violent and extended conflict between the Director of the Ujazdowski Castle and its employees has calmed down. In the final days of his office, Fabio Cavallucci has written " A Summary", published in the CCA's magazine "Tranzystor"; now, in response to his request, we publish it in "Obieg" as well. The time has come to reflect on whether we are able to draw conclusions from this past conflict, so that the energy spent in its course is not wasted. This kind of approach is suggested by the Director in the first paragraph, where he writes: "Now I am leaving this place I would like to sum up some of the things I think I have learned." This starting point should be appreciated. It would be groundless to expect that a text of this length can summarise four years of work in detail, yet, it is important to try to understand the perspective proposed by the author, for the entire problem does not pertain to one institution only and the history of its ailment may suggest a much wider diagnosis.

The author of the "Summary" focused on the problem of his Italian background, which has hit the wall of the Polish common, almost atavistic, critical approach. Yet, has he already forgotten the enthusiasm with which he was welcomed, or the eagerness with which the staff realised all the tasks assigned by the new director during his first several years in office? Especially that he is a representative of a country whose culture has always been valued in Poland, and nowadays Italian cuisine, cars, and design are a passion for so many Poles. Perhaps the memory of his first years in office has been blurred by the subsequent conflict, yet now it's time for some detachment towards it, for a wider summary that would embrace the entire timespan of his work at the Castle. Is it actually convincing to suggest that the international art group Winter Holiday Camp ran "a reactionary fight, a nationalist and I would even say a mean-spirited one, without any true vision of a new artistic institution"?

Stating that national differences were the main reason for his problems in Poland, Cavallucci omits - certainly not by accident, since the former director's striking intelligence cannot be denied - other more important reasons of controversy and conflict: the ones pertaining to the programme, finances, and finally to politics, to the way of exercising power.

Accusing his opponents of a nationalist-driven negative approach, the author of the "Summary" is the first to define his experience in terms of national difference. A convincing excerpt of the "Summary" can be referred to here:

"Convictions sometimes act as brakes; we think we are open-minded and instead we are only convinced of our own rightness, and this stops us from seeing all the rest. We believe we are working for innovation and instead we remain reactionaries." Is it not possible to refer these words back to their author? Let us leave this question open.

On the other hand, his final diagnosis: "The situation is rapidly deteriorating, and this threatens to curtail this magnificent era of Polish culture and art, which up till today has been based on depth of content and freedom of expression" should certainly be treated as an important warning.