Paweł Althamer

Marzyciel (Dreamer) (2011) is a bus transformed into a mobile art gallery and meeting place by Paweł Althamer in cooperation with the inhabitants of Broniów and Ostałówek (Southern Mazowia, Szydłowiec County). The vehicle has been painted gold and its exterior decorated with a bas-relief by the artist. The interior has been designed for comfortable travel – besides conventional seats, it has been equipped with living quarters and a small playroom.

The project is a continuation of Althamer’s works based on the participation and collaboration of various social groups. The refurbishment of an old bus in Broniów and Ostawłówek refers to Tomasz Rakowski’s novel Hunters, Gatherers, Practitioners of Mediocrity, in which the author describes the locally popular occupation of auto tuning and the accompanying culture of collective listening to music, developed as a result of a need for community experience. A journey aboard the Dreamer is an invitation to a different kind of collective experience. The bus is going to host workshops and group activities. Above all, its passengers will have opportunities to observe through the windows clippings of reality selected by the artist. Perceiving one’s most immediate environment, its rediscovery, is a returning motif in Althamer’s art, explored in his walks as well as his many travels. The vehicles he exploits (buses, boats, airplanes) are not only instruments of physical relocation, but also vehicles of transformation. To Althamer, travel signifies freedom from barriers and limitations. Through its mobility, the golden bus is a “non-place”, an “in-between” space lifted out of everyday life. Within it, relationships, norms, and conventions must be redefined.  Althamer’s project comes close to Foucault’s idea of heterotropy. In his essay “Of Other Spaces” (1967), the French philosopher wrote, “A ship is heterotropy par excellence. In a boatless civilization, dreams dry out.”

Journeys aboard the Dreamer took place in November and December of 2011.


A Paweł Althamer project in cooperation with Bruno Althamer, Paulina Antoniewicz, Diana Grabowska, Kasia Zbroszczyk, Wojtek Zbroszczyk.

Photo documentation: Tomek Kaczor, Janek Mencwel

Project financed by the City of Warsaw