Bait Mistreating Bait, Morni Hills Performance Art Biennale, Chandigarh, India

ShadowXVIII INTERAKCJE, Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. 2016

Photo by  Mariusz Marchewa Marchlewicz

I am fine and I’m scared to death

 

I do not have any fixed views. I do not believe in any system, or any absolute truth. The world is evolving. Cosmos expands. As I age, I have more doubts. My art is in a constant flux between sincerity, humor and complete despair. I am frantically trying to capture the essence of a situation, a state of mind. My performances are a forum, a space in time for interaction with the audience. I hope that in my desperate gestures viewers will find for themselves something meaningful, even transcendent. I still naively believe, that anyone can create a phenomenon on a cosmic scale and I feel it will be a meaningless sacrifice of an insignificant man.

I was born in 1970 in Poland, the epicentre of an illusory communist paradise, and raised in a tiny mountain village close to the Czech and German borders which I was not allowed to cross.

I lived through the Martial Law of 1981–1983, a deep economic crisis that led in 1989, to the bankruptcy of my country and the disintegration of the totalitarian system, as well as the Millennium Flood in 1997, which robbed me of all my possessions. The mesmerising image of my flooded village has taught me to see the beauty of impermanent forms. 

 

Having nothing to go back to, I decided to settle in the land of the thousand lakes.

Unable to express myself in any common language, I started developing my own performance practice as an alternative way of communication.

After a long and difficult period of adaptation in my new home country my artistic career advanced nationally and internationally. I performed in venues such as the Museum Reina Sofia, Göteborgs Konsthall, Scandinavia House NYC, Bangkok Art Centre, Kunsthalle Helsinki and in unique places such as the deck of an aircraft, a ferry boat, a Montreal’s bathhouse, a village in the Mexican desert, a yurt in the Mongolian steppe or the edge of the world in Patagonia.

 

Eventually, meeting new people and increasing the involvement of the audience in my actions became a goal even more important than the great need to be understood.

 

The freedom and diversity of artistic expression, uniqueness, site-specificity and, above all, the direct contact between the artist and the audience are principles which guide me in my work. I am fascinated by how much fear, courage and passion is unleashed in us by the evanescent nature. It is extremely moving. I identify with it and I endeavour to portray it.

The global pandemic, which severely affected the entire world in 2020, ironically found me at an international performance art festival in China. Since then I am not able to travel nor act in direct contact with the audience. 

 

The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of my arrival in Finland. This is exactly half my life. ​

 

All in all I have not lost hope. I believe that with my artistic output, I will survive any political system or natural disaster. But I aspire to much more.