January 24, 2014 7:05 pm

Snapshot: ‘Heavy Weight History’ (2013)

Berlin-based artist Christian Jankowski’s project follows a group of champion Polish weightlifters as they attempt to lift some of Warsaw’s most famous monuments

This photograph forms part of Heavy Weight History, a 2013 project by Berlin-based artist Christian Jankowski (born 1968) that follows a group of champion Polish weightlifters as they attempt to lift some of Warsaw’s most famous monuments.

The image shows them raising the statue of Ludwik Warynski, founder in 1882 of the first Polish workers’ party.

As the programme note to the Heavy Weight History exhibition (see slideshow below) in Warsaw explains, “just the act of lifting the monument by means of human strength can be used as a reminder that the crucial moments in history happen because of people, and if we want to have an impact on our collective reality, we should be proactive, make an effort and take matters into ‘our own hands’ ”.

Performance is central to Jankowski’s work, which has included selling the clothes off an auctioneer’s back for “Strip the Auctioneer” (2009) and foraging for food in a supermarket armed with a bow and arrow (“The Hunt”, 1992).

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‘Heavy Weight History’, an installation, film and series of photographs by Christian Jankowski, is at the Lisson Gallery, London, until March 8 (lissongallery.com)

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