Artur Żmijewski b. 1966
Them (2007)
Duration: 26 minutes

Presented at the 12th Documenta in Kassel, Them is a recording of a social experiment performed by the artist. Żmijewski organised a workshop to which he invited four groups representing divergent ideological mindsets: members of nationalist Młodzież Wszechpolska (All-Polish Youth), women strongly attached to the Catholic Church, young Polish Jews and leftist organisation activists.

Like in the exercise Common Space, Private Space performed since the 1980s at Grzegorz Kowalski’s studio at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, the participants of the workshop were given the task to negotiate the shape of their common space without words.

Thus, the debate adopted the form of actions on previously prepared images, which represented the values of particular importance for each of the groups. The workshop, in which the artist retained the observer role, unveiled the way how the ideological controversy arose between the groups and posed questions about the possibility of coexistence of bipolar opposites in the social space.