The almost twenty-year-old tradition of the "Interactions" festival requires reflections, conclusions and summaries that allow for the closure of one program cycle and at the same time opening a new perspective of the project.
"The End" and "The Beginning" are the key words that bind together the twenty-year series of the "Interactions" festival held in Piotrków Trybunalski in the years 1999 - 2017. This is enough time to bring up a historical perspective subject to archiving, hypotheses and analyzes. It entitles us to summarize from the point of view of the initiators and implementers of the project. On their basis, we try to plot the future of the "Interactions" festival, starting from 2019. So we are dealing with a historical analysis, elements of reconstruction related to the tradition of French post-Dadaism and Fluxus, and their contemporary consequences. We treat the twentieth festival "Interactions" as a key factor in the conscious closing of a certain series and at the same time working out and opening a new festival formula.
Hence the two distinct stages of this year's festival. The first one, from the perspective of twenty years, will present the French artistic community, which has made a key contribution to the founding process of Interaction. It will be confronted with Polish participants of the first festival. An important element of the project will be the presentation of people, places, ideas, documents and facts related to the first festival. The curator of this part of the festival, which takes place in accordance with the tradition in the month of May, will be, like twenty years earlier, Polish artist Ryszard Piegza, living in Paris. This stage will be an attempt to define from the perspective of twenty years the fact of starting "Interaction" and the emerging founding myth. It will be an attempt to answer the question of how the structure of the festival, participants and the slogan shape its later editions. Therefore, we will discuss the history, treating the output of "Interakcja" as an extremely 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 "The Beginning", a new perspective that involves a substantive reference to the meaning of "peripheries" treated as multi-level reality on a spatial, mental and technological scale. We want to raise the importance of the notion of periphery in relation to the recognized and exposed center. The concept of "center - periphery" was mentioned at the first festival as a reference both to the perception of performance art in the field 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. After twenty years, it is necessary to verify the basic features of these two opposing concepts in the face of technological, informational and mental changes.
The first festival indicating and confirming the radiation of the great tradition of the center, which was Paris and its culture, exhibited the idea of the center related to the broadly understood periphery. This year we assume a vector inversion, focusing on peripheral places and their influence on the center with its established status. Hence, the decisive factor is not only the location of the festival, but also the selection of appropriate artists from countries such as Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, China, Israel, Poland. In September, we will present Polish and foreign artists who treat action art as an intermedium related to other art disciplines, such as drawing, sculpture, installation, film, or choreography, which is becoming more and more visible in the space of ephemeral arts. The invited foreign artists were selected as outstanding representatives of live art, previously absent from the "Interactions" in Piotrków Trybunalski. Polish artists are also those with a recognized position both in Poland and in the world, as well as a group of young and middle-aged artists who in the past debuted at "Interactions", and today successfully continue their work in the field of live art. This will create an opportunity for a bipolar problem and generational 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 artists and artistic attitudes particularly important for the development of this discipline. Therefore, an inseparable part of the festival are presentations of selected artists considered to be "classics of the genre", historical materials, project documentation and galleries that influenced the shaping of Polish and world living art space. The ideas of Dadaism, Fluxus, process art or the assumptions of contextual art formulated by Jan Świdziński, co-founder and patron of Interaction, directly influence the shape and development of the festival. Meetings with artists, exhibitions, documentation presentations will fill the period from May to September.