Włodzimierz Borowski. Works and reconstructions
Sven Spieker: Włodzimierz Borowski's Poetics of Indifference
I want to look into Borowski's performance work of the 1960's as a series of elaborations of indifference, a crucial disposition in 20th-century art.
From Duchamp's "indifferent" choice of readymades to Dada's fascination with mechanical bodies and traumatic shock, from Walter Benjamin's interest in the film camera's "blind seeing" to conceptualism's focus on art production based on serial programs, members of the 20th-century (neo-) avant-gardes opposed modernism's obsession with difference - its most blatant manifestation was historicism - with an (anti-) poetics of indifference. Borowski presented an iconic - and ironic - instance of such indifference in his 8th Syncretic Demonstration (1968) when he drilled holes in the eyes of large photographic reproductions of himself. In my talk I want to connect this and comparable gestures in Borowski's work with other instances of an "anaesthetic modernism" focused not on difference and differentiation but rather on their absence