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Wrong Connection

Railways 1435 mm and 1520 mm. Lenght 30 m.

Produced for Open City Lublin, 2013

The installation “Wrong Connection” was created for public space and installed in front of the City Hall of Lublin in Poland. This site is one of the most Eastern geographical points of the EU, and at the same time, the first symbol of the West for people traveling in the opposite direction from Ukraine, Belarus, or Russia. The construction of two different rail standards (European and Post-Soviet) can come to stand in for political obstacle; at the same time they also become a real obstacle in the most pedestrian sense. In local political contexts, where the Municipality is proclaimed as being open to all citizens, the obstacle signifies a question: can an institution really be open, or is this possible only on a formal level, rather than on the level of real openness to people's demands?

“Wrong Connection” directly refers to the documentary “89 mm from Europe” (1993) filmed by Polish / French film director Marcel Lozinski in a hangar on the border where trains’ wheels are changed in order to adapt the gauge to a differently sized set of rails. Different standards for railway tracks in the USSR versus Europe are an example of an inherited infrastructural transport barrier that still poses issues. In addition to this, there are also administrative obstacles: visa procedures, luggage, or other restrictions. Changing train wheels has become a ritual, quickly executed from day-to-day, in which citizens of different countries all must suffer the same disadvantages: they anxiously wait without IDs, which have been taken by the Border Service for a couple of hours. The main gesture in this installation alludes to the idea that, over the last 20 years since Lozinski's documentary was filmed, not so much has changed in relations between West and East.


Site: plac Lokietka, Lublin, PL
Status: temporary, dismantled after the festival