a monthly film series featuring invited speakers, hosted by the Polish Club in San Francisco

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 18: The Promised Land

Join us for Movie Nite at the Polish Club!

Ziemia Obiecana / The Promised Land
138 minutes, color

8pm Wednesday (doors 7:30)
May 18, 2010

Polish Club of San Francisco
3040 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Polish Movie Nite is happy to present Andrzej Wajda's The Promised Land (1975), to be introduced by curator Chris Fitzpatrick and art historian Julian Myers. Based on Władysław Reymont’s 1899 novel of the same name, the film tells of a Pole, a German, and a Jew struggling to build a factory together within the raw capitalism of 19th-century Łódź. One of them humorously declares, "I have nothing, you have nothing, and he has nothing; that means together we have enough to start a factory."

By the turn of the century, Łódź had grown into a multi-cultural city, and the main textile production center of the vast Russian Empire. Wajda presents a vivid picture of the city, depicting its filthy and dangerous factories, the cruel effects of rapid industrialization on millions of workers, and the ostentatious and tasteless wealth of the rich. The story culminates in a production-paralyzing strike—presumably the 1892 socialist strike that preceded the Łódź insurrection (in which Tsarist police would kill more than 300 workers) and the Russian Revolution of 1905.


Chris Fitzpatrick has organized exhibitions and events internationally for venues including the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; the Paul D. Fleck Library & Archives at the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. His writing and interviews have been published in Pazmaker, Mousse Magazine, The Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt, and elsewhere. He is on the curatorial board for the Present Future section of Artissima 18, Turin.

Fitzpatrick received his MA in Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and his BA from San Francisco State University. More information about his projects is available at www.chrisfitzpatrick.net.

Julian Myers is an art historian whose writing has appeared in Documents, October, Afterall, Frieze, and elsewhere. His research is concentrated on sculpture and spatial politics of the 20th century, the social and political dynamics of consumer society, and the historical frameworks for contemporary art and exhibition. Myers is the author of numerous monographic essays on the practices of artists Tariq Alvi, Trisha Donnelly, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Eric Wesley, and the Independent Group, among others. Most recently, these include "Total Relaxation," published in Sudden White: After London (Dexter Sinister, 2009), "Totality: A Guided Tour," on Harald Szeemann's 1983 exhibition "The Tendency to a Synthesis of the Arts" (Afterall, 2009), "Form and Proto-politics," on the 1969 exhibition "Other Ideas" (The Exhibitionist, 2010), and "Riot Show: Some Notes on the Archive" (Fillip, 2010). He is on the editorial board of The Exhibitionist.

Myers holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Cornell University. He has taught courses in art history and theory at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he is currently full-time faculty.


Polish Movie Nite is a mini-series of free public events organized by Joanna Szupinska from August 2010 to May 2011. This is the final event. Many thanks to our speakers, audiences, and blog followers for your enthusiastic participation!

Thanks to the speakers, Chris and Julian, as well as Melissa Kozera and Arden Sherman for their assistance in the preparation of this event.

This screening is sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.

Polish Movie Nite is generously hosted by the Polish Club of San Francisco. More information about the Polish Club is available at www.polishclubsf.org.

Special appreciation goes to Maureen Mroczek Morris and to Krol Vodka for their ongoing support.

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