Ongoing research project
My story (Magda)
Are we allowed to breach anything and anywhere for the sake of art?
If so does it concern the artist's own decision and intimacy, or the world out there?
When art is “invasive”?
I have previously mentioned work by polish artist A. Zmijewski “The Game of Tag” in relation to the term “invasive”. This term appeared in my vocabulary alongside the term "intimacy of the collective memory". In the case of above mentioned work we may possibly deal with invasive intrusion in the area of “collective memory and experience” of a given group or nation. In the era of globalization, migration and omnipresent "reportage", is it worth considering the ethical aspects of the interpenetration of our nationalities, history or ethnics?
How to describe poverty, violence, overwhelming economic dependencies or slavery without violating the dignity of individuals and whatever we consider as “the collective memory”? Fifteen years of my emigration was a long journey of collecting stories, sometimes dominated by a complete lack of empathy, interest and understanding. Surprisingly, this concerned not ordinary citizens (including emigrants), but educated people (including emigrants) who often deal with issues such as migration, borders or refugees.
This experience has taught me that on my professional path I will always research for historical sources. This is why, together with my wonderful colleagues, we decided to "humanize" our Australopithecus "Lucy". We wanted to start this dialogue from the beginning.
...For many years, scientists considered the Neanderthal as an insignificant branch of evolution. Today the same scientists are discovering how much we could learn from the Neanderthal. Perhaps Neanderthals would coexist with us as another stunning civilization but they vanished. This is consecutive proof of our arrogance, self centrism, violence and ignorance.
We are all part of this "legacy".
A difficult process of "opening our wounds" may be one of the biggest challenges in today's politically correct world. In my glossary, this term refers to tracking various forms of physically non-invasive violence; A never ending story of the exclusion, destruction, taking away, mocking, humiliating, ignorance and so on.
I grew up in a small country town in Central - Eastern Poland. Before the 2nd War it was a Jewish-German community, mostly Jewish. Polish landowners were the owners of the manor house and land in the neighbourhood. During the Second World War Jews lost their lives, landowners lost their possessions and Polish Germans lost both in a sense. As a child I was taught that all graves, German and Jews, must be looked after equally.
30 kilometers from the place where I grew up, one of the largest Jewish pogroms took place. Although the war was over, ordinary Jew citizens were killed by ordinary Polish citizens without a reason (or because of the rumour).
My youth was living in this bubble beyond the history I was studying about but I didn't want to be part of it.
As a 20 years old I completed an introduction to art restoration / conservation module in an art college. It included painting technology and restoration techniques, technical drawing, art history and so on. Later I studied architecture for five years.
I've always been haunted by the concept of a "scale". A time frozen in an artwork; its smell, transparency and thinking behind the painting. The weight and mass of a concrete blocks inside ruined Nazi bunkers in North-Eastern Poland. The silly question, why is the ecological scale in architecture so small and irrelevant still bothers me. After all, it is the most important of the scales. Because thanks to this scale, we have a home.
These deliberations on minority brought me to draw a small scale between the Mona Lisa smile, the The Last Supper performance and unfinished giant clay horse in Leonardo Da Vinci’s legacy. Mona Lisa represents my interest in the link between neuroaesthetic and conservation of the artwork. The Last Supper refers to various analyses of contemporary thinkers about the relation between science and spirituality. Listening to the conversation about faith and science by Rabbi Sacks and Richard Dawkins brought some relief to these dilemmas. “The Last Supper” may also refer to the recently announced "strange death of Europe". Rabbi Sacks juxtaposed the author of "The Strange Death of Europe" and the historian Yuval Harari, who predicted the end of history at all. In this context, discussing the aspects of "minority" or “borders” may seem cliche as "we are no longer here".
And I have such an impression that there is no one around anymore. Everyone believes in the centuries-long fashion of rejecting who we are. We treat our species as a bizarre, archaic excavation of a disgusting history that did not actually happen. We are so brilliant today and so enlightened that we have almost become gods already. Everything around is either outdated or unimportant, rotten and ready to be thrown away. But will we not be bored in this infinite, sterile and immortal world?
Are these questions from Zygmunt Bauman’s book "Modernity and Holocaust" forgotten? Does the terrifying idea of ubiquitous bureaucracy, cards, numbers, institutionalization of everything, even art, still continue like a never unfinished 80 years old story? Like a crooked mirror: Art is everywhere, but where are the artists?