Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Record of the action by Jerzy Treliński, organised during the Labour Holiday festivities in 1974. It forms part of the cycle “Self-tautologies – Nothing about Myself”, regarded as one of the major threads of Polish conceptualism of the 70s. Treliński carried out multi-oriented artistic activities, where he sparked reflection on “impersonal presence”. “Self-tautological” activities opened the field of conceptual reflection on the forms of expression at the disposal of an artist who does not produce an object-work.

In the present film, situating the activity in the context of a mass parade on the 1st of May gives it an unequivocally political meaning. As a propaganda spectacle staged by the communist party, the Labour Day celebrations was when individuals forced to participation lost their independence, merging upon the authorities’ wish into a nameless crowd demonstrating its “support”. Against this background, Treliński’s action (march with a banner reading his own name) shifts emphasis onto the significance of individual and independent acts – it is a call for the recognition of sovereignty of the self in a uniform society living under the yoke of a totalitarian system.