The Garden of Tears presents an architectural claim of the nowadays troubled society.
21C is a century of contradiction, coexistence of contrasts, past and present, connection and disconnection to tradition, in Warsaw reaching an apogeum. Today’s Polish society is in stress about its identity. It desperately trying to reinvent it again, especially at the time of creeping homogenization and cultural globalisation within the current debate about understanding of the Polish national identity.
The catalogue of failure in Polish history produced generations of martyrs and exiles, a fascination of death and fatality in Polish mentality. Understanding, that death and trauma defines Polish identity influenced the cult of the nation seen via the dead. Therefore, the answer of what constitutes a nowadays Polish nation is reflected in the design of the Forum for Polish sorrows, traumas and complexes, a mirror of the contemporary Polish society.The design creates an image where fantasy and reality intertwines, an image of what we see, imagine and remember.
The aim of the Forum for the Polish capital in a form of an urban park in the post-soviet city core of Warsaw is to better give emotions, directions and understanding of this traumatic period seen as a Polish identity. The Warsaw’s Forum reveals layers of history to overcome and deal with the traumatic experiences and complexes. The park works as a mirror of the Polish society, using national symbols as a form of remembrance and a self-reflection. It evokes Polish national characteristics which becomes anchors for a design, including an evocation to Polish landscape such as illusions of forest, river, agriculture, and strong affiliation to Catholicism. Forum therefore, is seen as a contemporary monastery, a hortus conclusus. The idea of the nation is represented in an abstract way with a lot of room for spectator’s imagination. Some parts of trauma can be seen as ironic, some bitter, and some as provocation, such as a contradiction of the rural values and church against modernity. All of those unusual components works together and highlight a true and honest representation of Polish nation to become a powerful landmark of nowadays troubled Polish society.