Szkieletor & Błękitek


Laser, range meter, visualization display, two skyscrapers
Installed during ArtBoom Festival Krakow
1200 x 100 x 25 m


Szkieletor & Błękitek

Extract from the description of curator Wojciech Szymański:
"But Krakow is not only the Old Town - a modern, twentieth-century version of the medieval story, which at the same time is a parable about inequality, takes place a bit further out from the centre; it has its own towers and its own biblical characters.
The modern urban legend of the Two Towers, which inspired Florian Dombois’s work, concerns two office blocks: the unfinished Szkieletor and Błękitek whose construction was finished after a long time. It is a legend of bad, vain communists, who in the 1970s threw down the gauntlet to old Krakow – they wanted to construct a new centre of a modern city with new, much higher towers reaching to the sky and end the primacy of the royal and bourgeois historic heart of the city. But it is only a part of a bigger, legendary urban history. The communists, bad and stupid in their arrogance, tried to destroy Krakow once before, by building Nowa Huta and the smelting plant – they wanted its fumes to pollute the air in old Krakow and destroy the centuries-old monuments. They also tried to achieve this later, by constructing the big Forum Hotel by the Vistula river, for it to be an affront to Skałka and the Wawel castle with its location and form. These attempts were not successful; the hotel, after a short period of prosperity, was abandoned, and the Naczelna Organizacja Techniczna’s office block was never finished and stands as a ruin, affectionately called the Szkieletor (Skeleton).
Florian Dombois’s work, consisted in lasers and measuring devices placed on the Błękitek’s roof and on the top of the higher Szkieletor, as well as computer-generated visualization of deviations and movements of both buildings in the real time. It encompassed not only the buildings, interesting in the context of the two towers legend, but also the whole space between them, an urban axis outlined by al. Powstania Warszawskiego. On one hand it is an attempt at making the space and the permanent ruin, the Szkieletor, more familiar. On the other hand, despite its huge scale, the project’s relation with the two towers was very intimate, the artist treated them as live organisms, which move and are alive and, thanks to the marriage of art, geodesy, physics and IT, “talk” with each other before our eyes.
The voice given back to the tower in ruins directed our attention to one more mythical story-legend. The story of the Tower of Babel and the unfinished – just like the Tower of Babel and the Szkieletor – utopian project of the new city at the foot of the Wawel-Babel."