artluk nr 1/2018

Piotr Wełmiński

Artists have been fascinated by games for a long time. To what extent a reality is shaped by a chance, and to what by an interference of the author? Is a creative act an accident or a pre-planned scenario? While painting, making a performance or realising our vision in any other way we ask ourselves what impact the probability theory has on our actions. In various forms of artistic expression playing with unpredictable has become a quintessence of that mystery. Marcel Duchamp – a chess master, winner of multiple tournaments – was well aware of that and treated chess as a part of the field of art. In the early years of the 20th century the Dada movement introduced chance into a process of creating a work of art, added a role of a “game” master to the function of an artist and made audience the participants of the game itself. Already in 1960s an active involvement of an audience in a creative act was a tool frequently used by artists to communicate with the world. Allan Kaprow’s unpredictable happenings, Fluxus actions, and in Poland the activities of Tadeusz Kantor, Andrzej Matuszewski, or the “Games of Chance” by Ryszard Winiarski, pulled the viewer into a flow of the unfolding events.
In parallel to the achievements in art, the digital revolution allowed development of new technologies that made interactivity possible. First simulators that enabled coordination with a displayed image were constructed as soon as in 1940s. In 1970s the development of video games has reached a mass scale. Nowadays many fine arts academies and universities, in Poland too, teach video game development. Faculty of Visual Arts at the Academy of Art in Szczecin is a prefect example. Increasingly, games are with us on a daily basis, especially when it comes to young, tech-savvy people. Games also influence the mental changes in how we perceive the surrounding world. After all, it’s the games that make it apparent how a “multiverse” of an infinite number of parallel realities works. Although in a game we can always start from the beginning and select a different path, we can’t do that in real life yet. Will video games soon allow us to create such a timeless piece of art as “Guernica” or “Citizen Kane”? History shows that it’s possible. After all, once photography and film stepped out of a fun fair, they became art with a big “A”. It took a long time for the society to realise the true nature of these media. Photography and film became a new way to preserve and mark one’s existence in a changing reality – like a game played with eternity. For now, video games are still just fun and are treated as such by the art world. However, that is already undergoing a change.
Jerzy Truszkowski, “Civitas Dei. Unus Dolor. ExtraExtraExtraLargeVersion”, “Yes, it is better to own banks than to rob banks. RE TWIN. The United Systems of Re-. In Exchange We trust. IN [T]ER.”, “Foederatio Reversus. Civitas Dei. Unus Dolor. Responde Verbum. Responde Res. Qui passus es pro nobis, miserere nobis.”, “Pospolita Olka. Jedna Dola. Fura, skóra i komóra”, “Une douler. Liberte et limitation. L’horreur economique.”, paintings, 1997-2002. Photo: the author’s archive

Joanna Sitkowska-Bayle

ART PARIS ART FAIR, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has achieved after all that time a status of an international event. Complementary to FIAC, which takes place in autumn, the fair gathers primarily French galleries who struggle to find a spot for themselves at focused on global market FIAC.
The leitmotif of this year’s edition was “A look at a French scene” since 1960s to present day. An outcome of that idea was a presentation of several dozen artists who, according to the curator of that cross-sectional exhibition spanning multiple booths, deserve to be remembered. Works of Jean-Pierre Raynaud, as well as paintings by Leonardo Cremonini or Hervé Di Rosa, were widely recognized in 1980s, only to be partially forgotten in the dawn of a new century. Fragments of no entry signs painted on wood by Raynaud were shown by Caroline Smulders gallery. T&L gallery from Paris exhibited Cremonini’s paintings filled with melancholy and Mediterranean sun. Works of Di Rosa, one of the initiators of the Figuration Libre movement in France, could be seen in the AD gallery from Montpellier. These exhibitions were among over thirty individual expositions, which were a good opportunity for a wider presentation of artists selected by the galleries, even though they did bear an increased risk when it comes to sales.

ART PARIS ART FAIR, Paris, Grand Palais, 5-8 April 2018
Jean-Pierre Raynaud, “A Fragment”, 2017. Caroline Smulders Gallery, Paris. Photo: Art Paris Art Fair 2018 press release

Jerzy Olek talks to Ryszard Winiarski

Jerzy Olek: You gave up on showing the results – sterile paintings of logical designs – and instead offered the public an active involvement in their creation, in solving a given problem independently, in a process. It was a time when the meticulously painterly arranged fields of paintings (usually with dozens of tiny black and white squares) have been replaced by the fields of games, which often turned out to be chessboards. It was a time of artistic results oscillating between certainties and surprises, between predictable and completely unpredictable results.
Ryszard Winiarski: It was the need to surpass misunderstandings and to show that a process is important to me that encouraged me to start showing “Games” in 1970s. I was tired of adding my own comments to the works, of hanging sheets of paper next to paintings. Now the audience didn’t have to guess based on structure of the objects what were the rules of the game, rules that led to a creation of the object. They finally had an opportunity to take part in the game themselves, to create visual objects comparable to mine using an objective process.
Ryszard Winiarski, “Game of Chance”, 1990. Photo: Anna Panek-Kusz

Alexandra Hołownia

Art Fair in Basel, Art Basel and Design Miami. Art Basel, taking place every year in Basel, is the biggest contemporary art fair in the world. In 2018 it starts on the 14th and ends on 17 June. The artistic week for VIPs and professionals, collectors, critics, museum directors, curators began a few days earlier. Unofficial meetings, banquets and openings where in a very close circle of people one could find an advice, make a deal or an exchange, etc., had started already on 11 June. Art Basel gathers 290 international galleries carefully selected by the jurors. The trade fair shows are divided into sectors: Galleries, Unlimited, Feature, Statements, Parcours, Film, Edition, Magazines, Conversations.
Traditionally, since many years Poland is represented by Foksal Gallery Foundation showing an oeuvre of contemporary Polish artists, and by Starmach Gallery bringing in the classics of the Polish avant-garde. Of course Polish painting is also presented by foreign galleries. For example in a booth of Metro Pictures – an American establishment – I noticed Paulina Ołowska’s painting from 2018 “Backstage-Belarussian Ballet” available for purchase for 125 000 USD.
One of the stars of Art Basel 2018 is Kerry James Marshall, an African American born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama, who paints stories of the US black community. According to The Art Newspaper, David Zwirner gallery sold “Vignette no. 12”, a 2008 Marshall’s painting, to a private collector for 25 million dollars.
A view of Josep Grau-Garriga’s tapestry “Hores de llum i de fosfor”, 1986, and Ai Wei Wei’s installation “Tiger, Tiger, Tiger”, 2015, Art Unlimited – Art Basel 2018. Photo: Alexandra Hołownia

Agnieszka Domańska

Minimalism, rigour and rawness with which he approaches a word bring to mind a graphic designer who wants to use means of artistic expression to realise his vision in the most synthetic way. However, Dróżdż works in the field of words, where language focuses on itself. Signifier detaches from the signified, but it doesn’t carry a risk of prolixity. His poems are dominated by an existential reflection, like in “ŻYCIE ŚMIERĆ” (“LIFE DEATH”), “Początekoniec” (“Beginningend”), “Przemijanie” (“Passing”), “Zapominanie” (“Forgetting”).
As all others works of Dróżdż, “Zapominanie” (1967) doesn’t stand out when it comes to means of expression. The work can be easily transferred to any other surface, multiplied in any quantity (for example in a form of a mural on one of Wrocław’s apartment buildings, like it was done as a part of Wrocław European Capital of Culture 2016 visual arts programme). A vertical black field is filled with words place one over another. On top of them, written in a white font, lies titular “forgetting”. When we look a little bit lower, we see the word has been repeated but its last letter had vanished. This goes on until the word is totally gone. Its disappearance is sealed by Dróżdż with a dot – the act of forgetting has been completed.
Dróżdż plays with word, its construction (he especially likes prepositions), while at the same time playing with the audience:
“concrete poetry refers to a game, to a game instinct within each of us. First contact with a concrete poetry proves that. Either we allow ourselves to be invited by the author, and we will participate in the game, or we reject a concrete poem as boring, banal, uninteresting”.
Stanisław Drożdż, „Zapominanie”, 1967,  mural, 2016. Fot. M. Kujda / dzięki uprzejmości Fundacji Art Transparent

Anita Kwestorowska

Rome, one of the most beautiful nooks of the old town, widely known thanks to ubiquitous reproductions. Next to on of the tenements a group of tourists listens to a tour guide. Cameras wait ready in their hands, someone starts to take pictures. To my surprise I discover that the person is not photographing the famous fountain but instead focuses all attention on a nearby wall. I get closer and eavesdrop on a fascinating story of a new mural and an evolution of a Roman street art. The story mentions festivals, exhibitions, public commissions and involvement in international charities. A street artist is almost a hero. The tourists take notes, their faces full of awe and interest, they peek into their smartphones, maps and purchased earlier albums containing an overview of the most popular murals in different parts of Rome. Images from childhood flash before my eyes: dark tunnels and suburban trains “vandalized” with some ugly, colourful paintings; I see scared boys running from the “crime scene” in haste; I hear someone’s outraged shout “Hooligans! Vandals!”.
One of Eternal City’s most important initiatives promoting street art is the Outdoor Festival – the biggest street art review in Italy. This year’s edition, that took place at the turn of April and May in Mattatoio architectural complex, is an interesting summary of the hitherto activities in the field of an Italian street art. A rich and very varied programme also included special spaces resembling gigantic tunnels, where everyone could rent colour sprays and turn into a street artist for a couple minutes. Outdoor Festival is also a source of polemics and reflections on evolution and place of street art in the history of contemporary art.
One of the most interesting works was a provocation by Milanese street artist Biancoshock titled “B.TOY”. It was an installation on a verge of performance that allowed one person to enter the “toy” and close themselves in a box holding all the tools necessary to make a mural. According to the artist, this work is supposed to represent the current predicament of a contemporary street artist – taken from the street, packaged and sent from one place to another, from a manifestation to a festival, from a gallery to a museum, and of course always ready to realise low-cost high-performance commissions. As Biancoshock explains: “A form of street art has been created that became a merchandise fulfilling the needs of various artistic manifestations promoted by well known brands. In this way the original character of that, let’s call it, movement has been twisted. However, what will happen when the adult kids will get bored of B.TOY?”.
1. Maupal (Mauro Pallotta), “Hope Dream”. Photo: the author’s archive
2. Biancoshock, “B.TOY”, Outdoor Festival 2018. Photo: Alberto Blasetti

Alicja Rekść

Fear of the “alien” is omnipresent and incredibly appealing to media. The barbarians revolt, they want to destroy the world built on their own sacrifices. History is full of hysterical, impulsive acts, as well as ostracism mechanisms, motivated primarily by fear. European colonisers conquered overseas lands, stole, often forced natives to pay the highest price. All while considering themselves the preachers of lawfulness and followers of the only true faith. Therefore exists quite strong, albeit internalised, fear of some kind of historical justice, vengeance carried out by the victims that will destroy everything precious and known.
Kader Attia and Jean-Jacques Lebel in their fluid dialogue take a stand against simplifications. They separate themselves from the common ways of thinking about colonialism and its consequences. The exhibition unearths weaknesses of some of the widely adapted concepts, shows an incredible complexity of the problems and topics related to history and a present state of the world. However, above all it encourages dialogue, discussion and breaking free from repeating cliches.
Kader Attia & Jean-Jacques Lebel, “L’Un et l’Autre”, Palais de Tokyo
Kader Attia, “Culture of Fear: an Invention of Evil”, installation, 2013. Photo: Alicja Rekść


1. “Night”, Karolina Owczarz, first year, master’s programme in Interior Design. Studio of Exhibitions and New Technologies in Design. Photo: Academy of Art in Szczecin, Faculty of Visual Arts archive
2. “Find Me”, Joanna Roguszczak, second year, master’s programme in Interior Design. Studio of Exhibitions and New Technologies in Design.
3. “Yard Sard” computer game created as a part of PRYZMAT Science Club activities by Ewa Gawdzińska, Gabriela Lewandowska, Karolina Kaleta, Piotr Kupczyński, Kamil Rudziński and Weronika Zieziulewicz. Photo: Academy of Art in Szczecin, Faculty of Visual Arts archive
4. “Disco Atlas”, computer game created by PRYZMAT Science Club members – Jacek Grubski, Piotr Jędrzejczak, Klaudia Łukaszczyk and Patrycja Szunke – during GryfJam 2018 event in Szczecin.

5 Playing with Eternity
Piotr Wełmiński

6 Paris Art Fair
Joanna Sitkowska-Bayle

8 The Lament on Colonial Stalks
Alicja Rekść

12 There Is No Action Without Provocation
Anita Kwestorowska

18 Art Basel
Alexandra Hołownia

20 Modern Metamorphosis
of Chinese Scroll Painting
Magdalena Furmanik-Kowalska

24 Out of Context
Paweł Jagiełło

28 Adda, or a Meeting.
Subodh Gupta in Monnaie de Paris
Joanna Sitkowska-Bayle

34 Jerzy Truszkowski

36 Persistence of an Experiment
Jerzy Olek

42 “Stay in touch!”
dr Klaus Groh

46 Wordplays.
Word as an Art, Art as a Word
Agnieszka Domańska

50 Fields of the Game
Jerzy Olek talks to Ryszard Winiarski

54 Selflessness Is a Concentration
Jolanta Ciesielska

58 “When did you realise you are alive?”
Bożena Kowalska

60 Res Omnia Vanitas.
Minimum Schematism. Maximum Freedom
Max Hexer

68 Yasuyuki Saegusa

70 A Perfect Relation!
Architect and Industry
dr Katarzyna Utecht

75 Playing with Darkness

76 Artefacts and Imaginations
Arkadiusz Marcinkowski

78 Interactive Graphics
as a Game with the Viewer

84 Design According to Justyna Machnicka

88 1968 – The Great Collage
Jacek Kasprzycki