Polish space invaders target Brussels


Twenty years ago communism fell in Central and Eastern Europe. It was Poland where the transformation which changed the course of European history began. A special artisic-social project entitled “Common Task” will remind Europeans about events which took place over 20 years ago. On 4th of June 1989 Poland was the first country behind the Iron Curtain to organise free elections.

The “live social sculpture” will appear today in Brussels. There are no VIPs here – Paweł Althamer, artist and project’s organiser told the media. This is a grass-roots project, in which ordinary people participate. It reminds that ordinary people are the ones who can change reality. 20 years ago no one expected that Poland would be free. We thought it was impossible. Our astronauts also never expected to fly to Brussels in a golden airplane.  We set to have fun and enjoy freedom.


On 4 June at 10.05 a.m., at the Brussels Airport, for the first time in history, golden Boeing 737 of Polish Airlines will land with over 200 people on board, all wearing golden spacesuits.  Golden creatures, residents of Warsaw’s Bródno district, and neighbours of the artist Paweł Althamer, will explore the city of Brussels. Their first stop will be at Expo ‘58 – the area representing the world in its entire complexity condensed into a single elementary particle. The model of atom dominating the national pavilions will be a starting point for the visit to the European Parliament – another place which reminds of the multidimensional character of things, their transitory nature and crossing the borders. They will have a walk around the Grande Place and a picnic at the Royal Park.

Journalists, reporters and everyone who will accopmpany the participants will have to wear the golden space-suit as well.


Curator’s note reads:

At the heart of Paweł Althamer’s Project lies ‘live’ communication with people, encouragement of interaction and participation in the activity and creative process. Common Task is intended for a broad group of recipients, i.e. those who are interested in modern art as well as accidental passers-by, residents of Brussels. The choice of the place for the event is not accidental either. Brussels is the capital of the united Europe, a continent which barely twenty years ago seemed to be divided forever. In this context, the artistic performance may offer an impulse reminding us of the changes which took place in Poland and which influenced the history of entire Central Europe.

The joint activities are aimed to cross not only the mental but also the physical barriers; in addition to the meetings which are set in everyday reality, the participants also set out on peculiar journeys offering them new possibilities and unusual experiences. Clad in extraordinary spacesuits they balance on the border of two worlds; the one that they know and the new one which is very often a projection of their imagination. The world that they know quite frequently means the unattractive space of the grey and gloomy blocks of flats. The participants are “ordinary” people who have “ordinary” jobs and who are just “people from across the street”. “Common Task” allows them to leave the twilight zone and to appear in a public space which is completely new to them. For them, it is a different world full of people communicating in a foreign language. But it is also the world in which they become visible. What is more, they become the focal point and draw attention of the other people.In this context the Project of Paweł Althamer can be viewed as a social sculpture. The sculpture which is a material object, is transformed into a common experience, a process aimed to introduce a deep going change in the registers of everyday habits. Subject to this artistic transformation is not only a physical object but also the person, consciousness and mental habits. At the same time, Common Task is a meeting and integration place of various social groups and people whose everyday realities do not merge in any way and who are often excluded from the social and cultural rites. Symbolic crossing of the borders thus occurs at many levels.

Video from the press conference

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imagesThis event is part of “It all began in Poland” – celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War and of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Central Europe. More info at www.3989.pl

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11 thoughts on “Polish space invaders target Brussels

  1. island1 says:

    NOT FAIR! I want to be a golden space invader.

    Not sure about Brussels though, if it had been up to me I would have landed in China or Japan – would have caused a sensation.

  2. island1 says:

    I like the fool in the second row wearing a hoody under his hood :D

  3. guest says:

    the golden plumber invasion :D

  4. Pawel says:

    Island1, I know I want to be one too:)

    China? Wonder if they would let in a group celebrating the fall of communism… :D

  5. Scatts says:

    Judging by the way they are suppressing Tiananmen remembrances, I suspect not!

    As for the golden suit brigade, I suppose it’s one way to get a bunch of your mates a free trip to Brussels. At least the gold colour will be good to hide the dribble stains from the moules mariniere and the mayonnaise that drips off the chips!

  6. badalex says:

    Witam. Chcialem tylko powiedziec, ze ta akcja z wylotem zlotych ufokow do Brukseli jest wazeliniarstwem i wlazidupstwem. Nie ma to nic wspolnego z hapeningiem czy artystyczna prowokacja, czy chocby zaczatkiem dyskusji, rzuceniem jakichs pytan. Na odleglosc czuc smrodek jedynie wlasciwej ideologii, widac ze ktos sypnal na to kasa i zaaprobowal z gory. Taka kontrolowana spontanicznosc, nowoczesniejsza i bardziej przemawiajaca do mlodych forma akademii ku czci. Tak jak kiedys pociagi przyjazni polsko-radzieckiej, ktore kursowaly do ZSRR i na ktore mogl sie zalapac tylko aktyw, uswiadomiona politycznie czesc klasy robotniczej. Historia sie powtarza, oczywiscie nigdy w ten ssam sposob, czasem jako farsa….

  7. Pawel says:

    badalex, jestem sklonny raczej pomyslec coś odwrotnego: Że jest to jednak akcja artystyczna, ale sztucznie podciagnieta pod uroczystosci historyczne, bo tu teraz jest kasa:) i dzieki temu Paweł Althamer miał być moze szanse to zrealizować.

  8. MaterialGirl says:

    My jesteśmy Ufoludki, trututu, trututu, pod grzybami mamy budki trututu trututu. Or is it here sth wrong?

  9. guest says:

    Akcja zupelnie bezsensowna. A to logo zupelnie nie czytelne.

    “common task” ? WTF ?

    Powinien byc samolot z logiem solidarnosci i napisem po angielsu “1st free elections in eastern europe” albo cos takiego… Na szczescie lot za niedlugo splajtuje i nie bedzie juz marnowania kasy podatnika na takie cyrki.

  10. katia says:

    Bardzo słabe, sztyte zagrubymi nicmi, facet się sprzedał systemowi, amiałam go za osobowosc artystyczną a nie dupoliza…

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