Filmoteka Muzeum

22x is one of the first assembling films in Poland. Robakowski conducted a pedagogical experiment by providing 22 students with several metres of unexposed film stock and asking them to carry out various procedures on it in order to formulate their short artistic statements. The invited students scratched their “films” mainly with knives, razors and chisels. Their operations also affected the optical sound strip of the film stock, which lent the film a very interesting “material” soundtrack during projections. The resulting works were edited by Robakowski to form a single sequence.

Robakowski’s assembling films provided the invited artists with an opportunity to make their own short films. Such a filmmaking method, which limited the interpretations and the influence of the filmmaker on the represented phenomena, was supposed to guarantee objectivism. The pursuit of objectivisation was related to scientism practiced by the Workshop of the Film Form, which expressed a critique of the manners of representing reality that prevailed in the film school environment.

Robakowski happily accepted the role of the initiator and coordinator, who merely supervised the making of individual parts of the film. He then edited the created fragments and presented them as a single sequence (hence the name “assembling films”). On the one hand, 22x was a non-camera “material” film typical of the Workshop of the Film Form, such as Robakowski’s Test I and Test II. On the other hand, it represented one of the first attempts at an “objective” film presentation of a certain artistic milieu.

In the 1970s, the artist used similar methods to create a range of assembling films: Record from 1972 (portraits of the participants of the event Art Cleaning), Door–Window–Armchair from 1974 (portraits of candidates to the Acting Department of the Film School in Łódź), and Living Gallery from 1975 (films by Polish artists of the mid-1970s).

Year: 1971
Duration: 5'24"
Language: no language
Source: 35 mm

© collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw