The decisions of politicians have an important influence on the way we can use a city, how we can spend our time in the public space, if we feel comfortable there, if we find places where we can meet and chat with people, spaces where the city can produce its own habits. The political course of a government or a city government has an immense impact on the way we feel in a city. By analyzing the city’s spatial structures, I am obviously looking at shapes that are formed by political processes.
»Our city doesn’t have a spine,« a friend said when we exchanged ideas about city structures. But in the middle of the Palace of Culture, which marks the center of Warsaw, there is a system that shows similarities to the spinal column of the human body. In the midpoint of the palace tower are twelve elevator shafts in which people are transported daily to 43 floors. The work abstracts the space within the architecture of these elevators, a space that the people occupy and define over time through their usage of the moving lifts, getting in and out on the different floors. Dismembered in its separate vertebrae, the spinal column is lying on the floor, as if an organ has been removed from the body and relieved of its normal function. And so, the observer has the chance to examine the spine with his own eyes.
The red carpet comes from the congress hall of the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN), which was built in the center of Warsaw in 1955. The palace was a showpiece of Communism; parades were held on the Plac Defilad. Today, the palace is still standing, alone, in the spacious square. The site appears empty; there is a big car park and a bus station.
The blueprint of this center has been cut into the carpet. Places such as green areas, which are mostly untouched in everyday life, are left on the wall in red pieces of carpet and produce a sign calling to mind an oversize Chinese seal. The work relates how much the palace and the Plac Defilad mark the city center and how deeply its structure is imprinted in the collective mind of the society. The color red still clings to the site, but is starting to fall off in some places.