Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

The basic point of the activities at the Open Form Studio consisted in building a learning and evolving group of people. Activities provoked by the camera belong to the last stage of the project. According to Zbigniew Libera, they are somewhat of peak achievements and the climax of the activities at his studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

Exercise 2 has no script whatsoever – what matters here is the incessant activity and improvisation. Libera later recalled his experiences during the shooting of the film: “I said: ‘Do something’. Just: ‘do something, anything’, and then I realised that it was the most exciting moment for them as they faced overwhelming freedom; there was no topic, nothing they could stick to.”

The task performed by the students consists in observing the behaviour of other participants and responding spontaneously and creatively to their actions. In order to avoid reflection or analysis, the actors have only a few seconds to react. Students use various props from the studio, they co-create the exercise and include the camera within their activities. The camera operator has a significant role to play, since he not only provokes others to perform, but also becomes an element of their actions. At the same time, he has to remember that the only trace (documentation) of the exercise will come from the very camera.

References: Ł. Ronduda, Zbigniew Libera: Open Form Studio, Prague 2011; Jedyny dyplom jaki mam to zwolnienie z więzienia. Zbigniew Libera interviewed by Janek Sowa, in: I. Illich, Odszkolnić Społeczeństwo, Warsaw 2010.