Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Footage from Oskar Dawicki’s exhibition Decade of Painting at Bunkier Sztuki in Cracow. Maria Anna Potocka talks about the show.

Entitling his own exhibition Decade of Painting, with a subtitle-declaration: If only I could turn back the time, I would have become a painter, and putting his photograph from the period of studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Toruń, with a paintbrush and an easel, on the invitation is a gesture which demonstrates the ambiguity of his relation to conceptualists and postconceptualists of the 1960s and 70s, whose activity was connected with the end of art. An ironic compensation and a confirmation that the time in the claws of postconceptual art was not entirely lost came at this exhibition in the form of the display of stretcher bars, said to be taken out of the cellar, which for a decade, since meeting Warpechowski and renouncing painting by Dawicki, rotted and became covered with various kinds of mould, thus creating abstract paintings, beautiful in their own right. Thus, throughout those ten years of rejection, Dawicki’s painting was flourishing after all, which was a mystery even to himself, and “redeemed” the time he lost dealing with avant-garde art. In this context, Dawicki’s project Ten Years of Painting becomes an attempt at reflection on the permanent crisis of representation related to contemporary art. He also undertakes quite perverse an attempt at profaning the transformations in the art of the 1960s and 70s, posing a series of provocative questions: can those transformations, stemming from the so-called “death of art”, which wrested our roots from the traditional essentialist manner of pursuing it, can be considered as a traumatic experience for contemporary artists?

Quoted from: Ł. Ronduda, Warpechowski, Konieczny, Bodzianowski, Uklański. Warpechowski, Dawicki, Academica, Warsaw 2010.