The Place. A Portable Monument, 1979

Plein-air art meeting "Miastko 79",
Świeszyno near Miastko


During a plein-air art meeting in Świeszyno, in a beautiful area – a lake surrounded by hills covered with glacial boulders, with natural vegetation – I decide to erect a portable monument as an homage to nature. Portable so that it doesn’t cause ecological damage, erected as an act of affirmation.

A scenario is written and then carried out:

  1. four pink-painted poles covered with an overhead canopy, with a pink inscription in a circle, “Jest takie miejsce na ziemi” [There is a such a place on earth];
  2. under the canopy, a haystack covered with a linen cloth secured with stones on the corners;
  3. a pink dot painted in the middle.

On the site, which is slightly elevated, a strong wind blows. The canopy swells, and the posts tremble in tension, producing a strange sound. There occurs a dramatic confrontation with the wind, or a gale really; after some initial failures, the monument emerges victorious, the canopy taunt like a sail, bulging rigidly for days with the wreath of the text, “There is such a place on earth.”

The monument remained in place for a couple of days before being dismantled. It contained a whole history of reflections on the question of the monument, of its actual rejection many years prior as inconsistent with the spirit of the time, a time when we begin to appreciate the relics of nature and turn away with disgust from straight-hewn concrete tower blocks, painted in polka dots or some other pattern. As an act of affirmation, the portable monument doesn’t spoil the environment because it doesn’t interfere with it; its duration is short and it can be dismantled and installed in a new place if need be.

Maria Pinińska-Bereś, notebook (“With Rushwork”), manuscript, 1998
Maria Pinińska-Bereś, “Autorefleksja” (ver. 4), manuscript, January 1980

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