Description by Filmoteka Muzeum
Forest forms part of Paweł Althamer’s diploma work carried out at Grzegorz Kowalski workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The video features the artist leaving the Academy premises and taking a bus to a suburban forest, where he takes off his clothes and disappears among the trees.
The integral part of the work came with a full-scale portrait of the artist made of grass, animal bowels, hemp, wax and hair. Paweł Althamer did not show up at his diploma exam. His wife at the time, Monika, read out a statement explaining the sense of the work, i.e. the desire to record physical presence through preserving one’s image as a wax effigy and to confront the unanimated effigy with the experience of one’s own vitality.
As Grzegorz Kowalski explained, the work did not mark a symbolic return to the primary human condition. Its essence resided in a new merger with nature at the level of the individual ego, emancipated from its bodily aspect, as well as an attempt at reaching other levels of the real.
References: R. Kurzmeyer, To an Invisible Sculpture, [in:] Paweł Althamer, London-New York 2011.