Videonotebooks is a videoperformance carried out in 2013 and devoted to the notebooks that the artist creates, collects and uses in her performances. Zarzycka began working with her notebooks while attending the artistic high school. As Magdalena Ujma writes: “Some of them are diaries. Others are lab-books used for work on performances. The division between diaries and lab-books (which can be called a kind of a mobile workshop on paper) continued till the 1990s. ... They are notebooks devoted to particular named and dated performances, or to certain art events. These notebooks contain data; they are the analogue equivalent of computer hard drives.” And further: “Zarzycka’s diaries fulfil all the possible functions — those of diaries, sketchbooks, scratchpads, memory notebooks, phonebooks, shopping lists and to do lists. They also contain labels, tickets, stickers and other little items slipped between the pages. The artist herself multiplies the doubts about their purpose and character.” Zarzycka shares with the viewers how difficult it is to present her notebooks and speaks openly about her doubts, impotence, thus guiding the audience through her emotions that accompany making her notes public. She offers the viewers an opportunity to see what it is like to be an artist presenting their works. The audience may travel back in time to the period when they had their own school notebooks which they were required to submit for inspection. Zarzycka uses her notebooks, filled with notes and drawings, as the basis of her performances. This piece is an homage to her notebooks; many years of diligent note-taking are encapsulated within a 10-minute video. We feel as if we were entrusted with a secret concerning the burden of the numerous notebooks and the relation with the past to which they bear testimony. Their future fate is decided in front of our very eyes.
© Ewa Zarzycka