Contemporary art might not be to everyone's taste, but that doesn't mean you should snub our city's collection. Wrocław's Museum of Contemporary art is definitely worth a visit, even if you consider some of the work on show more grotesque than it is ingenious.
Alongside some of the predictably bizarre and bewildering pieces, there are some crafty, charming and thought provoking works to be seen. Housed in an old WW2 bunker, being in the building itself is worth the entrance fee alone, while the rooftop cafe also offers a great view of Wrocław's skyline.
Located on Plac Strzemgomski, this characteristic museum is within walking distance of the centre, and just a couple of tram stops from the Rynek. The somewhat hideous World War Two bunker that hosts the exhibition couldn't be easier to find – standing right in front of a full scale locomotive pointing towards the sky.
Once inside, it's a pretty surreal experience from start to finish, and that's before we even talk about the artwork. The building's thick concrete walls, circular shape and modern fittings, immediately make you feel like you've stepped into a science fiction movie. Out of season there aren't a great deal of visitors, and if you speak loudly enough you'll hear your echo bouncing off all the concrete walls. Once all the weird and wonderful artifacts are thrown into the mix, you could be forgiven for thinking you're on a cultural spaceship that's about to take off.
Onto the works themselves then. Like a lot of contemporary art museums, it's often the most disturbing art that lingers in the memory. The dolls in the picture to the right are a prime example. The two fully packaged baby dolls are laden with ginger hair and titled in Japanese, with the English translation below: "You can shave the baby". Perhaps you should excuse my ignorance, but it appears that this work does little else than shock. Other eccentric pieces included a molten Karl Marx head in a wheelbarrow (answers on a postcard please) and an image of a human body made entirely from (what looked like) *cough* pubic hair.
Things don't sound too good so far then, but the exhibition boasts so much more than a handful of peculiar and disturbing artworks. The museum has a wide range of paintings, pictures, sculptures and media on show, and most visitors will find something that either intrigues or charms them. Framed video animations bring out the exhibition's humorous side, with various short films showing hand made contraptions smashing egg shells or bursting balloons. Another noteworthy piece constitutes of a group of various mushrooms next to which is written "Our politicians are not idiots".
Even if you fail to find anything to your taste at the exhibition, you can still enjoy the skyline view from the museum's rooftop cafe. The bunker's roof is at a nice height, lateral to that of most buildings in the city. The image below gives you an idea of the panorama visible from the cafe's patio.
There is simply too much of the good, bad and the ugly to pass judgment on this odd but captivating exhibition. The beauty of the art itself is that everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and make their own interpretations. If you want to get a better idea of what's there to be seen, check our gallery imbedded below, or better still – visit the museum itself.