Nature and M. (1994)

(manuscript, Ochotnica VIII 1994. The text was published in the exhibition catalogues: Maria Pinińska-Bereś 1931-1999, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, Kraków 1999; Maria Pinińska-Bereś. Ephemeral Works. 1967-1966, Monopol Gallery, Warsaw 2017)


I find myself, however, in its centre, in my beloved Gorce Mountains and illness prevented me from actively taking it in. For a view from a window is not the same.

Since childhood I have fostered a secret cult for it. It is better to be in contact with it, live it to the full, than to write about it. I recall a powerful impression, when delivered from the town I landed suddenly, in early spring, on freshly ploughed soil. I wanted to throw myself onto the ridges, kiss them, inhale the smell which I remember to this day. Another time I escaped in the summer from the cage of the garden, whose paths and plants growing in rows I knew by heart. I ran dazed into that abundance of meadows and coppices, until I reached the ravine. I experienced a revelation, I felt a unity with the mosses, lichens, all that miracle that surrounded me. I sank into the mosses, I wallowed in them groaning out of pleasure. I laid there long, in a state of unconditional bliss.

Living later in a dark tenement house in a narrow street in smoky Silesia, I spend hours looking out for changes in the set up of clouds, visible in the minute fragment of the sky available to me.

The emotional contact with nature has always remained fresh and yearned for. In art these impressions have echoed somehow imperfectly. In Świeszyno, enchanted by the natural character of a hill by the lake, covered with residual rock, I constructed a Portable Monument Entitled The Place (1979). That was a tribute paid to nature.

My actions were constructed in the presence of contact with nature, or in its scenery; sending with the wind the Letter-Kite in 1976, Prayer for Rain 1977, The Author’s Standard 1979, Soap Bubbles 1979, The Annexation of the Landscape 1980, Banner 1980 or Live Pink 1981, and even Laundry II in the scenery of Osieki with washed sheets of linen drying in the sun.

In many acts the elements of nature were elements of action, for instance the strength of the wind; a stone which I marked with my pink; snow — an element essential during the act Banner; rose bush which was planted in Live Pink.

Always, however, I’ve considered this sphere of experience as extremely intimate, possibly that is why I’ve never fully utilized it. Sex was not — a I see now — an equally intimate sphere for it was shared with another person, for it existed also in my experience as a social factor. But then again experience connected with nature was very personal and bore no connections with others or soda aspects. It can be said that such an aspect could be the ecological movement. I, however, shunned that reality to include this clarity that was almost “blindingly obvious”, which is the ecological essence, to include in art. It is better to feed stray cats save a dog. There remained in addition activities wider, social, which are concrete as opposed to the declarative activity in art.

And there are gardens which are my make shift nature, there equally is contact with the earth and the miracle of the blooming flower.

Ochotnica, August 1994


Translated by “Inter-text Translation”

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