Mariusz Waras


Obstacle Race | site-specific installation, 2018

Although NARRACJE take us on a walk around the nooks and crannies of old Oliwa, the changes occurring in other parts of the district as a result of new construction projects are evident even from this perspective. Subsequent towers of the Olivia Business Center complex proudly emerge above the roofs of pre-war tenements and single-family houses with their gardens. The district quickly becomes a workplace for more and more inhabitants of Gdańsk. New investment projects bring new commercial and residential buildings not only to the outskirts of the district, but also to its very heart. While trying to match the style of earlier architecture, they bring new aesthetic qualities and give rise to fears about losing Oliwa’s original atmosphere. Local inhabitants view these changes with mixed feelings – on the one hand, they welcome the possibilities brought by growth, on the other, they fear greater traffic and their new neighbours.

Mariusz Waras seems to share a certain scepticism here, which is why he has dedicated his work to the property developers present in Oliwa, inviting them to take part in a peculiar sport discipline: an obstacle race. Only, to match the scale of ongoing changes, he has replaced traditional hurdles with… construction fences. Though they are more difficult to get over, they mirror the aesthetics of investment projects carried out in Oliwa. One may always take the shortcut, and just go around them – but shouldn’t we follow the rules of fair play?

locationgreen area on Inwalidów Wojennych Square


Mariusz Waras (b. 1978) is an outdoor painter, graphic artist, and illustrator who mostly employs the stencil technique, author of installations, curator and traveller. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts, where he worked between 2008 and 2014. In 2013 he presented his PhD dissertation at the Faculty of Painting of the same university. Since 2015 he has worked as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Painting and New Media of the Szczecin Academy of the Arts, where he has his own Painting and Street Art Studio. Waras has several hundred murals under his belt as part of the m-city project, several dozen collective exhibition and more than ten solo ones in 40 countries. He is fascinated by the city and urban art. His works range from small posters to large format murals, whose surface area often exceeds several hundred square metres. He lives in Gdańsk.

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Narracje 10

Narracje 10