Little Review is a winning project by an American artist Sharon Lockhart for the Polish Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The source of inspiration for the project was the idea of giving voice to the young generation, popularized by Janusz Korczak – a Polish–Jewish pedagogue. Korczak was the initiator of a newspaper created entirely by children and young people in the pre-war Warsaw. The exhibition at the Polish Pavilion during the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will open to the public on May 13. The original issues of “Mały Przegląd” [Little Review] from 1926–1939 will be presented at the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art from May 26.
The name of the project by Sharon Lockhart refers to “Mały Przegląd” [Little Review], a historical newspaper supplement to the popular magazine “Nasz Przegląd” [Our Review], written and edited entirely by children. “Mały Przegląd” founded by Janusz Korczak – a prominent pedagogue and writer with a revolutionary approach (also from a contemporary perspective) to the issue of children’s rights and the need to listen to their voice, was published in 1926–1939. It featured sections on politics, sports, and culture, written by children functioning as correspondents from all over Poland. The children were given a chance to present their broad knowledge and accurate observation on the world as well as prove their unique receptivity.
Little Review by Sharon Lockhart is a multidimensional project, which explores the social dimension of creating art, the need to notice and listen to the voice of young people. It is the final effect of the long-term cooperation between this acclaimed American artist and the girls of the Youth Center for Socio-Therapy Rudzienko. It also reflects Lockhart’s artistic and educational fascination with the philosophy of Korczak, whose work she recognized while working in Poland. At the exhibition in the Polish Pavilion we will see her new film and the photographs – prepared together with the girls. The exhibition will also include the issues of “Mały Przegląd” [Little Review], selected by the girls from Rudzienko and translated into English for the first time.
“Among various features, which convinced the members of the Jury to choose Sharon Lockhart’s project for the presentation at the Polish Pavilion, one element was the most appealing and unique. Sharon Lockhart refers to the history of the life and work of Janusz Korczak but she does not concentrate on the aspects of his dramatic biography. The main aim of her project/exhibition is to recall the extraordinary quality of Korczak’s pedagogical approach and his teaching method and present it to the worldwide audience. Janusz Korczak created a newspaper, which for 12 years gave a voice to children and was a unique platform for them to express their thoughts and emotions. Sharon Lockhart refers to Korczak’s methods, yet with the use of her owns means of expression. She treats children, who are the main subject of her work, with the respect they deserve,” says Hanna Wróblewska, the commissioner of the Polish Pavilion and director of the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, the institution, which has been the organizer and custodian of the Polish Pavilion in Venice for many years.
On the initiative of Wróblewska, a presentation accompanying Sharon Lockhart’s Little Review will take place in Zachęta. The presentation will start with the inauguration of the project at the Venice Biennale. The visitors will have a chance to see the original copies (from the collection of the National Library in Warsaw) of “Mały Przegląd” [Little Review], which is the key to the actions undertaken by the artist.
curator: Barbara Piwowarska
Polish Pavilion Commissioner: Hanna Wróblewska
Deputy Commissioner: Joanna Waśko
Organizer: Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland