On February 2, 2007 the Palace of Culture and Science was enlisted on the Polish National Register of Objects of Cultural Heritage. Two years earlier, as part of the 50th anniversary of its construction, Karolina Breguła created a series of playful images that made the Palace a subject of artistic invention.
By blending the shape and image of the building with popular and historical icons of both Poland and the West, Bregula produced a pop-art revision of historical and socio-cultural events of the second half of the 20th century.
“All I can see is the palace” is an exhibition which I did for the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw for its 50th birthday. The palace has been among us for such a long time and I would like us to finally accept it and stop accusing it for its inglorious roots. With my pictures I show it as a witness to our recent half century of history, and portray it in the context of events and icons of the past years. I hope that my works presents it in a new brighter light. — K.Bregula
A personal view and re-interpretation of what it is and isn’t, what it represents and what it references, what it gives meaning to and the easiness with which it becomes meaningless. By re-appropriating its symbolic nature and displacing its original urban and historical context, the images take a life of their own.
Bregula’s work is a call for acceptance and (re)conciliation with history. What once was a Soviet imposition, is now a symbol of the city. A monolithic landmark worth preserving; a cultural heritage object open to artistic interpretation; an icon of identity ready to be re-invented, re-imagined and re-used.
When I look at the illustrations all I can see is the Palace, when I look at the Palace all I can see is the art.
ALL I CAN SEE IS THE PALACE 2005, series of 50 collages and computer graphics. ©Karolina Breguła
All I Can See is the Palace is a series created for the anniversary of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science. In the pictures the palace is shown accompanied by the iconic imagery from the past 50 years.