Cracow Meetings (1980/1981)
(manuscript, 1980/1981. The text was written during preparations for the “9th Krakow Meetings”, which took place in Krakow in November 1981. It was published in the exhibition catalog: Maria Pinińska-Bereś. Ephemeral Works. 1967-1966, Monopol Gallery, Warsaw 2017)
My proposition is for a different formula of the Meetings, one presenting a trend in art that is little known in Poland, yet currently very interesting.
At the present moment, the movement of “performance art” or “action art” is only defining itself, it is a movement-in-the-making, still unclassified, living, and therefore extremely fascinating.
I believe now is the last moment before the movement has been described, its laws and determinants defined, before it has been concluded, summed up. If we want our artistic events to be up to date with art, to contribute value to the artistic movement, to stand at the centre of art’s becoming – we must not afford to be delayed, to explore issues that have already been digested by the academia.
Another reason for proposing a performance-oriented formula is the fact that the trend has so far been utterly censored in [our] art. What was important, prominent, topical in it was greeted with such reluctance that it was marginalized, relegated to the sidelines of artistic life. “Action art” was never reviewed, never allowed to enter the respectable spaces of our artistic salons. Performance artists were smeared, vilified, or ridiculed in an unprofessional fashion. I believe that neither the art community nor the public at large are familiar with the specificity of this most unprivileged discipline and therefore it’s high time for it to begin its dialogue with life.
Moreover, ephemeral art, or performance art, explores a vast area, constantly broadening our knowledge and thus opening up our imagination, where it may happen so that the impossible becomes real. I am aware that the tasks at hand are difficult, but that’s exactly why we need events that facilitate the exchange of views, philosophies, reflections.
P.S. I’ve allowed myself to add my own name to the list, for it would be an unusual event in our art-world practice, a rare opportunity for an artist interested in the trend to confront achievements and reflections and exchange views with others. Besides, the Kraków scene includes only a few artists active in this field.
Translated by Marcin Wawrzyńczak