Out of space 

                                 Cracow, 10.12.2022 - 18.01. 2023

Bencs Dániel
Bencs Máté
Filip Rybkowski
Lázár Kristóf
Michal Sroka
Michal Zawada
Németh Dávid
Németh László
Szalay Krisztina
Üveges Mónika

Timea Fulop

Artist-run spaces are created in the cracks of the institutional system. They are driven by the need to revitalize the art scene. With the birth of spacesnonprofit, art is becoming decentralized, the voices of new communities are being heard thanks to the internal support of small communities.

Countless words have been written about artist-run spaces, initiatives that have existed since at least the 19th century (Courbet's Realism Pavilion, for example) and extended into the 20th century as well. Stuck between the institutional and commercial art worlds, artists to this day rightly want to take matters into their own hands, creating what Lotte van Geijn calls the "top layer of the art world," or reversing the metaphor, what we like to think of as the roots of the art infrastructure: opportunities to show art that are to some extent freed from both market obligations and state propaganda.

Historical research also points to links between so-called "independent" spaces and the boon of subsidies. Many observers realize that there is a dialectic at work here: one that disrupts the anti-establishment and marginal role of artist-run spaces as an instrument for identifying growing artistic values.  A dialectic that can throw the outsider into the circuit of the commercial system.

Social and political critiques of artist-run spaces are also emerging. But they do not stop the positivity characteristic of such ventures. Some places have taken on the task of archiving their own history. They reconfigure the art scene by building networks parallel to the dominant art world, represented by the art market and museums, because the porous nature of the boundaries of these two worlds never leads to complete absorption of one by the other. In terms of content, they have provided tools for the dissemination of new art forms, promoted new forms related to music, dance, video and performance, and contributed to the promotion of art books as an alternative form of expression.

Even when these experiences are universal, the geographically distant artist-run spaces are very different. They serve the same purposes in different ways, as they must adapt to specific social and economic conditions that vary from country to country, city to city, and often even neighborhood to neighborhood.

The activities of the Piana Gallery Foundation focus on mapping and promoting the latest phenomena in the visual arts, with a particular focus on the Krakow art scene. The gallery provides a space to present the work of the youngest artists, including those making their debut, by integrating it into the broader context of the art world.

SKURC Group, on the other hand, began operating as a studio and exhibition space on Népsziget in the summer of 2019, transforming the locker rooms and showers of the former MAHART shipyard spaces into a shared space. The goal was to create an exhibition space
as well as a studio for young artists, enabling the realization of various art projects.

The Out of Space exhibition is the second part of a collaboration between the Polish (Piana Gallery) and Hungarian (Skurc Group) artist-managed space, bringing together their different experiences and capabilities, with the knowledge that the ultimate goal is the same. Based on information transfer and shared thinking, the project aims to bring small communities together, expanding the network of support beyond the institutional system.