Filmoteka Muzeum

During the presentation, the artist merged at least three performances (the present footage includes only two of them), developing an alternate rhythm of artistic action based on the antinomies “loud/silent, static/dynamic, expressive/little expression”. He began sitting back to the audience, with his face in the corner of the room, emitting loud inarticulate sounds. Moving his face to the sides, he let his voice “describe the space”.

Then, the artist sat by the table with spilt sand, wearing glasses with covered lenses, to begin his “sand étude” consisting in blowing and “listening to” single grains of sand. The artist had already used sand before in his action at Krzysztofory in Cracow in 1984, where he sifted and sorted it to grasp a single grain – when there were only several grains left in his hand, he listened to them crunch under his fingers and blew all but one.

The artist threw the grain of sand on the floor. When the light went off, he grabbed a piece of darkness in his hands, which he then kept inside for 10 minutes. He eventually let the darkness out and demonstrated a plastic cast of the interior of his hands – the cast of darkness. Thus, Warpechowski evoked the action 10 Minutes – Stagnation of Darkness from PL Gallery in December 1973 (there the artist also used a piece of photosensitive negative). It is one of the performances involving the hypostasis of nothingness, where the artist strives for the “empty concept of ‘Nothing’ to have its own and only its own, real history ascribed (forever), i.e. for ‘Nothing’ to become a ‘quality of the real’”.

The artist looks beyond the sphere of visible phenomena, to the „deeper level of the most significant existential and spiritual experiences”, in an attempt to enter the field of the fundamental experience of nothingness and the clarity of the self – “the mind-boggling NOTHING, one of the most disturbing concepts that human mind has ever come up with”. For Warpechowski, this nothingness also has a “totemic” value, expressing his spiritual connection with the world of art.

These performances merge the interest in the ephemeral character of art, rejecting the vision of purely object-related practice, with Warpechowski’s fascination with Buddhist meditations.

References: Z. Warpechowski, Zasobnik. Autorski opis trzydziestu lat drogi życia poprzez sztukę performance, Gdańsk 1998; Ł. Ronduda, Polish Art of the 70s. Avant-garde, Warsaw 2009; A. Kępińska, Nowa sztuka – sztuka polska w latach 1945–1978, Warsaw 1981.



Year: 1984
Duration: 13'22''
Language: no language
Place: Moltkerei Werkstatt, Kolonia, Niemcy
Source: VHS

© Zbigniew Warpechowski

Acquisition date: Oct 27, 2011
Acquisition: deposit
Ownership form: deposit