?A Bathtub With a Colonnade. A Book of Reportage on Polish Space?
Foreword by Andrzej Stasiuk
Wanna z kolumnadą. Reportaże o polskiej przestrzeni, reportage,
Czarne 2013, 248 pages,
Poland had one of the best spatial planning systems in Europe; in fact, it was so good that it was emulated by many countries. For example Germany. But that was before the Second World War. After the war, the system was centralised. And in new Poland there is neither central nor spatial planning.
This is ostensibly because the process of planning is boring and boils down to laws, regulations, graphs, drafts and terminology. So there is no planning, only chaos throughout. However, Filip Springer fearlessly dedicated himself to the task of finding a method in this madness. Undeterred by fences, meandering among hundreds of billboards, he travelled the length and breadth of the country. His trip took him to cities and towns big and small, ghost streets, suburbs without roads or pavements, bridges spanning non-existent rivers. He talked to officials, scientists, architects and residents of new, promisingly named housing estates which had turned out to be places of banishment and exile. He found an Egyptian pyramid in Silesia, a variation on the Parthenon in Jelonki and a Venetian palace near Warsaw. During his travels he also stumbled upon a new disease: pastelosis.
The seemingly dull topic has been thus transformed into a fascinating story about the country in which we live and the people who shape our reality. A story which is partly funny and partly scary. A story of spatial order ? a phenomenon ?everybody has heard of but not seen in Poland for a very long time?.
?Bath with a Colonnade? is like a documentary series, and its author the Sir David Attenborough of native ugliness. He wanders through the jungles of trash, climbs the peaks of tastelessness, and dives in oceans of kitsch.”
– Marcin Wicha, Tygodnik Powszechny
?This book should be the start of a great national discussion; all opinion?forming TV programmes and magazines should be talking about it.It is a story about Poland, and of course we love talking about Poland; the more so because Filip Springer?s ?Bath with a Colonnade? touches on the loftier aspects of life.?
– Krzysztof Varga , Gazeta Wyborcza
?In 2012 , the readers of POLITYKA selected the Greatest Monster in the 3rd Republic ? the Hotel Gołębiewski in Karpacz. ?Bath with a Colonnade? could not help but include this jewel in the crown.One of our most talented young journalists has devoted an article to it, giving the essence of the whole book. It is highly entertaining, although in fact there is nothing to laugh about.?
– Krzysztof Cieślik, Tygodnik Polityka
?There is almost certainly no other Polish prose that could strike so hard with its objectivity and its uncompromising look at its chosen subject as ?Bath with a Colonnade?.?
– Katarzyna Nowicka, mgzn.pl
?As an epidemiologist Springer is extremely meticulous.He first attends to the affected individuals (the Hotel Sobieski in Warsaw), selects the risk group (many buildings with simple facades), analyses the symptoms (“non-white”, “non-grey”, “non-beige” any other colour is accepted, and pastels dominate), recalls clumsy attempts at treatment (pospoliteruszenie.com <http://pospoliteruszenie.com>), and tries to find the cause (the uninhibited imagination of officials and general social acceptance). ”
– Agnieszka Mazuś, Dziennik Wschodni
“I have no hesitation in saying that we have before us one of the most valuable reports on today’s Poland created in recent years.?
– Joanna Kuhn, ksiazki.wp.pl
?The fourth ? after ?Miedzianka?, ?Born Bad?, and ?Leaven? ? book by Filip Springer fits seamlessly into the work of the young reporter. Once again, in the centre of the story is a space, the people living in it, and the relationships between the places and the inhabitants. ”
– Katarzyna Czaja, artpapier.pl