historische Fotografie von Lublin
© Brama Grodzka-Teatr NN; Jerzy Kiełsznia, Lublin

The Fabric of Lublin / BŁawatne z Lublina Ulrike Grossarth:Contemporary Art and Stefan Kiełsznia: Historic Street Photography from Lublin

The exhibition shows a part of an unique photo cycle of the Jewish quarter in Lublin, which was directly taken before German occupation and became the starting point of Ulrike Grossarth's visual work several years ago. The pictures by the Lubin photographer Stefan Kiełsznia (1911-1987) show single streets from house to house. Right before the outbreak of the Second World War and the destruction and extinction of Jewish life, an extraordinary picture sequence was created, which recorded life in one of the Jewish centres of Poland. The photographies compile an inventory and are a rare documentation of common, everyday life in a Jewish quarter which had not been threatened by any danger and in which textile commerce and smaller manufacturers had dominated the street scape.

  • Exhibition Site Kunsthaus Dresden
  • DATES 11/06/2010—19/09/2010


In the exhibition “The Fabric of Lublin” the photographies are contextualized together with the works by Ulrike Grossarth, who teaches “Comprehensive Art Work” at the Dresden Art Academy. Her works as well as her teaching have been characterized by her understanding of Europe as a place of culture and memento. Since 2005, Ulrike Grossarth has intensively dealt with Kiełsznias' photographies and the city of Lubin. Carefully, Ulrike Grossarth tries to transform the historic photo material in her sculptural work and in her graphic animations. Details of the photographies, among them advertisement boards for fabrics, textiles and appliances, which determined the street scape, become abstract elements, but are also turned into concrete links to a lively culture and society whose absence is still recognisable today.

historische Fotografie von Lublin
© Brama Grodzka-Teatr NN; Jerzy Kiełsznia, Lublin
Stefan Kiełsznia, ulica Swietoduska 12, Lublin 1938


Moreover, Ulrike Grossarth has developed figures which relate to the photographies and which are also assembled out of fragments from various historic epochs of Western civilization. Against this background, the dialogue between Ulrike Grossarth's art works and Stefan Kiełsznias' photographies allows for an unusual as well as multi-layered approach to various aspects of history and European intellectual life.


More than 140 photographies by Kiełsznias, which have mostly been preserved as negative images, are known today. The majority of them is stored in the culture centre “Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN“ in Lublin, which is housed in the town gate that once marked the gateway between the Jewish and Christian part of town.

Accompanying the exhibition, a publication in three languages (German/ English/ Polish) and in two volumes will be released, consisting of a catalogue of the exhibition and a photo and art book dedicated to the photographies of Stefan Kiełsznias.

Entwurf für Schneidereiwerbung
© Ulrike Grossarth, Dresden
Ulrike Grossarth, Entwurf Schneidereiwerbung Ulica Nova 11

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions
06.12.2017 —04.05.2018
Menschengruppe, mehrfach dupliziert und nur schemenhaft zu erkennen
01.03.2013 —30.06.2013
Foto mit einem umgekippten Tisch und einer Malerpalette an der Wand
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