01 Gallery – Brut Art Archive

01 Gallery — Brut Art Archive is an artistic and research project aimed at revising the concept of brut art and borderline art. Its primary goal is to seek out individuals involved in non-professional art or those connected to borderland culture, individuals who create on their own or care for those creating in various social assistance centers. The project’s objective is to revive research on Polish borderland culture, conduct open exploration, revise the aforementioned concept, transfer its achievements into the virtual sphere, and establish a lasting collaboration between the gallery and the involved individuals. The archives will be presented at various stages of work on the collection and serve as research material to reassess creative attitudes and borderland cultural productions.

Apart from revising the concept of Art Brut, the project aims to resurrect a phenomenon that has not been thoroughly explored and has been forgotten. The main premise of the project is to create an archive of non-professional art, encompassing various forms of artistic activities that go beyond established models in the realm of art created in academic settings. Non-professional artists are a highly diverse group, originating from various social and cultural backgrounds. However, the project’s aim is to search for non-professional art in socially excluded spaces, such as closed facilities: nursing homes, penitentiaries, rehabilitation centers, childcare facilities, shelters for the homeless, or psychiatric hospitals.

Art Brut, in its essence, was a perspective on the works of uneducated individuals as a collection of phenomena, wild and unpolished art, often viewed as a curiosity, and at times as a deviation from the “norm.” Therefore, an important aspect of our future project development is the redefinition of the concept of Art Brut, examining old definitions in light of contemporary creations, and revising the attitudes of the art community and the mainstream art in relation to artistic objects produced by uneducated individuals.

Presenting Art Brut in a virtual 3D gallery offers many benefits. Firstly, since this art is often created by individuals excluded from the mainstream art scene, the virtual space is an excellent tool for presenting such art due to its qualitative egalitarianism. The rawness and lack of rules that release artistic expression from established canons, which is difficult to showcase in standard museum spaces, can come to life in a virtual exhibition space that is also free from norms and constraints that may condition the reception of artwork in traditional exhibition spaces.

We think of the 01 Gallery Brut Art Archive project as a continually expanding collection that we intend to present in a major cross-sectional exhibition, showcasing the results of years of work as a whole and revising the narratives and approaches to so-called unpolished art that have emerged over the years. Thanks to an expanded network of contacts and project collaborators, we also aim to encourage other organizations, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and culture philosophers to work on this somewhat forgotten concept. In future activities, in addition to work in the visual arts and art therapy, we also want to establish collaborations with individuals engaged in the theoretical study of culture by organizing discussion panels and lectures alongside exhibitions, as well as publishing catalogs of archived collections accompanied by texts dealing with the subject of Art Brut from a humanistic perspective. We also aim to broaden the project’s scope. By expanding the project’s reach internationally, we hope to work with artists and institutions from beyond our borders, which will also contribute to expanding the context of the collections and allow us to connect the project’s broad narrative with additional contexts.

Beyond the values mentioned above, the project aims to intensify pro-social attitudes, increase social activity and solidarity, and engage in public debate on the topic of socially excluded individuals. We want to give a voice and visibility to art created by uneducated individuals so it can establish itself in the legitimate art world. Our actions also aim to create a dialogue between artistic individuals from the academic environment and non-professional creators.