Anti-Soviet Partisans' Memorial - CODAworx

Anti-Soviet Partisans’ Memorial

Client: City of Wroclaw, Cultural Department & The "Remembrance and Future" Center in Wroclaw

Location: Wroclaw, Poland

Completion date: 2024

Artwork budget: $1,250,000

Project Team

Artist

Tomasz Urbanowicz

ARCHIGLASS

Artist

dr Konrad Urbanowicz

ARCHIGLASS

Architect

Joanna Styrylska

isba Grupa Projektowa

Landscape Architect

Angelika Kuśmierczyk-Jędrzak

a+f projektowanie przestrzeni

Urbanist

Filip Jędrzak

a+f projektowanie przestrzeni

Main Contractor

ROTOMAT

Industry Support

Wroclaw Technology Park

Industry Support

Kamiński Glas Studio

Industry Support

K.O.T. Studio

Lighting Supply

Fagerhult

Militatry Medallions' Execution

prof. Michał Staszczak

The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw

Overview

Glass sculptures – soldiers hidden in glass cuboids, create the Memorial for the Anti-Soviet Partisans in Wroclaw, Poland.
Symbolically the composition depicts all Polish Anti-Soviet Partisans, heroes acting in the underground after The II World War, often anonymous, lonely, trapped, stabbed, imprisoned and erased. The artwork activates ones imagination, showing the tragic situation, honoring heroes, evoking reflection and arousing feelings of respect for their fate, while giving a message to young generations. Designed for the city center, the memorial at the same is supposed to enrich the public space during day and night. Sculptures are made of unique thick artistic glass – a material that vividly, mysteriously and exceptionally moves the imagination and constantly plays with light and shadows. Monumental glass casts with an original gray graphic layer of painting alludes to the old photographs of soldiers. Glass sculptures – silhouettes of soldiers in a 1: 1 scale – are placed in cuboids, also made of artistic glass, safe – tempered, with a kiln’s original texture. Arranged evenly on the square in “military” order and style, 9 sculptures and luminous solids about 3 meters high already from a distance are associated with soldiers.

Goals

This artistic solution creates solids - multidimensional sculptures with mysterious gray glass figures inside, and above all, with an endless play of light and shadow, as well as subtle optical effects resulting from different textures, transparency and thickness in kiln-formed glass. The figures are set inside the solids in different directions. Depending on the angle of observation of the moving viewer, the glass figures are more or less visible. Symbolically, this is the effect of their underground activity or attempts of the authorities of that time to erase them.
The silhouettes aren't set on pedestals. Heroic partisans are like honest and upright people among us. However, the solids surrounding the figures are higher, emphasizing their nobility of spirit, and in addition referring in scale to the large, urban context of the square. We do not see their faces accurately, we do not have signatures with a military rank, we do not distinguish with their name, date of death... but we feel their fear and situation with no way out. We become aware of their tragic and hopeless situation limiting the freedom of life, their experiences and dramas, cruelty, loneliness, and finally often prison, cell and death.

Process

The process involved over 4 years of work of many individuals in a multidisciplinary and diverse team. The initial design was a winning response to the 2-stage international competition. The jury consisted of 18 specialist including prof. Michał Jędrzejewski, prof. Jacek Dworski , prof. Zbigniew Makarewicz (Fine Arts) (University of Technology), prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk (Institute of National Remembrance), prof. Stanisław Ułaszewski (Home Army AK Assosciation).
The leading artists included Tomasz Urbanowicz and dr Konrad Urbanowicz. The sculptures and cuboid slumped glass panes were cast in 850 degrees Celsius in the ARCHIGLASS by Urbanowicz studio. The artists designed and created laser-cut and hand-made bas-reliefs for slumping and sculpting inner figures cut by water-jet. The outer elements were additionally drilled and tempered to serve as self-standing structural components.
The memorial is complemented by landscape design proposed in collaboration with Joanna Styrylska, Agnieszka Kuśmierczyk-Jędrzak and Filip Jędrzak. The new memorial is an ever-chanigng installation of daylight and nightlight with interactive illumination being a crucial element of honoring the heroes - the anti-soviet & anti-communist partisans - “Cursed Soldiers”.

May we all live in a Free World!

Additional Information

The project has been co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.