The project “Fear” aims to analyze the phenomenon of fear, which is now ubiquitous at the local, regional and global level. It seems that the progress of science and new technologies has made our sense of security increase, the possibilities of assessing risks and threats and the effectiveness of dealing with them increase. So why are we talking more and more often about the so-called “culture of fear” (Furedi 2002), why has fear become an integral part of our daily lives and has captured the social imagination?

Theoretical and real threats are sometimes convergent, overlapping, and sometimes they diverge. Sometimes they are more distant than direct, but e.g. thanks to the media they may seem more familiar to us. How do they influence the content of fear, its form, level of radicalism, and ways of expressing it? Does fear paralyze or mobilize to action? Are possible reactions to fear emotional or rational?

Emotional predispositions, gender, age, social class, education, as well as individual experience and social norms can influence what we fear or how we react to fear. What other factors and processes influence the perception and responses to fear? Should we consider the attempts to assess contemporary reality to be important for this phenomenon, or perhaps the perception or evaluation of the past or predictions about the future instead?

An atmosphere of anxiety, uncertainty, danger, a sense of the unexpected, unpredictable, moral confusion, a climate of distrust, overreaction, panic, who influences the language and symbols of the “culture of fear”? Does its ubiquitous presence in the general public debate tame this problem, build its awareness, normalize the language and symbols needed for interpretation, does it trivialize, popularize it, or perhaps lead to its escalation?

Control, regulation, management, belief in human agency, value system – what influences the level of fear and ways of dealing with it?

Fear increasingly shapes our individual and collective experience. On the one hand, this phenomenon is global. On the other hand, it is worth looking at it while also taking into account the specificity of the region and a given geographical and cultural context. Is the form of fear influenced by historical and cultural conditions? Can the structure of fear be related to the construction of the new world order after the fall of communism in the region of Eastern Europe and the condition of the so-called post-communist countries? Is it governed by local / glocal logic? Is there anyone fearless? Is fear political? What is the alternative to fear? By asking the above questions, the exhibition seeks answers to them in a sphere that is very sensitive to the reality that surrounds us – in art.

curators: Nikita Kadan (Ukraine), Sergey Shabohin (Belarus, Poland), Monika Szewczyk (Poland), Natalia Vatsadze (Georgia), Eliza Urwanowicz-Rojecka (Poland). 

The exhibition features the works by: AntiGonna (Ukraine), A.R.CH. (Belarus), Mirosław Bałka (Poland), Yevgenia Belorusets (Ukraine), Rafał Bujnowski (Poland), Hubert Czerepok (Poland), Anna Daučíková (Slovakia), Kote Jincharadze (Georgia), Zhanna Kadyrova (Ukraine), Alexey Kazantsev (Belarus), Dana Kosmina (Ukraine), Tamar Nadiradze (Georgia), Marina Naprushkina (Belarus), Ara Petrosyan (Armenia), Agnieszka Polska (Poland), Vlada Ralko (Ukraine), Guia Rigvava (Georgia), Andrij Sahajdakowki (Ukraine), Guram Tsibakhashvili (Georgia), Alesia Zhitkevich (Belarus),  Zhanna Gladko (Belarus), Nikita Kadan (Ukraine), Sergey Shabohin (Belarus, Poland), Natalia Vatsadze (Georgia).

The exhibition will be accompanied by an open discussion with the participation of artists, curators and academics, preceded by a guided tour of the exhibition, which will take place on Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11 am.

The exhibition will be a continuation and development of artistic activities with the participation of artists and curators from the Eastern Partnership countries, initiated by the Arsenał Gallery with the international exhibition “Journey to the East” as part of the Polish Presidency in the European Union in 2011. The Arsenał Gallery continued this cooperation in a three-year cycle through the exhibition “Deprivation” in 2014 and the exhibition “Attention! Border” in 2017. We care about the consistency and cyclical nature of cooperation with artists and curators from Eastern Europe, and thanks to the “Fear” project, we have the opportunity to further in-depth analysis of the community of experiences and observe changes taking place in the artistic environment.