Operation Cast Lead

Artur Żmijewski’s works were exhibited at the 49th (Them, 2007) and the 52nd October Salon (Them, 2007 and Repetition, 2005). He was awarded the Cultural Centre of Belgrade’s Award at the 52nd October Salon, which includes the realization of a solo exhibition. The solo exhibition titled Democracies, within which a series of 16 films was screened, was realized in 2013 at the Art Gallery.

The film tells the story of the brutality and senselessness of the Israeli military attacks carried out in Gaza in 2009. It is a story of victims, demolished homes and destroyed human lives. It is a montaged video material recorded by activists of the B’Tselem Group –Israeli Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, as well as by Gaza residents themselves.

Originally, the work was accompanied by 16 drawings made during Artur Żmijewski’s talks with residents of Holon and Tel Aviv, on what was happening in Gaza. The artist asked these people to draw what they were talking about so this edition of the work is titled My Neighbours and fully reflects the mental condition of Israeli citizens at this specific moment in history.

Believing that art is about defining a political problem, that it focuses on burning issues and thus helps to change something, in his art practice he primarily deals with “unpleasant“ topics, those that fall into the area of taboos, the problems of the human body, the Other, but also the long-term traumas caused by historical and socio-political developments such as the Gaza war interventions.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: No. III-52-166/05.08.2013
Inventory No. 004
Photo: still from the film

Selected Bibliography:
49th October Salon, Artist – Citizen. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2008
52nd October Salon, It’s Time We Met Each Other. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2011
Artur Żmijewski, Democracies, Sep. 25 – Oct. 13, 2013, Art Gallery, Exhibition Catalogue, Cultural Centre of Belgrade
Artur Żmijewski, Trembling Bodies, conversations with Artists, Kronika & Berliner Kunstlerprogramm DAAD, 2010


Artur Żmijewski (1966, Warsaw, Poland) is considered one of the most controversial Polish artists of his generation, whose works are most often in the medium of photography and film. On the world art scene, he is known for his experimental work, mostly with marginal social groups. He is one of the main representatives of the critical art trend. He represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2005 and was the curator of the Berlin Biennale in 2012. He has exhibited his works at numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world.