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MERCZbau revisits the intertwined histories of the Ukrainian city of Lviv and the Polish city of Wroclaw as seen through the prism of a particularly eastern Orientalism. The Berlin-based artist collective Slavs and Tatars have created a speculative range of merchandising dedicated to the defunct Department of Oriental Studies of what was once known as the Jan Kazimierz University of Lwow, acting as if age-old traditions of scholarship and inquiry about “the East” had survived the Polish population’s forcible westward journey after World War II. The exhibition’s title alludes to German Dadaist Kurt Schwitters’ landmark sculpture Merzbau, a room-sized installation that was destroyed in World War II. MERCZbau thus offers a reflection on the human drama of migration as well as the shifting meanings of our enduring East/West divides, made so much more poignant by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This exhibition was made possible in part through a partnership with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry and with Gray Center Fellow Leah Feldman, a professor of comparative literature at the University of Chicago. All proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will be donated to the Scholars at Risk organization.

Curated by Dieter Roelstraete.