Filmoteka Muzeum

A “metaphysical-embarrassing” structure, similar to that of Intimate Rites, is also characteristic for Libera’s subsequent film Mystical Perseverance, which shows Regina G. involved in a monotonous (unconscious) simple activity (rotating the chamber pot) for over 50 minutes. When self-reliant enough, Libera’s grandmother would frequently say the rosary. Later on, when her state worsened and a threat occurred of suffocation with the string with beads, the rosary was taken away from her.

At that point, Regina G. started looking for a substitute – an object that would perform the role of the rosary and become the vehicle for her prayers. The vehicle came in the form of the chamber pot. Libera wrote: “The recorded activity has a mystical and magical character independent of any form of religion, magic or art. It neither builds or upholds any system. It takes place daily, irrespective of the current state of political, social, cultural, financial, official and unofficial affairs. It takes place always in one and the same place, and is always experienced by one and the same person – the sick, blind, decrepit and bedridden Regina G. My presence was accidental and went unnoticed by the person. The recorded action is a major element in Regina G.’s existence – apart from physiological functions, it is the only thing she can do by herself. It is her only form of contact with the world outside.”

In this film, we cannot really isolate Regina G. from the objective reality, the only thing attesting to her individuality being the “praying” gestures she performs. We see her vesting a fallen piece of matter with meaning, treating it as a religious fetish in a most primal attempt at “enchanting” physical reality. It is an individual attempt to sacralise (altruisitcally give to) the world.

Quoted from: Ł. Ronduda, Zbigniew Libera’s Life and Work 1982-2008, [in:] Zbigniew Libera. Works from 1982-2008, D. Monkiewicz {ed.), exhibition catalogue, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2009.

Year: 1984
Duration: 49'11''
Language: no language
Source: VHS

© Zbigniew Libera, courtesy Raster Gallery

Acquisition date: Dec 21, 2010
Acquisition: deposit
Ownership form: deposit