Hercus Kuncius & Malgorzata Kazmierczak, performance “Seven dreams”, Castle of Imagination 1998.


[…] The performance also took an unexpected course. Kuncius dressed in the sailor hat of a holiday-maker with a caption: m/s Ustka, Kapitan, delivered a speech, mumbling in a very elegant manner, while Malgorzata Kazmierczak read dispassionately the translation of his mumble into English:

1. If I were the image of Julio Iglesias, I would call on Andy Warhol in New York. The old man would be happy to see me and would invite me to go with him to the unpredictable Central Park. We would walk, loaf around, be afraid, hide in the bushes, and then he would say to me: UNFATHOMABLE PEDRO, I LIKE YOU …
2. If I were a poor orphan, I would visit Gilbert & George, thriving in London, they wouldn’t invite me anywhere, but they would promise to adopt me. I would thank them and say: HEY, GUYS, I’M OLD ENOUGH TO BE YOUR FATHER
3. If I were as slippery as a snake and incorrigibly nosy, I would slip backstage at the Paris Opera Garnier, where supple and lithe Rudolf Nuriev awaits to go on stage. He would look at me intently and say: WAIT FOR ME IN THE TOILET OF THE NEAREST McDONALD’S
4. If I were a conservative pope, I would drop into a chapel in the prosperous Vatican City to see how the restless Michael Angelo is doing under my patronage. I would distract him from his work, force him to descend to earth and say to him: MY DEAR, ISN’T IT TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE A BREAK AND RELAX…
5. If I were an experienced surrealist, I would talk to the young Salvador Dali in sunny Barcelona. When parting, he would say: ANDRE BRETON, ANDRE MASSON, LUI ARAGON, MAX ERNTS, ROGER VITRAC, ANTONIN ARTAUD, ETC. ARE DRAINED MARSHES WHEN I COMPARE THEM WITH MY INFINITE OCEAN…
6. If I were a courageous symbolist, I would knock at the door of “L’hotel d’Alsace”, Paris, in 1900. If nobody answered, I would break the door down. And later Oscar Wilde would say to me: YOU GAVE ME A BIT OF WARMTH BEFORE MY DEATH…
7. If I were an impenitent humanist, I would save Ernst Röm’s life. Then, wishing to thank me, he would say: I APPOINT YOU THE CURATOR OF “ENTARTETE KUNST…” – “IMMER BEREIT !!!” – I WOULD SWEAR, AND AFTER SOME TIME I WOULD PROSPER MONUMENTALLY

In the end, the artist stammered something briefly and added: Merci.

At his final performance at the Cabaret Voltaire on June 23, 1916, that is 82 years and 2 days before Hercus Kuncius, Hugo Ball had recited his legendary sound poems that happened to be typical for the Dada anti-art, anti-logic stance. It was the rejection of traditional European values exacerbated, by the brutality of the World War I. Ball’s rejection of intelligible content in his sound poems was not simply meant as an absurd slap in the face of convention, but was conceived as a transcendental declamation. The poems were part of the Dada search for new forms and meaning in art that could purify culture. The necessity of purifying culture is still a living issue.

Text: Władysław Kaźmierczak


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