And then, of course, religion comes along. Franciszek Orlowski silences Poznan’s bell with a cloth wrapped around its clapper, which serves to accentuate the squeaking sound of the bell yoke and of the entire church tower. Sergii Redkevych uses a door and two windows to structure his graffiti of a Jesus icon – or should we call it a mural at the point where it becomes a sacred representation?
The extent to which religion, identity, war, the future and new forms of government determine life in Eastern Europe emerges clearly from the art in each of these themed exhibition spaces. Colourful, larger than life, brash and yet reserved, it bears witness to the quest for a sense of place in the world, for roots and for the future. Just like the Ostrale itself, because this is its first year as a biennial. Next year, the festival will travel to the Maltese capital of Valletta and in 2019 will occupy other exhibition spaces, as the cattle pens are in urgent need of refurbishment.