Almost 20-years old tradition of the Interactions festival engages us in reflection, conclusions and summaries that allow closing one program cycle and simultaneously open a new project perspective.
“End” and “Beginning” are the keywords locking the twenty-year cycle of the “Interactions” festival implemented in Piotrków Trybunalski in years 1999 to 2017. This is a sufficient period to recall a historical perspective subjected to archiving mechanisms, hypotheses and analyzes. It authorizes us to summaries from the point of view of initiators and project implementers. Based on them, we try to expunge a perspective of the future of “Interactions” festivals starting from 2019. We are dealing with a historical analysis, elements of reconstruction associated with the tradition of the French post Dadaism and fluxus and their contemporary consequences. We treat the 20th festival of Interactions as essential to the conscious closure of a particular cycle and at the same time to elaborate and open a new formula of the festival.
Hence, the two distinct stages of this year’s edition of the festival. The primary will present, from the perspective of twenty years, the French art community, which has a crucial contribution to the founding process of “Interactions”. It will be confronted with Polish contributors of the first festival. A significant element of the project will be the presentation of people, places, ideas, documents and facts associated with the first festival. The curator of this part of the festival, taking place according to tradition in the month of may, will be, like twenty years ago Ryszard Piegza, a Polish artist living in Paris. This stage will be an attempt to define from the perspective of twenty years the fact of starting “Interactions” and the forming of founding myth. It will constitute an attempt to answer the question of how the structure of the festival, participants and the countersign shape its later editions. Therefore, we will undertake a discussion on history, treating the output of Interactions as an exceedingly valuable capital for reflection on the art of action in the world.
The second part, planned for September 2018, is the implementation of the concept of “Beginning”, a new perspective that assumes a substantive reference to the meaning of the “outskirts” treated as a multileveled reality on a spatial, mental and technological scale. We want to raise the concept of outskirts in relation to the recognized and displayed center. The term “center – outskirts” was already evoked at the first festival as a reference both to the perception of performance art in the range of visual arts and to the location of the festival in Piotrków Trybunalski, a city outside the mainstream of cultural or scientific activities but endowed with a rich historical context. It is necessary to verify the basic features of these two opposing concepts in the face of technological, informational and mental changes that occurred after twenty years.
The first festival indicating and confirming the radiation of the great tradition of the center, which was Paris and its culture, exposed the idea of the center connected with the broadly peripheral ones. This year, we assume a vector reversal, focusing on outskirts locations and their impact in the center with its established status. Therefore, it is not only the location of the festival that is decisive, but also the selection of suitable artists from such countries as Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, China, Israel and Poland. In September, we will present Polish and foreign artists who treat the art of action as an intermedium connected with other disciplines of art such as drawing, sculpture, installation, film or increasingly evident in the space of ephemeral arts, choreography. Invited foreign artists have been selected as outstanding representatives of the live art, up till now absent at “Interactions”. Polish artists are also those with a acknowledged positions both in Poland and in the world, as well as a group of young and middle-aged artists who in the past made their debuts at “Interactions” and now successfully continue their work in the field of live art. This will create a chance for a bipolar generational and problem order.
An important element building the festival is reaching for the most interesting facts and phenomena from the history of Polish and world art, honoring creators and artistic attitudes that are particularly important for the development of this discipline. Therefore, the inseparable point of the festival are presentations of selected artists considered the “classics of the genre,” historical materials, documentation of projects and galleries that have influenced the formation of the space of Polish and world living art. Ideas of Dadaism, Fluxus, processual art or formulated by Jan Świdziński, co-founder and patron of “Interactions”, assumptions of contextual art directly affect the form and development of the festival. Meetings with artists, exhibitions, documentation presentations will fill the period from May to September.