Where Monday is on Sunday
11-18 November 2011
11 November Friday
Wojciech Bąkowski, Take a Minute, 2011, performance. Photo : Marcin Gwiazdowski Courtesy Stereo, Poznań
What is ‘Attention Fission’ about? It is about the transformation of a point into a stain. The power that is associated with the concentration of energy – such as the concentration of energy needed when aiming to do some work – will be demonstrated here using the reverse phenomena of fission. Fission is associated with atomic energy. It is the opposite of concentration, which is associated with the state of mind. I know from experience that too much concentration can weaken human action. This is because many human actions are performed subconsciously and instinctively. Concentration may distract, though distraction can help and enhance like splitting in nuclear physics. In my performance, power is associated with inattention and splitting. I will be trying to achieve this with the help of sound recorded on audio tapes. By copying a one word recording over and over via open microphones, from one tape onto another and back again, I will end up with a homogenous and loud noise. Is there a link between your activity in the Niwea band and your performance activity? Supposedly yes, because general music sensibility and the acquired ability to perform drives me to experiments like audio-performances. My experience then broadens the scope of my stage behavior. A specific, audio-performative approach to sound helps me search for new forms of the pieces themselves. People associate you mainly with animated films and music and your performance activities seem to be of marginal significance to them. You seem to find something interesting in performance art – what is it? I am interested in the ritual. Performance to me is a form of shamanistic activity and on the stage I can only take the liberty of performing to a certain extent. Music and poetry are at their most important there. Performance enables me to do some activities at their most extreme and to transform events into artworks. Because my activity functions within various disciplines, I am trying to dedicate a special role to performance. My performances are intended to differ substantially from musical performances, animated movies and objects. They are intended as events. They have been taking on the form of minimalistic mystery plays for some time.
11 November Friday
Oskar Dawicki, performance, 2001, Krakow, Muzeum Archeologiczne
The lights went out. Oskar’s silhouette slowly loomed into view out of the darkness. He came before the audience, gave a slight bow and delved into the pockets of his glitter-sprinkled jacket . From the left one, he produced a white handkerchief, from the right, a tiny bottle with a small chemist’s label reading ‘chloroform’. He unscrewed it and began to saturate the cloth with the liquid. He crouched down, put the flask on the floor, drew himself up and, that very instant, with a quick sweep of his arm, he took a swing at himself, covering his mouth and nose with the damp handkerchief. It looked very much like an old thriller – as through some mysterious figure hidden behind his back had suddenly launched an attack, intent on putting the performer to sleep. In a no less dramatic manner, tightly pressing the chloroformed cloth to his face, Oskar struggled against the natural defensive reflex of the organism, compelling him to stay conscious at all costs, throwing off his own suicidal hand. The artist’s organism had no intention of giving up without a fight, of letting this absurd kidnapping of the self by the self, this infliction of sleep on the self, the audacious stealing of one’s own consciousness, happen. But eventually Oskar collapsed into a heap on the floor, thus bringing the performance to a close. The unconscious amateur anesthesiologist was lying on the floor, overcome by sleep after a successful operation on himself. A classic escape at all costs.  The authors’ poetic license. In reality, each performance by Oskar Dawicki begins in an almost identical manner. A microphone and a chair with the performer’s glittering jacket thrown over it stand on the illuminated stage. The artist enters the stage and puts on the jacket – then the performance begins. Oskar starts by delivering or playing back an opening speech: ‘Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Oskar Dawicki. I came from Warsaw [or Poland]. I bid you a most hearty welcome. It is a great pleasure to perform in front of you here tonight. Before I pass on to the performance, I believe, I owe you a few words of explanation...’
11 November Friday
Prinz Gholam, Untitled, 2010 (fragment) Photo : Ingvar Högni Ragnarsson. Courtesy Prinz Gholam and Gallery Jocelyn Wolff, Paris
Since our first live work, which was presented in a small deserted wood in the heart of Berlin in 2004, we keep on using the present moment to deploy a whole archive dealing with the prescribed idealistic and realistic bodily poses from iconographic history. We have rediscovered and used them as sources to be appropriated, embodied and decontextualized by ourselves as a couple. A network of tableaux is deployed, which is ruled by immobility and complete absorption as if no beholder is present. Resisting the flow of movement, a subjective interpretation of time and space establishes itself. Along with live performance, we have been developing ways to document and prescribe our moves through text, video and photography.
11 November Friday