Plac Bohaterów Getta [Ghetto Heroes Square]

Plac Zgody [Concord Square] in Krakow was renamed in 2005 after having been remodelled by the architect David Bravo Bordas and equipped with an art installation by the Polish sculptor Karol Badyna (well-known for his sculptures of religious figures, and Polish nationalist/antifascist figures).

33 chairs: Karol Badyna. Plac Bohaterów Getta, Kraków PolandThe square spontaneously called to mind the Peter Eisenmann “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” in Berlin. Olek¹ cites the architect who reconceived the square in 2005, David Bravo Bordas as stating, “… it was deliberately conceived as a poetic container which transformed the place into a sign of the past.”

The term “poetic container” caught my eye. It was the first time i had seen the word “container” used this way. It made me think of mark-up language or software code such as is used for virtualization software like Docker². If i am getting it right, in addition to being just evocative, Bordas’ language is a case of art speech borrowing from EDP speech.

The next thing that struck me was that the Polish sculptor who conceived and realized the chairs, Karol Badyna has done a great deal of sculptural portraiture of religious figures, and of the Polish post-World War II & post-Cold War icon Jan Karski. This footnote adds an interesting aspect to the role art plays in the political narrative of memory of resistance to, complicity with, perpetratorhood in and victimhood under the Hitler Regime and/or the Shoah and how these mark national and group identities.

I will be watching for art historical and critical analyses that compare this current work of “Erinnerungskultur” (Eng.: culture of rememberance) with the 57 years elder and vastly more historically inscribed Nathan Rapaport and Leon Marek Suzin monument Pomnik Bohaterów Getta (Eng.: Ghetto Heroes Monument/De.: Denkmal der Helden des Ghettos) in Warsaw inaugurated in 19. April 1948, or with the Eisenman memorial for example.

Dummy Image: “Plac Bohaterów Getta w Krakowie-Podgórzu. Widok w stronę północno zachodnią. 2016”: Mach240390 (2016). On: Uploaded:: 15 May 2016. URL:,_Krak%C3%B3w.jpg#/media/File:PlacBohater%C3%B3wGetta-Podg%C3%B3rze-POL,_Krak%C3%B3w.jpg. Last viewed: 14 May 2017.

Image (pending permission from the artist): “The chairs, arranged on a virtual grid of about five by five metres and slightly larger than normal. In the background, the police box.”, Public Space: Plac Bohaterów Getta, Krakow (Poland), 2005. In: URL: Last viewed: 13 May 2017.

[1] Lives That Never Had a Chance to Fully Bloom: Olek. In: Urban Nation. Date: 02 May 2017. URL: Last viewed: 13 May 2017.

[2] Docker (software): Wikipedia. URL: Last viewed: 13 May 2017.

Public Space: Plac Bohaterów Getta, Krakow (Poland), 2005. In: URL: Last viewed: 13 May 2017.

Wikipedia: Plac Bohaterów Getta. URL: Last viewed: 13 May 2017.

Wikipedia: Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. URL: Last viewed: 14 May 2017.

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