The festival's main exhibiton – "Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde"

Kalina Bańka – Poland; Jakub Berdych Karpelis – Czech Republic; Æsa Björk – Iceland/Norway; Javier Blanco – Spain; Jana Hojstričová, Palo Macho – Slovakia; Krista Israel – Netherlands; Maria Koshenkova – Russia/Denmark; Magdalena Kucharska – Poland; Sini Majuri – Finland; Mihály Melcher – Hungary; John Moran – USA/Belgium; Silvio Vigliaturo – Italy; Janusz Walentynowicz – Denmark/USA; Krzysztof Wałaszek – Poland; Bernd Weinmayer – Germany/Austria; Dana Zámečníková – Czech Republic; Barbara Zworska-Raziuk – Poland

curator: Anita Bialic

Wrocław – 17.10.2016 – 10.11.2016 – Wrocław Central Train Station – Session Room
Łódź – 17.11.2016 – 10.12.2016 – City Art Gallery – Re:Medium Gallery
Legnica – 17.12.2016 – 29.01.2017 – Art Gallery in Legnica – RING Gallery
Jelenia Góra – 03.02.2017 – 02.04.2017 – the Karkonosze Museum

Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde

Contemporary artists are increasingly turning to glass. They seldom make decorative and static shapes with neither function nor significance; they use this material to create installations, design, and multimedia displays.

“We see glass as a solid substance, but in fact, it is a liquid; there are so many ways to use it. We have only scratched the surface,” said Zesty Meyers, who joins Evan Snyderman to make B Team, whose designs include works using liquid glass.

The main exhibition of the 5th edition of the Play with Glass European Glass Festival, which bears the provocative title of Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, covers the gamut of possibilities available to glass artists in the twenty-first century. In Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s world-famous novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), a distinguished London doctor, Henry Jekyll, turns into the cruel Edward Hyde through a serum of his own invention. Jekyll is unable to reconcile himself to the acts he performs as Hyde, and commits suicide.

Stevenson’s novella is a portrait of a person who is pathologically divided; it introduced the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” into our colloquial language to describe a person with a split personality. Will turning Dr Jekyll into a Mrs Hyde prevent the suicide? Or will Mrs Hyde, like her male counterpart, turn out to be a monster?… The eighteen artists from fourteen European countries who have been invited to take part in the main exhibition of this year’s festival have received a difficult task: to use glass to present a personal tale of a contemporary Dr Jekyll, alienated in the industrial and virtual space of the twenty-first century.

In viewing the works specially prepared for the exhibition, we have no doubt that, as an artistic medium, glass offers limitless opportunities for expression and uncovering the truth of the world that surrounds us.

One year ago, a The Wall Street Journal headline ran: “Glass Becomes the Art World’s Buzziest Material.” The Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde exhibition confirms that glass is “buzzy” indeed.

Anita Bialic


Opening of the exhibition – photos