No 3 (91) 2012
July - September


"Focus on European Live Art" has been the motto of this year edition of the "Interactions". The selection of topic has been related to the European project "A Space for Live Art". At present the project covers 8 partners from all Europe who organize periodically performance art festivals.

Paulina Kempisty

Art historian. She works for the Labyrinth Gallery in Lublin and runs the Performance Art Foundation.

Paulina Kempisty

THE FESTIVAL IN PIOTRKÓW TRYBUNALSKI HAS BEEN ONE OF THESE. Stanisław Piotr Gajda and Gordian Piec, the "Interactions" organizers, invited to cooperate partner festival curators, among others: Antoine Pickels from Belgium, Nieves Correa from Spain and Mara Vujovic from Slovenia. In total, 40 artists from 14 countries have participated in the festival. The text accompanying this year "Interactions" reads: "our foreign partners have pointed out the artists who are most representative for their respective countries". In my opinion, their choice has been quite doubtful. The festival performances varied in the quality level, while its program lacked coherence. Some events, however, are worth mentioning; the performance by Ana Gesto from Spain being one of these. The artist, who has applied elements borrowed from her country tradition, managed to develop a universal language platform, and guide the viewers intuition into the area of the infinite cycle of life and death. Further, the performance by Justyna Scheuring has been quite interesting. Her action contained several sequences that formed a cohesive, carefully planned structure. The performance by this artist can be distinguished with regard to its lack of tangible narration, and abstract objects combination; by the same token, it offered possibilities for various interpretations. The performance by Shannon Cochrane have followed the style of full of humor spectacle. The artist presented some "tricks" then revealed the rules behind them. Perfectly mastered artistic tools have been an added value of this performance.

When I was leafing through the program, I thought that it was an interesting idea to present artists from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. Unfortunately, the performances they showed left one hungry for more. The performance by Branko Miliskovic from Serbia has been the only exception. The artist had full control over the audience, imposing on them his rules of "the game". He pointed out individual persons from the audience who were to rebound obediently the ball following the metronome rhythm.

The group of younger generation artists, who took part in the "Off Interactions" deserve special attention. Janusz Bałdyga has been the curator of this segment. Iza Chamczyk has created a visually interesting situation. The artist was standing under the painting canvas suspended on the ceiling, and tried to catch in her mouth the dripping blue liquid. The performance was presented in the course of two consecutive days. In this time the blue spot on the canvas was growing to form a live picture, while the variable frequency of the falling drops determined the performance dynamics. Several hours long performance by Karolina Kubik has been, on one hand, a reference to senseless killing of animals, on the other - it told about extreme fear, pain, stress and limits of endurance. In the first part the artist blocked the Gallery entrance with dry branches brought from various places in Piotrków. Then for over an hour she was gnawing out fur from the fox tail, thus ruining it completely. Pavlo Kovach and Yurii Biley, the Ukrainian artists, offered interesting performances during the "Off". The latter of the mentioned showed a subtle performance applying such ephemeral mater as light and smoke. The performance by Luis Dawid Probala originally promised quite a lot. Unfortunately, it ended with a sequence of chaotic moves and a wrestle with the matter that he could not cope with.

As usual, the Festival was closed with the performance by Przemysław Kwiek and the Europe Restaurant Group. Within this action, Kwiek created his own event "Perfidia Perfearance III". He "inspired" in a spectacular way the visitors he had invited, then for the consecutive 20 minutes each of them could have a say by means of any form of artistic expression. A pleasant, relaxed atmosphere was prolonged onto the action by the Europe Restaurant Group who were the last to perform.

The "Interactions" 4th International Art Festival, curators: Stanisław Piotr Gajda, Gordian Piec, Piotrków Trybunalski, May 7th-11th 2012.