Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Akin to Lyyying Dead [Leeeżenie trupem], the action A Brief Occurrence with an Axe and Cats (Krótkie zdarzenie z siekierą i kotami, 1992) took place in Piotrkowska St. in Łódź in front of the cult confectionery and coffee house Hortex. Tygodnik Leeeżeć (The Lyyying Weekly) describes the action as follows: “A black cat, a birdcage, a giant sculpture and a sharp axe were in use. The next moment, the pavement, Biblical signs and the feet of the gathered folk were covered up to the ankles with thick blood gushing from the sculpture dismembered with the axe. The chopped off limbs up in the air appeared akin to swallows, while mysticism, solyyying [see translator’s note below] – shouted ‘God is dead, long live God!’, much to the joy of the rabble” (source: Michał Gralak, “Zapis działań”, Tygodnik Leeeżeć no. 56/1991).

Despite the growing tension and dramatic music, no cats were hurt. “Blood” only spurted from the sculpture – a bit zoomorphic and a bit anthropomorphic at the same time – which eventually lost its head. It was not a coincidence that the entire ceremony bore resemblance to a sacrificial offering, as shown by the presence of religious symbols: the Star of David and swastika – a Hindu symbol of good fortune, now associated mainly with Nazism. Wspólnota Leeeżeć (The Lyyying Community) originated from the Orange Alternative movement and their actions usually involved humour, yet Egon Fietke and his artist collaborators also compelled viewers’ reflection and reactions other than just a smile.

Wspólnota Leeeżeć comprising: Andrzej Miastkowski vel Egon Fietke, Paweł Pallester, sound: Jerzy Korzeń


[Translator’s note: “lyyying” stands here for the adjective “modzistyczny” derived from the noun “modzizm”, a neologism coined and frequently used by Wspólnota Leeeżeć as the name of a mock artistic tendency that serves to ridicule artistic “-isms”. Footnote based on a quote from Maciej Cholewiński in Jarosław Lubiak, Małgorzata Ludwisiak, eds. Correspondences. Modern Art and Universalism, eds. (Łódź: Muzeum Sztuki, 2012), 626.]