No 3 (95) 2013
July - September

The Inner Art by Natalia LL

Original art by Natalia LL has been persistently probing the mystery of life of man as a conscious being, spread between the micro and macrocosm. The artist has repeated the questions that people have been asking for centuries. Who is man? What is the sense of his existence and destiny like?

Alicja Cichowicz

Culture expert, Custodian of the Łódź Cinematography Museum.

Alicja Cichowicz

TO THE SAME EXTENT SHE HAS BEEN INTERESTED IN THE ROLE OF ART in human life. Natalia has started with the permanent observation of reality, speaking about ordinary everyday life experience of physical world and cognitive function of intellect. In the next stage (the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's) she attempted to grasp the sense of the interaction of two dimensions of human existence, to investigate a possibility of the intuitive insight into the universal laws of being and to "internalize" her art. In the "Night Dreaming" and "Pyramid" sessions she turns into a medium linking the outer world and hard to verbalize zone of the unconscious, striving to combine both in the act of art. She has been inspired then with psychoanalysis, parapsychology and myths.

Night dreams are a specific form of dialogue between the conscious and subconscious. According to Jung, night dreams illustrate our current, real life problems meeting the history of our race. These reveal our wisdom - transcendent with regard to an individual, and visible in archetypes - inherited from the ancestors. Thus, night dreams instigate our creative powers, provide solutions to the problems that we face in real life. The "dreaming" session has been an attempt at visualization of the artist's inner experience. The attempt, since the artist - sleeping during her meetings with audiences - presented just her appearance, while the inaccessible world of her dream projections remained a mystery. Any efforts to materialize these, or to offer their equivalent, has proved that human extra sensual experience is beyond grasp.

The artist was falling asleep in various places (under a glass dome, in a special tent) to check an impact of the outside energy on the content of night dreams. A wooden model of Cheops pyramid used to be her favorite location. A mysterious energy of the pyramid - having the function of biochemical and bioelectric catalyst according to Marian Krzysztan, a psychologist and co-author of the model - might stimulate intuitive processes of consciousness. Natalia indicated a possibility of night dreaming in the pyramid the retrospective that involved an upturned chronological order of events, and the prognostic (she had foreseen the Afghan war half a year before its outbreak).

Further, she has frequently mentioned precognitive qualities of art ( the "Night Dreaming" project involved projection of slides that showed her body onto a hospital bed, and her waking up after an operation in a real hospital bed on the day of the gala opening). Natalia had flashes of insight both, in night dreams, and through art, the latter being for her a kind of mystic experience. She has pursued her work with "objective tools", nevertheless, "strictly ruled by artistic intuition" and "expressing collective contents the vastness of which is intrinsic to any human being".

Parallel to the "Night Dreaming" sessions, the artist presented "Conditions of Concentration", on camera performances - meditations aimed at "catching up with the self". Night dreams and meditations are the conditions that lead to a higher stage of spiritual development. Jung regarded night dreams as individual oriented tools - an achievement of complete ego, the assimilation of "self" by a larger personality, as a result of the unconscious being integrated into the conscious. Under such circumstances one sees the world in different light, gets an absolute human experience - as added by Fromm - reaches a state where direct perception of reality, free of intellectual deformation, is attainable.

This truth - that can be also reached in the course of meditation - inhabits the deepest layers of one's self. This is why the "Points of Support" performance shows that man is connected with the Universe, as though by an umbilical cord, harmonizing one's psychophysical energy with the cosmic energy. Expressing her inner experience, the artist, by the same token, makes them universal and hints that these can be further turned into an individual experience of a viewer. After all, man and existence are common categories, and a direct insight into reality; "waking up" and "enlightenment" - as Buddhist believe - are all-human experience. Natalia makes one aware of this truth. This is the very sense of her oeuvre, this should be the very sense of our lives.

Natalia LL, "The Pyramid and Mysteries" , The New Art Gallery, City Art Center, Gorzów Wielkopolski, June - July 2013.