Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Film documentation of an action by Wspólnota Leeeżeć (The Lyyying Community) in Freedom Square in Łódź in 1990. It was also described in Tygodnik Leeeżeć (The Lyyying Weekly): “Only yesterday did the city centre witness the show titled Wspólnota Leeeżeć Feeds a Line (Wspólnota Leeeżeć wciska kit), which incorporated a wall of a bombarded tenement house, a bucket of white and a bucket of violet paint, a red rosary and Pallester. The action began with painting over a fragment of the wall that displayed an illegible inscription ‘Wspólnota Leeeżeć wciska kit’ [Wspólnota Leeeżeć feeds a line], and later cutlery, hands, backs, heads, genitals and teeth were used to stick ordinary putty into the aristocratic white [The title of the action is a play on words with a reference to the Polish expression ‘wciskać kit’, which literally means ‘to stick putty’, but idiomatically stands for ‘to feed somebody a line’ – translator’s note]. The next moment, the entire thing was refashioned into violet. The background featured dozens of burning candles situated at different heights and Pallester praying the rosary” (source: Michał Gralak, “Zapis działań", Tygodnik Leeeżeć no. 12/1990). At the end, leaning against the freshly painted violet wall, the artists opened beers and lit up cigarettes. 

It was one of the early actions by Wspólnota Leeeżeć with its roots in alternative culture and neo-avantgarde artistic practices. The artists changed the metaphorical expression “wciskanie kitu” [“feeding a line”] into a literally understood action [“sticking putty”]. The same was done with “bicie piany” [“whipping egg whites”, Polish idiom meaning pompous or pretentious talk] and “klepanie biedy” [“threshing poverty”, Polish idiom meaning living in extreme poverty] by members of the Orange Alternative collective (Whipping Egg Whites at the Round Table, Threshing Poverty, Łódź, 1989).

The work of the two groups relies heavily on play on words, linguistic jokes, ambiguities and slogans modelled on political claptrap. Historical sources may be traced back to Dadaists, Futurists and Surrealists. In the context of the political situation in Poland, such jokes often mocked the authorities, politicians and the police (known as citizens’ militia under communism). Such actions as Precz z u-pałami (Away with Heat (Away with Truncheons) by Pomarańczowa Alternatywa, 1987) discredited officers, who found themselves without a valid reasons to detain the participants of such an event.

Wspólnota Leeeżeć comprising: Andrzej Miastkowski vel Egon Fietke, Michał Gralak, Paweł Pallester