A-Bags are a response to the specific needs of archiving the ephemeral works and performative actions that ABA has been curating for many years.

The main inspiration for the creation process were all kinds of textile containers used to store important items – wallets, card holders or pencil cases. A kind of portmanteau or a suitcase that opened into two equal sections. The etymology of the word is the French porte-manteau, from porter, “to carry”, and manteau, “cloak”. In modern French, a porte-manteau is a clothes valet, a coat-tree or similar article of furniture for hanging up jackets, hats, umbrellas and the like. The bags are made of good quality cotton and viscose linen – fair trade fabrics without the add of any artificial fibers. Thanks to their simple form they can be annexed in any way by the artists – just like the white canvas for a painter.

Until 2019, two types of bags designed specifically for ABA were created. The first  BAG1 fold as a wallet, suitable for internal use, has many compartments and pockets that can accommodate various formats. ABA BAG2 – inspired by urban style, very capacious durable and stylish, with two handy pockets and characteristic violet linen.

A concept of an interactive archive for ABA (Air Berlin Alexanderplatz)  artistic research residencies.
Created by Zuzanna Czajkowska

The main inspiration for bringing to life the Archive, is the common saying to lump someone or something together, which means, to put different groups together and think about them or deal with them in the same way:

a) interactive installation
b) working in two equal timelines- present and past
c) art collaboration
d) archiving and assemblage the materials
e) mediation between curator, artist and receiver
f) work in a process- letting it to evolve on its own
g) reflection on ABA as involving institution in context of Berlin  art scene
h) Open work concept

Object (physical) Place (actual) Internet (virtual)
Receiver (actual and virtual)
Ephemeral acts- work in progress- contact with: art work, an artist, receiver, and given space- research

2.The leading ideas about the Archive’s mission

Interaction with the audience
Playful way of reaching to the receiver/visitor
Freedom of one’s own interpretation
a kind of game in which the receiver can participate
Clearness and legibility of the entire concept provided by written materials
(captions, legends, manuals etc).
Nomadic values
Art action in both physical and virtual spheres

The remix of culture – understood as mixing of influences and meanings in a current world, also applies to the artistic sphere.
The concept of mashup, combining with each other already existing components of culture and creating from them a whole new concept, is also included in the idea of an interactive Archive.

Collaboration with artists, through active co-creation, filling the bags with artefacts, gives the possibility of active development of the archive in an unconventional way.
The juxtaposition of both, work in the current archive, and the objects / materials from the past,
allows that concept to grow and develop naturally, and, what is more, coincides with the postulated “mixing and remixing.
Collaboration with the artists imitates research, which they made during the residency and showed the way of thinking the as a creator.
It allows you to identify yourself with work and expand your own worldview. The interactive aspect of the installation allows you to freely search the resources of the archives and create an individual space of use.

The installation itself, made of copper pipes and cotton bags, is an amusing and playful way to deal with the space and context of the archive. Firstly, water can flow through the cooper constructions. Installation understood by the context of art, is at the same time a sanitary and utility installation. The concept of what can be art, and what can be not is blurred. Since Duchamp’s “Fountain” these limits cease to exist. There are no things that are not allowed in modern art.

Secondly, the bags have a symbolic meaning – putting something in one bag (to lump), is putting in the same context different, seemingly not matching spheres and domains.
Interactivity means that the receiver can take action that would affect the final shape of the art work.
Interactivity in arts is a dialogue of the recipient and artefact in real time, communication through interaction. It makes the work different in each case of the recipient’s activity.
Is only an excuse, and exists mostly as a background, interaction with the viewer is major.
Interactive works are influenced by modernist and postmodern paradigms. They affect the final shape of the work – depending on which one is stronger, the work is directed more towards the artist’s expression as an author, or are guided at the recipient’s activity.

The material culture and its history regarding to arts, focuses on the means of artistic production and the craft.
The material value of the works started to be studied on the basis of which materials were used (cooper, cotton – noble, natural materials), how they were obtained, and what was the contract between the artist and a patron.
Art began to be understood as a relationship between the artist and his patron, who was funding work, against the specific cultural background.

Installation – as a “substantial” archives (bags and copper constructions) will correspond with elements of the virtual archive, created on the web page of ABA.

Another, crucial element of the Archive, would be an index, in shape of a bookmark, containing all the crucial informations and internet references. A brief overview on what’s gonna be placed in each bag, artist’s bio, info about activities taken in ABA during art residency; i belive that form of display will provide a full view on artist work.

An inspiration for this kind of thinking about the archive was Polish art historian – Jerzy Ludwinski – also an art critic and theorist, who dedicated his professional career to linking together different fields and spheres related to arts.
He was a founder of the Mona Lisa Gallery in Wrocław, Poland. Ludwinski functioned and existed on the very verge of state and law system of that time, setting up and organising the cultural life of Lublin, Wrocław, Torun and Poznan.
Within the limits of artistic life in the People’s Republic of Poland, he marked out his own ‘playing field’, where such notions as ‘critic’, ‘curator’, ‘gallery’ and ‘museum’ were tested and transformed. The short-lasting cultural institutions created by him at the end of the 1960s included Museum of Current Art, Mona Lisa Gallery-mentioned above, and the Centre for Artistic Research and prefigured international developments elsewhere.

This unusual and innovatory art activist was playing a role of an art mediator and negotiator, translating one’s discipline language to another. Summing up his intelectual work with most crucial message, what is difficult to gasp, something placed between the lines, is certainly the most valuable and worth looking for.

Notes From the Future of Art: Selected Writings by Jerzy Ludwiński, ed. Magdalena Ziółkowska, Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, and Rotterdam: Veenman, 2007, 239 pp.
Exhibition on Wrocław’s Museum of Current Art, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2007-2008.

Postartistic times


The bags are designed and hand made by Krzysztof Perzyna, polish cross disciplinary artist and designer.
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