SYMBOL gotowe / lying is a new project by the renowned artist Ulrike Grossarth who has been creating works inspired by the city of Lublin for several years. By introducing an alternative to the fundamental rules of the contemporary western economical system, Ulrike Grossarth practices a new form of exchange where the object itself becomes the symbol of the exchange (i.e. the means of payment). In the zone where the motion of exchange is usually between objects, merchandise and money as a value, the moment of transition is being expanded and an attentive action happens, transporting incompatible things into a dissolving paradox, disrupting and reexamining the concept of ‘value’ in its common definition.

“For the action, I place on an empty counter, a stack of paper and a stamp with the words ‘SYMBOL gotowe’. Standing behind the counter, I wear a coat and a cap, the integral elements for the activities in all of my projects in Lublin. The action starts with the participant audience, who approach the counter and hand me an object which they possess. I receive the object and prepare a wrapping paper by stamping on it the words ‘SYMBOL gotowe’. Then, I carefully wrap up the object, paying attention to its specific form and contours, tracing its pure physis. When I fix the edges of the wrap to adapt it to the object, it start to function as an image carrier. Then I hold up the wrapped object straight into the person’s field of vision, pausing the moment where I delivering it back. During this shared moment of lingering, the participants could read the words ‘SYMBOL gotowe’, on their wrapped object. Later, I interrupt the exchange process by using the counter as a pedestal for myself (the trade woman). I lie on it and occupy the transitory space, changing temporary the use of it, which in traditional ways of exchange, regulates and maintains the order of the act in an emphatic way.”

The series of drawings SYMBOL gotowe / trading will be on display inside the shop. The drawings are a study of a photograph by Stefan Kiełsznia, depicting a situation at ‘ulica Nowa 17’ in 1930’s Lublin. The visitors are offered the opportunity to interpret the pictures, their statements will be recorded and later will be published. The golden coins is another motif, part of this series, which gains a new meaning when appears on the back wall of the room.

A coat which is made after a reconstruction of a fabric pattern from a tailor’s advertisements appeared in Kiełsznia’s photographs, will be placed in the room. The visitors can borrow it and wear it for a walk through the city. Along the walk, they will be accompanied by a photographer who will be documenting the embodiment of historical aspects in the contemporary landscape of Lublin.