Gabriela Świtek 
University of Warsaw – Institute of Art History


The paper presents a comment on Jacques Rancière’s thinking on architecture as traced in The Politics of Aesthetics and juxtaposed with a case study – 1st Exhibition of Architecture of the People’s Poland. The exhibition organized in the era of Stalinism (1953) and shown in the Central Bureau for Artistic Exhibitions (nowadays the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw) is seen as a manifestation of ‘artistic regimes’ of the period and as aesthetisation of architecture which is commonly considered the most ‘political’ of all the (fine) arts. Architecture does not seem to be the main concern of The Politics of Aesthetics; most translators and (Polish) commentators of Rancière’s philosophical writings draw our attention to the importance of his aesthetics for the relational aspects of contemporary art in public spaces. The article aims at emphasizing the architectural moments in Rancière’s project of aesthetics as politics; it also elaborates a couple of notions poiēsis/mimēsis – as discussed by Rancière – in relation to architectural theory and history of architectural exhibitions.

architectural exhibitions, aesthetic community, distribution of the sensible, gesamtkunstwerk, multimediality, socrealism, totalitarianisms



SAJ Vol. 6, 2014, No. 1