Iwona Nowacka & Janek Turkowski

Inspired by the immediate surroundings of the Festspielhaus and the Gartenstadt, the two Polish artists Iwona Nowacka and Janek Turkowski create a video storytelling performance from archive material, encounters with residents and filmic explorations.    

Janek Turkowski and Iwona Nowacka’s unique artistic practice is based on their temporary and intense presence in the local community. No matter if it is a squat in London, farmers market in Lublin or housing settlement in Manchester, their activities within the local community usually manifest in two layers: as a gentle guidance to reveal the unheard stories and as a process of creating a space that can be facilitated by the community long after the artists are gone. 

Since they were more sympathetic to geometry than algebra in their school days, they are looking with interest at determining directions in two dimensions. They are certainly more handy for communicating with one another, especially when it is done with two-dimensional tools made of paper and refers to a flattened sphere like the earth. However, attention is immediately drawn to that overlooked direction: depth or, alternatively, height. Janek and Iwona like to see it as a timeline along which every story also moves, having its greater or lesser specific gravity. The time of telling a story and the time in it overlap, interfering with gravitational waves of important and secondary meanings. Sometimes a load is being lifted from the shoulders, at the same time giving strength and wings. Sometimes under the seemingly light story, there is a weight under which the knees bend and returning to an upright position is difficult. However, the principle of counterbalance allows for hope. Something falls, something rises to the top. 

This time they will go a slightly different way then their usual directions. Instead of looking for the stories around the local community they bring some stories to check their crossing lines with the stories of Hellerau. So they bring a private collection of dias which was given to them by the son of the man who was capturing pictures from all over the world for 60 years. Receiving this gift they feel obliged to a mission to listen to those pictures and try to hear the untold stories written into the pictures. 

Duration: 1 hour, English

Cast & Credits


Coen & Joost Ramaer, Familie Ramaer

Jacquline & Andre Lippman, Familie Lippman 

Iwona Nowacka, Familie Nowacki

Janek Turkowski, Familie Turkowski


Dr. Uwe Wellhausen


Joost Ramaer, Iwona Nowacka, Janek Turkowski