Over 2400 years ago, Democritus said:
In truth there are only atoms and void.

5th Mediations Biennale in Poznań entitled Fundamental refers us back to the questions about the essential values of human-kind, which are not necessarily the same for various different cultures.
Under common concepts such as freedom, dignity, family ties, there are different value systems, cultural or religious references, which are deeply rooted in a centuries-old tradition. Language bears huge importance. Here it is understood as a system of concepts, in which thought, natural environment, or civilisation is formed.
Art is a platform for global communication and expression. It is a tool for investigating reality. Art stems from an individual need to create beauty. For that reason, Mediations Biennale 2016 shall feature artworks, which take a critical stand on the problems of contemporary world, and in doing so, they defend human dignity while protesting against ideology, violence, brutalisation, devastation and manipulation. There will also be works which search for universal beauty, dialogue, crossing the boundaries of knowledge, discovering common values.
Some relevant issues shall emerge from a dialogue between contemporary art and places marked by history and reflection – for example between the Imperial Castle, Hitler’s room, or the Jesuit’s Monastery and the collection of artworks at National Museum and Poznań Archdiocese’s Museum.
Our body is composed of 4000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 atoms. We are all fragments of the same reality. Art seems to be an underestimated medium, which is capable of delving into the non-verbal. This action is accompanied by intuition, which travels through image into inaccessible resources of knowledge, to what is fundamental.

Why Mediations?
Mediations Biennale is not only an art event, it is also an event focused on research and science. Image is not merely a means of artistic expression, but also a tool for scientific investigation which, thanks to sensual research, encourages deeper contact with reality, leads to the areas inaccessible for words, science and technology. What is more, image creates a completely different, non-verbal contact with the truth. It exposes its different aspects and creates surprising visual thesis. Art should be allowed to participate fully in the discourse on the condition of human-kind, surrounding us life and universe. The artworks create wide repository of knowledge, which is formulated in sensual languages. The knowledge of these languages opens up different areas of consciousness, richness of experiences, and interpersonal communication. Image inspires different sensitivity, perception and coexistence with reality.

Fundamental Debate
It seemed that after the Cold War, the world had found new order. After the break out of war in Ukraine in February 2014, we all understand that nothing is permanent. The deepening crisis in Europe is a result of tensions between the world of Islam, Western Civilisation and Russia. In this chaos, we put forward a question about the fundamental values, rooted in various cultures. But most of all we ask about personal values which constitute dignity and human integrity.
In our exhibition, we make space for an open dialogue amongst works of art by artists from 23 countries of the world. It shall all happen in the context of exposition venues marked with history, as well as paintings and sculptures from Archdiocese Museum in Poznań. The invited artists espouse a critical approach to the topics of violence, manipulation, ideology, media, environment devastation, and the loss of sacrum. But they also return to the value of beauty, which does not only become the topic of their works, but also permeates all works. Each work carries a continuos quest for an ideal form, which envelops the truth in yet another understanding. Artists seem to be a membrane of reality, to which they cannot remain indifferent.

Tomasz Wendland
Director of Mediations Biennale Poznan