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ARTISTIC EMERGENCY SERVICE
2008 / event

Invited by the Gallery XS in Kielce, Karolina Breguła decided to respond with her work to the popular saying “as cold as at the station in Kielce.” The artist approached freezing passengers waiting for their trains: using gigantic lamps, she created a warm square at the station, where they could warm themselves up. Artistic Emergency Service was a minor intervention with a short-lived and slight yet real effect on everyday life, but also a perverse voice in the debate on the usefulness of art and its potential for introducing actual change. Breguła points out that contrary to lofty declarations of engagement and focus on social issues, art remains distant from the problems of real people. The question of art’s involvement in social issues will return in Breguła’s later works, such as The Soup and Instruments For Making Noise.

Manifesto of the Artistic Emergency Service
I want my work to serve humans. I regret that art is so often helpless in the face of everyday life problems. I am so sorry that I cannot use art to do something about the fact that it is so freaking cold at the railway station in Kielce.

Since I do not want to remain indifferent to dramas happening around me, I am setting up Artistic Emergency Service. Its mission is to struggle with little predicaments and to confront everyday inconveniences. Within its interventions, I will tap into all indispensable means. Should it be necessary, I will not hesitate to contradict the image of an artist as charlatan or demiurge and use the tools of art-making in a trivial way devoid of artistic magic.