The World of 1920+

Jakub Różalski

Wednesday, October 30th – Sunday, November 3rd | Teatro Miela Bonawentura | Free Entry

1920+ is an alternate universe to our own, mainly an alternate Europe in the early 20th century. This is a place where tradition clashes with modernity, and the world is still full of secrets and blank spaces on the map. In the Industrial Revolution era, humanity is fascinated by new technologies, steel, engine, while the industry is developing on an unprecedented scale. Experiments and attempts to build a steel walking machine begin. Of course, all this is driven by the governments, the generals and the powerful arms industry. As the arms race commences, a conflict on a massive scale seems to be just a matter of time. The walking machines of various sizes and shapes start to intrude on everyday life and dominate the battlefields.

Like Europe and the world at the beginning of the 20th century, the world of 1920+ is full of contrasts, diversity, mystery and unexplored places. In this world, the traditional way of life in harmony with the environment is gradually displaced by technology, powerful machinery and heavy industry. Countryside landscape plays an important role in making the world of 1920+ feel unique. We see everything mainly from the perspective of the countryside and rural life. People are focused on their own affairs and work, away from the progress and the inevitable change. The technological innovations and the industrial revolution arrive here last. When powerful walking machines gradually embed into their lives, they are no longer scary monsters looming on the horizon. People get accustomed to their presence, but it does not have much impact on how they live and what they do. I think that this situation can be compared to the appearance of the first aircraft in the sky. Most people did not quite understand what it was and how it worked, but they accepted it as part of the reality they lived in. The 1920+ Automachines are not very advanced or futuristic. They are rather crude, massive and often rather awkward structures, resembling the first World War I tanks.History has always been my great passion and inspiration. Initially, the 1920+ project was based on and inspired by the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920 (February 1919 – March 1921).

This war, and the Battle of Warsaw, is considered by many historians to be one of the most important in the history of the world. I think you can also find a certain kind of longing and nostalgia for the world, for living close to nature, romanticism, wild forests and rural landscapes, all of which were violently taken over by progress, technology, and civilization. I wanted to show a bit of myself, my interests, and my passion, of what I miss in today’s global and technological civilization. My goal was to combine giant walking machines with classic historical motifs, everyday rural life, realistic paintings of the late 19th and early 20th century, etc. I also wanted to add my own concepts and ideas, show and talk a bit about the history and culture of my homeland and Europe in my own, original and alternative voice.

— Jakub Różalski