Three earths. Artistic intervention marking the Gwarna Jewish cemetery in Wrocław


In September 2022 visual artists from Berlin Anna Schapiro accepted our invitation and created the artwork for Gwarna: “Three Earths”. She was referring to the history of the Jewish cemetery in Gwarna Street. The artwork is staying with us in the public space for even more months in 2023 and 2024 (initially it was expected to last for four months only). In September 2023, Anna went back to Wrocław and refreshed both place with new natural pigments. This time, she was assisted by a group of UMF volunteers who signed up to help. We invite you to see two locations with Anna’s works revealing the topography and history of this forgotten place. Start your visit from Pl. Konstytucji 3 Maja, and there you will find further information.

Anna Schapiro’s visual works move between sculpture and painting. Contrary to the classical idea of an artistic work with a fixed form, her works are flexible and often adapt to the selected location like a second skin. The given space is not only the place of appearance of her works, it also becomes an active carrier of the work.

In Wrocław, Schapiro uses mainly natural earth pigments when creating Three Earths, temporarily marking in two places (see dots on the map) the still visible borders of the former Jewish cemetery on Gwarna Street (former Claassenstrasse). In this way, the work brings out the previous historic and topographic layers of the place and shows its transformation in time.

The pigments show the colorful spectrum that can be found within the earth – from yellows, greens, and reds to browns and more. Schapiro uses a fresco technique that she intentionally exposes to natural and urban forces: rain, wind, interacting with pedestrians and more.

Anna Schapiro is a visual artist and writer based in Berlin. Her works have been shown in Basel, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Łódź, Lublin, New York, Porto, Stuttgart, and Wrocław among other places. To learn more visit: www.annaschapiro.com

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