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The Dialogue – video-performance by Anna Kutera

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Date: 1985

Participant: Anna Kutera

Location: Gallery Labyrinth 2, Lublin

No documentation remains of the first action performed in Osieki. The video-performance was repeated three times: at Gallery Labyrinth 2 in Lublin, Poland (1985), Philip Waters Gallery in Banff, Canada (1985), and during the “Polish Manifestation” exhibition in Drents Museum, Assen, the Netherlands (1986).

The title dialogue takes place between the artist in the gallery space and an image of herself prerecorded on video playing on a TV screen. The conversation concerns the situation in which the artist found herself: the relationship between herself and her image, and their relation to the audience and the gallery space (the actual one as well as the empty one in which the recorded performance took place). The final dialogue concerns a misunderstanding between the two Annas: the TV one whose space of action is clean and neutral and the live one whose space of action is always relational, always considered an encounter, never neutral. She suggests that her TV image consider her art in the illusionary freedom gap and even does not take responsibility for her actions because she is only an image.


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Only a Broom – performance by Maria Pinińska-Bereś

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Date: December 1984

Participant: Maria Pinińska-Bereś

Organizer: Labirynt Gallery

Location: Labirynt Gallery, Lublin

The performance took place during the exhibition “Intellectual Tendency in Polish Art after the Second World War” and it was one of Pinińska’s first gallery appearances after the martial law was lifted in Poland, during which she refused for political reasons to participate in any art shows organized by official institutions. The first time in her artistic career dressed only in black, without any of the pink attributes so characteristic of her art, she entered the gallery space and, in the midst of the crowd, started to sweep the floor with a broom with a long handle—that was also a flag mast with the little grey linen flag at its end. As the broom cleaned the space under the feet of the audience, the flag made the air above everyone’s heads vibrate. After a long while, when the action was over, the artist hung the broom on the wall, making the inscription on the flag fully visible (“Only a Broom”) and left the gallery. Using the popular feminist-art motif of bustling around, and the figure of a witch, in an ironic and characteristic way, Pinińska-Bereś made a comment on the political situation in the Polish art world of those times and in a symbolic way removed a spell that hung over art practice and the art space—she was a supporter of the thesis of the supremacy of the aesthetic over the political in art.


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