The third day of the Interactions festival began with Przemysław Kwiek's action at the intersection of two busy streets. The artist set fire to two metal heads - Fryderyk Chopin and Maria Curie-Skłodowska. The pedestals for the heads were two brick posts - elements of a lattice structure, which the artist made in this place during one of the previous editions of the festival. He filled the structure of Chopin's head with clearings and Curie-Skłodowska with hay. The action ended when the contents of the heads were completely burnt. It is worth noting that Przemysław Kwiek no longer calls his actions performance, which is a word that refers to action, but? Appearance? from the word appear or? to appear ?.
Before the evening actions, the idea and website of the Open Archive of Performance Art were presented. The project was presented by Paulina Kempisty from Galeria Labirynt in Lublin. The Open Archive is a collection of performance documentation donated by artists for the purpose of storing and disseminating this field of art. The initiator of the archive was Waldemar Tatarczuk.
The evening program comprised eight actions which lasted almost until midnight. Monika Szydłowska started.
Monika Szydłowska (Poland)
Szydłowska based her performance on repetition. Its structure was defined by the words of evacuation and safety instructions spoken on each plane before take-off. During the action, they were repeated in a loop. The artist, like the flight attendants, made gestures illustrating the message flowing from the speakers. The props she used were, among others: an oxygen mask, a safety vest, seat belts. Another element of the action was a small TV set on the floor in front of the audience, on which the film was broadcast. The black and white image was not clearly visible from a great distance, but it could be seen that it showed a scene in a landscape.
With sequentially repeated sequences of instructions, Szydłowska introduced various modifications? she let her hair down, took off her T-shirt, sometimes she left some elements, for example staying motionless for a long time with an oxygen mask on. She also introduced elements unrelated to the illustration of instructions: she answered a cell phone, lit a cigarette, and drank water. The performance ended with inflating a life vest.
Soren Dahlgaard (Denmark)
In Dahlgaard's performance there was a strong division of opposing elements: active and passive, artist and model, black and white. The artist poured paint on models. Sam performed in a costume made of? baguettes. He used baguettes both to apply paint? acted as a tool and anonymity? hid his face. Dahlgaard pouring paint on models? Created? first a white figure, then a black figure.
The result of the action was very visually effective and contrasted with the grotesque, "baguette"? artist figure. Dahlgaard used female figures objectively, treating them as living sculptures. This fits in with the scheme of objectifying a female model quite common in the history of art. In the case of this action, the artist did not negate it, but duplicated it without reflection. The dedication of the models was especially admirable in this case, because apart from the visual aspect, no other advantages of this performance can be found.
Restaurant Europa Group (Poland)
The performance was performed by a man (Piotr Gajda) and a woman (Olga Nowakowska). The props were a board made of cloth, pins with pearl-shaped heads, two chairs, a stick, chalk and two juices.
The artists started the action by drinking the juices "on time", and then each of them took up a different activity. The man was drawing a kind of track with chalk, the woman was sticking pins into the board and creating the inscription "I would like to be called real like a Cuban cigar twisted on women's thighs". Then they started the "bottle cap race". When they reached the finish line, they blinded each other's eyes. This action can be interpreted as a story about male and female energy, competition between them, but also friendship and cooperation.
Ramon Churruca (Spain)
Churruca began his speech by sharing with the audience his impressions gained during his stay in Poland, where he is for the first time. The artist's props were a poster with the figure of John Paul II, spirit, and colorful letters. There was also a star of David, which the artist painted on his forehead. His statement, like the rest of the performance, was very expressive and did not have a consistent character or specific structure. It was more like a flowing stream of free associations, a kind of trance.
In the performance, the artist used fire, glitter and red paint, emphasizing the value and power of positive, healthy, joyful energy and vitality. The action was complemented by screen projections with which Churruca entered into dialogue. The artist finished the performance in the yard next to the gallery, placing there a poster with the image of the Polish Pope and paying? Tribute? Polish Catholicism? zealous? prayer.
Antoni Karwowski (Poland)
Antoni Karwowski in his performance referred to the concept of innocence. The colors that appeared in the action - white, red and black - have acquired a symbolic meaning in this context. The dominant feature of the action space was a stone tied to the ceiling, suspended above the ground. During the performance, Karwowski was dressed in a white shirt and black pants. He began by distributing glass marbles - elements of a once popular game to a few audience members. The artist presented them in such a way that only people next to the recipient could see what it was. Each time he passed the item, he turned on the music box. When juxtaposed: the gesture of giving something to someone and the sound of the music box had something sentimental about them, evoking childhood.
Then the artist began to wrap his feet with a bandage, writing the letters "innocence" on the next layers of it. The artist walked over to the stone and set it in a circular motion, then lay down under it and began repeating the rotation of the stone with his body. A liquid was flowing from the performer's mouth, thus drawing a circle. Then he got up, untied the bandages from his legs and next to the black circle he placed another - white one, on which a red inscription? Innocence? (innocence) and set fire to the bandage. The artist ended the action by running, almost there, in the burning circle, but he did not cross its border.
In Karwowski's performance, apart from the title? Innocence? the aspect of time seems to be an important element. The stone, which had become a kind of pendulum, reminded us of the passage of time. However, he drew a circle that brought to mind not the changeability of time, but its cyclicality, the repetition of certain events. On the one hand, Karwowski's performance was a kind of ritual, which made it possible to perceive it intuitively, but, importantly, it was characterized by the consistency of the structure, its subsequent stages were a consequence of previous gestures.
Moe Satt (Burma)
Satta's performance evoked associations with meditation techniques. The artist's basic tool of expression was his body, especially his hands, with which he made various gestures. Satt also involved the audience in his performance, asking individuals to repeat the gestures he made.
The meditative nature of this speech was emphasized by the costume typical of the artist's region, as well as by the uniform, high-pitched sound he made while acting.
BBB Johannes Deimling (Germany)
Johannes Deimling's performance can be interpreted as an attempt to settle accounts with his own past and childhood experiences. This was suggested by a film from the family archive displayed behind the artist. It showed children playing on the seashore.
At the action site, props were prepared - a fish and a cake, and between them a lit candle and a chair. Deimling's performance had a clear structure. The action was held together by two words written by the artist at the beginning and end of the action:? Prologue? and? epilogue ?. In the opening scene, the artist showed that he couldn't catch his breath. In the epilogue? He took a breath ?, as if performing this performance gave him relief, it was a kind of catharsis for him.
The artist used the prepared props in an unconventional, metaphorical and poetic way. He tied the fish around his neck like a tie. This gesture was associated with the moment of adolescence - the transition from childhood to adulthood, the suspension between these two worlds. He sat down on the chair and looked at the audience. After a while, a trickle of white liquid began to flow from under the seat of the chair - probably milk. Then the artist? Stuck? a fish hung from the neck to the floor and began to? paint? around her until he crushed her. He sat down in the chair again and put on his birthday cake like a crown, which he then crushed with his hands. Finally he came to a burning candle and set fire to the white shirt he had been wearing throughout the action. Dropping it could be perceived as a symbol of liberation, the destruction of some memory from the past.
Non Grata Group (Estonia)
At the end, the gallery was taken over by the Non Grata group. The scenes were happening simultaneously. There was no action center, the performers mixed with the audience. The action gave the impression of complete chaos and anarchy. The gallery walls have been smeared with inscriptions and? Charts? type? god? ? fear machine? ? street fight? "interaction animal". These charts were a kind of pattern of simultaneous or dynamic sequential actions: "tearing feathers", pelting dead chickens, using a flamethrower. The group showed a situation in which the existing order is destroyed, only for the sake of destruction, without offering anything in return.
The other two days of the Festival (May 12 and 13) were equally interesting, and sometimes even more. The curator's commitment and effort put into the implementation of such an intensive program is admirable. There will be time for substantive reflection. At this point, we will end our report, because it is impossible to describe everything, and whoever was not should regret it.
The bond that the organizers managed to create is certainly unusual in the Interactions Festival in the social aspect? Piotr Gajda and Gordian Piec with the local community. The audience always comes in large numbers, not only at the opening and closing of the festival. The audience is full every day. It is also worth mentioning the team of faithful volunteers, which is an invaluable help for the organizers. Many of them have been working on Interactions for several years, and some of them? eg Olga Nowakowska are already taking their first steps in performance art.
This year, for the first time, Jan Świdziński could not participate in the Festival? artist and theorist, known for his achievements in both fields. It was his person and recommendation that at the beginning attracted high-class performance artists from all over the world to Piotrków Trybunalski. Although in recent years he has participated in Interactions less intensively (the artist is 88 years old), it turns out that his presence was significant, and in a way symbolic for the character and atmosphere of this event. We hope to see Jan again next year as an artist and viewer of the 14 Interactions Art Festival.
Anka Leśniak, Karolina Jabłońska