Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

The action Lock Mandela Oop (Zamknonć Mandele – the English title reflects a deliberate typo in the Polish version), which took place in 1990, was organised in front of the Łódź City Hall in Piotrkowska St. Carried out within the presentation Artists against the Republic of Poland (Artyści przeciw Rzeczypospolitej), the action emanated the spirit of a scandal and preposterous insinuations, which characterised the so-called “heroic period” of the group’s activity. The documentation of one of the first legendary “apparitions” of Wspólnota Leeeżeć (The Lyyying Community) also includes brief comments from passers-by, some of which betray a huge emotional charge.

The artists explain their action as follows: “Let us remember that the years 1989/1990 in Poland were a period of the so-called hunger protests, organised on a mass scale by everybody who felt wronged, unappreciated or discriminated against. The topic of hunger protests never left the news. No sooner had one finished than another would start. Various professional groups, prominent party officials, and pensioners – everybody would go on hunger strike. The action by Wspólnota Leeeżeć became a tropical protest feast. The main idea was that the time of old and obese politicians had come to an end. A new era requires new people – the best of them were lyyying and gorging themselves at the feet of the Mayor of Łodź. Two For You soap bars and a toilet paper roll bought and donated by passers-by were also consumed”.

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