The spectacle English Lesson was premiered in July 1982 on the Malarnia stage of the Warsaw-based Studio Theatre. The structure of the action resembled a foreign language lesson, where the teacher uses tape recordings, vocabulary and physical exercises. The reference to a school lesson provided an opportunity to present the situation of adapting to artificial reality and creative interpretation of its limited potential. Also important was the use of punk tunes by the band Brygada Kryzys in the spectacle’s promo video. According to the curators of the exhibition Down with the Pimps of Art (Ł. Ronduda, M. Woliński, Warsaw Stock Exchange, 2006), it was to 'convey the era’s pervasive sense of helplessness, neurosis, linguistic void and the dilemma between the yearning for becoming part of the West (symbolised by the eponymous process of learning English) and the fear of that dream coming true, which may mean moving "out of the frying pan into the fire"'. The spectacle was presented at documenta 8 in Kassel (1987, category: 'Expanded performance') and in the form of a dynamic action at a crossroads in Rimini in 1984.
References: Akademia Ruchu. Miasto. Pole akcji. City. The Field of Action, ed. by M. Borkowska (Warsaw 2006); Precz z alfonsami sztuki [Down with the Pimps of Art], exhibition catalogue (Warsaw Stock Exchange 2009).
© Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Akademii Ruchu
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