Anarchia i nowa sztuka. 100-lecie dadaizmu [Anarchy and New Art. 100 years of Dadaism] edited by Malgorzata Kazmierczak, with essays written by: Łukasz Białkowski, Ania Chromik, Wojciech Ciesielski, Marta Czyż, Władysław Kaźmierczak, Stach Szabłowski, Andrzej Szpindler, Andrzej Turowski. Review: Paweł Leszkowicz.
[…] 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
Between March 22nd and April 19th in the gallery BWA Sokol, Nowy Sącz, Poland a photography exhibition by Manuel Vason was presented. It was titled RE-PERFORMANCE. Between performance and photography, and I had the pleasure to curate this exhibit. Since I am not in a position to write a critical text about an exhibition which I curated, I would like to merely document the show and the performances that took place during the opening. These were performances by Dariusz Fodczuk and Anne Seagrave – one of the artists featured in the exhibition.
During the exhibition photos of international cutting edge performance artists were shown: Stuart Brisley, Anne Seagrave, Alastair MacLennan, Władysław Kaźmierczak & Ewa Rybska, Suka OFFduo, Helen Spackmann, Joshua Sofaer, Sachiko Abe, Ronald Frazer Munroe and Franko B. In accordance with the spirit of the collaborative aspect of the photos, I treated the exhibition as a group show by Manuel Vason and the performance artists presented in the photos. An important element of the presentation were the displayed statements of these artists outlining their thoughts about the collaboration process with Manuel Vason.
The full version of the text was published at: http://livinggallery.info/text/vason
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
The subject of the documentation of performance art has always been controversial. Firstly, performance artists, especially in the 1970s and 1980s treated documentation only as a mere trace of the live action which allowed them to preserve it better in their memory. Documentation could not aspire to be an independent work of art and was secondary to the live action. Performance artists who started their career in 1970s and 1980s maintained a distrust towards documentation. This originated from an aversion towards institutions, the production of artworks instead of the conceptual art of “making meanings” and the commercialisation of ephemeral art that it would cause.
Since museums have started to exhibit and collect performance art, we are concerned here with the problem of archiving this kind of art. One of the most discussed strategies has become re-enactment. The method is about re-creating a performance piece in a different space and time keeping the most authentic aspects of the original. Re-enactment is not so much an artistic activity, but rather a “technique” used to preserve an ephemeral artwork – aperformance. Almost from the first happenings and performances there was another popular method of archiving and preserving performance art: the phenomenon of creating a performance-for-camera and new artworks emerged in the form of video and photography (like for example the work of Rudolf Schwarzkogler or Valie Export).
As being an effect of collaboration with performance artists, Manuel Vason’s photographs connect the above mentioned strategies of performance art archiving in an interesting way. They are single, synthetic images that reflect both the visual side of the action and its idea. Even though Vason does not aim at re-enactment, repeating or staging an image from an already completed performance, he looks for a certain sign, some particular synthetic vision which in his opinion will be close to the performer’s art practice. Then together with them he tries to stage an image. In some cases the specifics of the action is emphasised by the space in which the photo was taken. In another – the space remains neutral and the performer is described by just one gesture, a “pose” giving the impression of a dynamic action. The photos tell a story, stimulate the viewer’s imagination and cause the performance to re-happen in his/her mind and therefore they are a kind of “re-performance”.
During the exhibition in BWA Sokół, there will be photos of international cutting edge performance artists shown: Stuart Brisley, Anne Seagrave, Alastair MacLennan, Władysław Kaźmierczak and Ewa Rybska, Suka OFF duo, Helen Spackmann, Joshua Sofaer, Sachiko Abe, Ronald Frazer Munroe and Franko B. An important element of the presentation of the photos will be the statements of these artists about their collaboration with Manuel Vason. During the opening there will be performances by Dariusz Fodczuk and Anne Seagrave, one of the artists featured in the exhibition.