An interview with Wladyslaw Kazmierczak about two performances: Wladyslaw Kazmierczak & Ewa Rybska, The transcendental deduction / relation in time at MAP Live Evening November 20th 2010, Source Café, Carlisle and The transcendental deduction / trust at OUI Performance #3, 12 March 2011, Space 109, York.
Malgorzata Kazmierczak: Both of your recent performances clearly refer to two famous performances of Ambramovic and Ulay: “Relation in Time” from 1977 and “Rest Energy” from 1980. Why have you decided to use them?
Wladyslaw Kazmierczak: Studying books, reading the descriptions and looking at the video documentation of performance pieces of the iconic performance artists we see that many performances from that time were very simple. We wanted to explore two performances of Ulay & Abramovic: Relation in Time where the couple sat back to back with their long hair tied together in a continuous bun, linking the backs of their heads together and holding them fast to each other and Rest Energy where they demonstrated publicly their trust in each other: Abramovic held a bow, while Ulay notched an arrow in the string and aimed it at her heart. We wanted to find our own position as a duo of performers in the context of the most famous icon Ulay & Abramovic with a little help of Emmanuel Kant philosophy.
The entire interview was published at: http://livinggallery.info/text/kazmierczak
Malgorzata Kazmierczak: I read your essay in Total Art Journal, where you say that your motive to take up performance art was purely personal and that it saved your life. Could you tell the story to our readers?
Paul Couillard: In 1984 I was working as a civil servant in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Of course I was aware of Orwell’s book, and I felt some discomforting similarities with my own job, which was to answer complaint letters directed to the president of Canada Post Corporation. My success was measured not in whether people’s problems were solved or not, but in how many letters could be answered each day. Then a machine fitted with a mechanical template would sign the president’s name using a pen – either with a formal or more personalized signature, depending on the recipient; the letter would go out, and the file would be closed. This was a quite illuminating if somewhat depressing lesson for me in the workings of bureaucracy. Anyway, I felt like my soul was dying, even though I was making an excellent salary and was being groomed for higher positions. I could not find any meaning in this life, and I was on a very negative emotional and psychological track. If things continued for me in this manner, I am quite certain I would have killed someone, most likely myself, but possibly another human being. I knew this was a very unhealthy way to think, but I did not know how to alleviate my inner desolation.
The entire interview was published at: http://www.livinggallery.info/web/projects/pcouillard