Konstantin Adjer Valeriy Ayzenberg Pawel AlthamerJohanna Billing Sonia BoyceVaast Colson Didier Courbot Honoré d’O ESCAPE program Yevgeniy FiksVadim Fishkin Alberto Garutti Jens HaaningJeanne van Heeswijk IRWINSuchan Kinoshita Jiri Kovanda Yuri Leiderman and Andrei SilvestrovAnton Litvin Liza Morozova Roman Ondak Adrian Paci Cesare Pietroiusti R.E.P.Andrei Silvestrov Shimabuku SOSkaTanzLaboratorium Moniek Toebosch Jaan Toomik Luca Vitone
Pawel Althamer

Born 1967 in Warsaw, Poland / Lives and works in Warsaw

Pawel Althamer describes his projects as social sculptures intended to produce new urban legends and collective myths. He looks for participants of his projects or material for his social sculptures mostly in his immediate milieu: his wife and children, close and distant relations, friends, neighbors, students he tutors at the Warsaw Academy, mere acquaintances and sometimes even passers-by. Besides creating new social communities, Althamer involves the already existing ones, such as subcultures of bikers, street musicians, tramps, industrial workers, illegal migrants et al.

In recent years most of Althamer's works make part of his grand project Common Task. The project participants work together, meet scientists, set off on unorthodox journeys, like the one to Mali, the country of the mythical Dagons. On another occasion, they traveled to see the modernistic architecture and social utopia of Brasilia. On the 4th of June 2009 over 150 participants of the project arrived in Brussels on a golden Boeing 737 designed by the artist. Their first stop in the city was the Expo 58 site. The famous Atomium was a starting point of their visit.

Invisible Hand

In Moscow Althamer created two works to make the part of the Impossible Community project. One was an impromptu carnival inspired by his interest in subcultures. At the exhibition opening Althamer appeared with a group of street musicians, coming as a complete surprise for the project’s organizers and turning the Museum space into a concert venue. The second work entitled the Invisible Hand evokes the eponymous programme on the Polish television of the Communist time, which told the real stories about disinterested labor of the citizens of People's Republic of Poland for the improvement of their communal life. For the whole period of their stay in Moscow as guests of the Impossible Community project, Althamer and his four students volunteered to work as street cleaners at one of Moscow housing departments. So has been initiated a new line of the Common Task project to be continued in other cities and to come to an end on June 1st 2012 at the Berlin Biennale curated by Althamer's friend and regular collaborator — a Polish artist Artur Żmijevski.

Although both projects are provided with an archive of photo and video documentation, the artist holds true to his credo of non-spectacularity of art and refuses to exhibit these materials as a part of the exhibition. The sole trace of the Invisible Hand's presence in the display is a single handprint on the wall within a Museum gallery. 


Invisible Hand, Moscow, 2011
Invisible Hand, Moscow, 2011
Invisible Hand, Moscow, 2011
Moscow museum of modern art