ProfiLab TIFF Open

Autobahn Der Freiheit

curator: Anka Herbut | artist: Mateusz Skóra

Autobahn Der Freiheit is a space of flow, a sphere with a fluent identity, creating temporary relations, existing outside time. Constructed and reconstructed in everyday activities. Impossible to domesticate and uninhabitable. It is not the end goal, does not belong to anybody. It does not build emotional relationships. It may generate the feeling of anxiety or independence. It is dynamic. It is moving.

As of now, it connects Warsaw and Berlin with the final construction goal of leading to the border of Belarus. Its construction started in Nazi Germany. In 1937 the first section was completed, further works were interrupted in 1942 by military action. In the 70s the construction was renewed, aiming at establishing a connection between Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow, where Olympic Games were held. The established plan could not be realized in the 20th century totalitarian state, but was continued by capitalism with the support of EU funds. On the 25th anniversary of 1989 democratic elections the construction was called the Highway of Freedom – Autobahn der Freiheit. Currently, its use is partially fee-based.

It crosses Poland parallel more or less in the middle, symbolically connecting East with West, even though it breaks off around Warsaw. Mateusz Skora has been traveling along the road for a few years, learning about places, people, and objects and photographing them. He collects stories and images while having many conversations: for some Highway of Freedom is a place of work (either legal or illegal), for others it is a passage, a sphere of change, a generator of questions and answers, a formative moment, a dream about freedom, and a utopian vision of better life in the East or West. Those who stay or come back have their own reasons.

Autobahn der Freiheit is a project under construction.


Mateusz Skóra – studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, as well history of art at Adam Mickiewicz University. He exhibited his works in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan and Wigry. Participated in photography projects incubator Migawki in Warsaw, completed a residency program in Dom Pracy Twórczej [trans. House of Creative Work] in Wigry.

Anka Herbut – dramaturg, curator and critic. Writes about art, theatre and dance. Publishes in Dwutygodnik, BIURo, POST, Monogram and published by Wroclaw’s Food Think Tank Gastro Zin. Belongs to a multidisciplinary artistic formation in Wroclaw called Identity Problem Group [IP] with which she manages a laboratory-gallery space IP Studio.


Mateusz Skóra
Autobahn Der Freiheit / ProfiLab TIFF Open
curator: Anka Herbut
1 – 11 September 2016
IP Studio
46a Ruska Street, 3rd Floor, Wroclaw

About exhibition (PDF)