Robert Rumas

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emotion, history, people, perception, prejudice, religion, roots, stereotype, time, urbanity, values
Visual Arts (installation art)
Europe, Eastern
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April 26, 2004
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Robert Rumas


Studying man and society

Robert Rumas is a Polish visual artist whose work deconstructs society in terms of its stereotypical attitudes, collective emotions and values. Critical, political, personal, the art of Rumas confronts the audience in a provoking fashion and questions our mindset as individuals and as social groups.
In his works Rumas reflects on religion, history, sexuality, crowd impulses. He identifies the ingredients of existence and interprets them in an ingenious visual language. The artist communicates his own, alternative solutions to issues he has detected as problematic or significant for a society. Thus the contradictions of his art generate an intercourse of perceptions and opinions.
His installations often inhabit the public space, rather than an art venue. Rumas enters into a direct dialogue with the subject of his artistic search. He addresses the public with irony and ambiguity, testing its reaction.
Robert Rumas participates in the project SEAS, initiated by Intercult, Stockholm. He co-operates with choreographer and director Leszek Bzdyl in the creation of ODYS-SEAS, a wandering event/performance, including boat trip and walk. The concept is related to the historic shipyards in Gdansk, Poland. ODYS-SEAS is part of the SEAS Events 2004 taking place in Lithuania, Kaliningrad, Latvia and Poland in july-september 2004.
Author: Yuliana Yankova


Robert Rumas was born in 1966. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk in 1991. During his study at the Academy he collaborated for two years with the atelier of Prof. Witoslaw Czerwonkas.
Rumas has carried out numerous solo exhibitions in Gdansk, Sopot, Krakow, and Warsaw in Poland, as well as abroad: the Polish Institute in Leipzig, the Kunsthalle in Wienn, etc.
He has participated in various group exhibitions, among which: "Europa, Europa", Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle in Bonn, 1994; "New I´s for New Years", Kunstlerhus Bethanien, Berlin, 1995; "After the Wall", Modern Museum , Stockholm, 1999; Ludwig Museum/Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, 2000; "Roads to Liberty", Gdansk Shipyard, 2000; "In Between" - Contemporary Art from Poland, Chicago Cultural Centre, 2001; "Mare Balticum", National Museum, Copenhagen, 2002.
Rumas is also engaged in curatorial activity. He was a co-initiator of the contemporary art Gallery Wyspa in Gdansk. He has curated exhibitions for the State Gallery of Art in Sopot, for the Centre for Contemporary Art "Zamek Ujazdowski" in Warsaw, and the Baltic Sea Culture Centre in Gdansk. Since 2001 until present days he works at the Center for Contemporary Art "Laznia" in Gdansk.



Production / Performance,
A wandering event/performance within the platform SEAS. Created in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Leszek Bzdyl. The audience takes a walk and a boat trip through the historical Gdansk shipyard and experiences the myth of Odysseus through visual and performing arts. By refering to the 20 year long travels of the ancient Greek hero, the project reflects on memory, destiny, mobility. ODYS-SEAS aims to embrace historical awareness and coin a metaphor which connotates our contemporary world. ODY-SEAS was part of SEAS Events 2004. It was presented in the Gdansk shipyard in september 2004.

Plain Air

Exhibition / Installation,
Project created by Robert Rumas for the Kunsthalle in Vienna, 2002. Students of the Vienna Fine Arts Academy desgiused as Adolf Hitler sat on Vienna´s Karlsplatz and painted St.Carolus Church and other local sites. An ironic depiction of art as a positive alternative to tragic history.

A Quarter of an Hour

Exhibition / Installation,
An action within the "Lodz/Boot" project organised by Gallery "Manhattan" in 2002. Robert Rumas repaired the clock on the gate of the Poznanski Manufacture and set it running 15 min early, donating time to the citizens of Lodz.

City Maneuvres

Exhibition / Installation,
Installation by Robert Rumas. Consisting of a series of new road signs, such as "Child Abuse", "Begging", etc. placed at sites where particular social groups attend.

Hot Water Bottles

Exhibition / Installation,
Installation by Robert Rumas in Gdansk. Presenting in public space hot water bottles with figures of saints placed inside them.


Exhibition / Installation,
A quasi-architectural set of structures with wings moving in the wind and pipes attached to them, producing sound at the movement. Exhibited at the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle in Bonn, 1994.


Exhibition / Installation,
Individual exhibition of Robert Rumas in Galeria Sztuki, Sopot. An alive goldfish is presented as a counterpoint to a small figurine of Holy Mother. The genetically modified goldfish, grown by the Chinese for entirely decorative purposes, is captured by a camera and its image is visible on monitors throughout the gallery.

Bottling Jars

Exhibition / Installation,
Installation of vacuum preservation jars full of objects and things Rumas loves and enjoys: Holy Mother figurine, a flag, money, badges of the Solidarnost movement which ignited political changes in Poland.


Scholarship of the Batory Foundation, 1993.
Scholarship of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, 1998.
Scholarship of the Polish Ministry of Culture, 2003.
Nomination for "Polityka" Award, 2002, 2003.
Award of the Gdansk Association of Arts Lovers, 2003.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

SEAS Events 2004


(26 April 04 - 26 September 04)



(01 December 01 - 30 September 05)


Centre for Contemporary Art "Laznia"

Robert Rumas works as a curator at Laznia in Gdansk, Poland, since 2001.
One for All, All for One
Installation by Robert Rumas
Installation by Robert Rumas