The Statement in the Discussion (1986)

(The fragment of statement during a discussion at his individual exhibition “New Content” at the Krzysztofory Gallery in November 1986; the text was published in the catalogue of the exhibition Sculpture in the Garden, Egit Foundation, Association of Polish Architects SARP, Warsaw, 1988)


My last sculptures — potential works, as I call them, it’s a of transmission enclosed in material substance. I define this transmission as an incarnation of my subjective statement into the material thing. This is why I describe those things as “potential works”, because word “work” is a kind of ennoblement of the thing, which may become a work only in contact with the receiver. Then comes to light the function of this transmission and possibility of beginning the dialogue out of some artificial objectivization, to the intersubjective relation. We shouldn’t avoid any problems in this dialogue, problems, which appear in the life. And in the life there is politics customs, and ethics, and a definite situation in which we are in the world and here in Poland. I want to participate all that freely, and this is why I think, that what I do is not dependent on politics, its opposite — this is position which it is possible to talk easily about politics, religion, customs and about art as well.

I used to be an anti-doctrinarian long ago, so an attempt revert to any ideology, or even more — to religion (because there was even such a controversy in my hitherto activity) is, I suspect, impossible (in the meaning of including activity into any ideology or even tendency in art). Because I base myself on subjective statements — it won’t win the spectator over by some doctrine or ideology, but rather by dialogue, intersubjective relation, and then this statement may start to exist in some community, and objectivise in some way there, though this is doubtful — because this dialogue is constantly open: my subjective statement meets subjectivity of the receiver and so dialogue as a matter of fact excludes participation of ideology, religion or doctrine. I throw away ideologies or any ready expressions. I begin from the sphere out ideology. I throw away ideology, because I think, it objectified generality. However my start is a start from subjective position tending towards, as I already said, intersubjective dialogue. This, which may appear here to be an agreement, appears as consensus that results from the dialogue, without objective sphere, which surrounds us presently in the world.

Now the problem appears against those things. I call them here “potential works”, though in some meaning if exist objectively. There is a problem, how to connect those two spheres: the subjective one, with that is objective in them as a thing, additionally material. Here the most difficult moment, when I get far to even too pathetic expression, that some subjectivity is enchanted into a thing, and then as a material transmission it has a chance of lasting. This lasting of course, must be ensured by other people, who would like to care for it.

I would like to start from the position of the artist, who begins from a subjectivistic attitude. I was talking here about some subjective transmission, but in the last years of vanguard there became, as I call it a “subjectivistic attitude”, that means the attitude that is not under any judgement. However I would like to give under judgement those things, those potential works, that means to ask the public: are those works, or not?

I was talking about the doctrinarism. In those matters we can probably get out of doctrinairism, of medialism of all language. In talking we get into the medium of the spoken language and at once we are reduced in some way.

However I use the word, but as a part of this statement — the written word. But there is also a thing, a motion, a suggestion of a motion, there is a space and many other things, together with possibility of participation in some of the things, which are to be motioned. In connection with that, even this moment of presence of the receiver, spectator, is composed in that, that this thing should reveal its main message. Almost in that moment it becomes a full work.

elaborated by J. Trzupek


Translated by Piotr Krochmalski

copyright Fundacja im. Marii Pinińskiej-Bereś i Jerzego Beresia, 2022 | made by studio widok