Artists Rejected from Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Artists Faced Expulsion from Polish Pavilion at The Venice Biennale to Stage Independent Show at the 2024 Edition of This Event.

Apr 13, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Poland, Artists Rejected
The Polish Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia 2023. Via Archdaily.


Artists faced expulsion from the Polish Pavilion, at the Venice Biennale 2024. Ignacy Czwartos, the artist who was first chosen to represent Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2024 but was subsequently removed from the schedule due to opposition from the new government, will now hold an independent display called “Polonia Uncensored” in Venice this month.

A Political Influence

The Venice Biennale, Artists
La Biennale di Venezia. Via Wikipedia


The exhibition will begin on April 20 in a private location in the Viale IV Novembre, which is near the Giardini site, the location of Poland’s national pavilion. The change follows the rejection of his first proposal, which included 35 paintings, following the removal of Law  and Justice (PiS) leaders, who supported the original pavilion, following an election in October.


Up until the fall of last year, by the conservative party ruled the nation, a group of people that support nationalist ideology. The party took power in 2015. The original design for the pavilion caused a lot of backlash because it included images that suggested Poland had been historically subjugated by Russia and Germany in the 20th century.


Venice, artists
The Venice Biennale. Italy.


Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, Poland’s recently appointed minister of culture, put an end to the initiative at the end of December. Open Group, a 2012-founded Ukrainian artist collective that includes Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach, and Anton Varga. They will represent the country in place  of Czwartos.


Artists Speaking on Censorship

venice biennale exhibition view technology
Venice Biennale exhibition view, via La Biennale website. 

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The artist, who is in his late 50s and primarily creates variations of self-portraits, said that censorship was the reason behind the show’s cancellation. It was also a result of the modification. Presented by the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the new show will include some of the same images he first suggested.


Under the previous Polish government, three members of the government’s selection jury, in charge of the pavilion’s design withdrew their support from Czwartos’s proposal for the exhibition after it go approved. A statement, released by the members, contended Czwartos’s presentation ran counter to the biennale’s topic of “Foreigner Everywhere,” which centers on ideas pertaining to migration, exile, and international crises.


santiago sierra venice biennale 2003
Photo of Santiago Sierra’s project for the Spanish Pavilion of the Biennale by Barbara Klemm, 2003, via Städel Museum, Frankfurt.


The judging committee also criticized the works for portraying Poland as “a victim” and stated in their statement that they did not represent the local contemporary art scene in Poland. Czwartos’s talk represented the “end game of eight years of right-wing rule,” according to Joanna Warsza, curator of the Polish Pavilion in 2022, who made this statement to the Guardian in November.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.