17 May - 8 June 2014
Curator: Jerzy Truszkowski

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - Museum Night: 
5.30pm - curated tour led by Jerzy Truszkowski
6pm - vernissage
6.30pm - performance: Zbigniew Warpechowski (Poematki), Krzysztof Zarębski (Głos Helmuta), Jerzy Truszkowski (Warschau
9pm - afterparty: old school disco (dj Max Hexer)

Photoreport from the POLISH RADICAL PERFORMERS 1967-1989 exhibition>>


Jerzy Bereś (1930-2012)

Zbigniew Warpechowski (ur. 1938)

Krzysztof Zarębski (born in 1939)

Zbyszko Trzeciakowski (1957-2006)

Jacek Rydecki (born in 1960)

Jerzy Truszkowski (born in 1961)

The core of the exhibition entitled Polish Radical Performers 1967-1989 is constituted by the works and records of the Polish art of performance by Jerzy Bereś, Zbigniew Warpechowski  and Krzysztof Zarębski, which were purchased as part of the Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA in 2013 thanks to a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. These are photographs signed by the authors, photographic boards with original texts by the authors and a series of objects made by the artists during the so-called performance manifestation.
The exhibition also features documentary records of performances by other prominent Polish performing artists and pioneers of the body art Jacek Rydecki, Jerzy Truszkowski and Zbyszko Trzeciakowski. These unique works, never before exhibited (Trzeciakowski) come from the collection of Max Hexer, the exhibition curator.

The works include a number of tangible records of the 1978 Romantic Mass by Jerzy Bereś - a work with a turbulent history, destroyed or stolen during the Martial Law period and reconstructed by the author in 2005. The Mass consists of twenty-one canvases containing the titles and dates of the first twenty-one manifestations made by the artist between 1968 and 1978 (manifestation was a term which Jerzy Beres used for his actions and performances). The boards are accompanied by an object called the "Altar of Fulfilment" and a photo report of Bereś's action made by Jacek Szmuc.


Jerzy Bereś, Romantic Mass, 1978, Kraków, Galeria Krzysztofory, photographic record by Jacek Szmuc of an action by Jerzy Bereś, Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA



Jerzy Bereś, „Msza romantyczna”, 1978, Kraków, Galeria Krzysztofory, dokumentacja fotograficzna akcji Jerzego Beresia autorstwa Jacka Szmuca, własność Kolekcja Sztuki Galerii Bielskiej BWA


Also featuring in the exhibition are twenty-four boards with photographs by Zbigniew Warpechowski, accompanied by the artist's records of the most important performances in the period between 1967 and 1984. These are independent works in which the artist combines body art and conceptual art.


Zbigniew Warpechowski, 93. Lyon, 1983: 5e Symposium International d’Art Performance. Cardboard  60 x 59.7 cm, Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA


Zbigniew Warpechowski, 15. Biuro Poezji – Warsaw, 1 January 1975 r. 0.01am: MANIFESTO ON ACCURACY Zb. Warpechowski, MANIFESTO ON INACCURACY, A. Partum”. Plywood board 60.8 x 61.6 cm, Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA

Other attractions include thirty photographs recording some of the most important performances made by Krzysztof Zarębski in the 1970s. Most of these photographs were taken by Leszek Fidusiewicz - the only photographer who accompanied the artist during his activities. This part of the exhibition also features three unique collages made by Zarębski in the 1970s.
 The exhibition continues the series of displays showing the Polish neo-avant-garde in Galeria Bielska BWA.


Krzysztof Zarębski, Session on Sienna, 1972, photo Leszek Fidusiewicz, black and white print on photographic paper, 1972, 1/5, 60 x 50 cm, Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA



Krzysztof Zarębski, Autohemo, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, 1976, photo Leszek Fidusiewicz, colourful print on photographic paper, 2013, 1/5, 180 x 90 cm, Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA


- "The gallery collection already includes a few works by artists representing critical and performance art by Przemysław Kwiek, Zofia Kulik and Zbigniew Libera and other. The gallery intends to create a representative collection consisting of the most precious artefacts and records made by the most eminent artists in the genre, including Zbigniew Warpechowski, Jerzy Bereś, Krzysztof Zarębski, Paweł Kwiek, Zygmunt Rytka, Zbyszko Trzeciakowski, Jerzy Truszkowski and Jacek Kryszkowski. Their creative work had the most profound influence on the changes which occurred in the Polish art of the late 20th century. Nevertheless, public collections still lack a representative set of photographs, films and documentary records combining photographs and texts by the artists, the same goes for objects featuring in their performances" - says Jerzy Truszkowski, exhibition curator who first suggested the purchase of the works.

About the performaces writes Agata Smalcerz:

Galeria Bielska BWA is currently holding the exhibition entitled Polish Radical Performers 1967-1989, which shows the creative work of Poland's pioneers in this artistic genre: Jerzy Bereś (1930¬-2012), Zbigniew Warpechowski (b. 1938) and Krzysztof Zarębski (b. 1939). In 2013, the Gallery purchased their works from that period thanks to a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
This part of the exhibition, consisting of documentary records, photographs, photographic boards and manuscripts, is complemented by videos and photographs by younger artists - Zbyszko Trzeciakowski (1957-2006), Jacek Rydecki (b. 1960) and Jerzy Truszkowski (b. 1961), all representing the radical performance trend in 1980s Poland. Never exhibited before, the works are from the collection of the exhibition curator, Jerzy Truszkowski.

The vernissage on 17 May 2014 was accompanied by three performances: Helmut's Voice (Osmosis) by Krzysztof Zarębski, Poematki by Zbigniew Warpechowski and Warschau by Jerzy Truszkowski.

Krzysztof Zarębski, an artist living in New York since 1981, alluded in his performance to Helmut Kajzar - a playwright and friend born in 1941 in Bielsko-Biała (died in 1982 in Wrocław) with whom Krzysztof Zarębski cooperated as a set designer. Recorded on magnetic tape and reproduced on numerous copies, the voice of Kajzar, still present yet difficult to play due to the lack of proper equipment, has been transformed by Krzysztof Zarębski into a visual element - a voice which is frozen and sealed off. Zarębski has also used his own 1974 film Osmosis starring his wife Krystyna Jachniewicz. Characteristically for the artist, this poetic performance, in which he was accompanied by the model Paulina Martyniak, consisted of a number of sensual images with the use of red lace and green grapes - all set to music by Phill Niblock.

Zbigniew Warpechowski
gave a minimalist performance in the series of Poematki in which he referred both to poetry writing and to the philosophy of Tao which the artist has been studying for many years, using its tenets for his major performances of the 1970s. Warpechowski juxtaposes two elements - nature, symbolized by a twig, and culture - represented by paper, ink and quill. The former becomes inspiration for the latter, and while nature is apparently accessible to every man and woman, it is only thanks to a handful of sensitive artists who give it a more sublime form that it reaches a wider audience of poetry and art lovers.

Jerzy Truszkowski
created a parable between his show during the vernissage in Bielsko-Biała and his 1985 performance in Warsaw's Galeria Działań entitled ppp - fff [piano pianissimo - forte fortissimo]of which five photographs found its way to the exhibition in Bielsko-Biała. He used a piano for both these shows. In 1985, he was playing the piano, while cutting his fingertips, one by one, with a scalpel, but in 2014 he used the instrument without drawing any blood as a stage on which he recalled some of the music and literary works which accompanied him in the 1980s, as well as making a collage of the reproductions of his own paintings. He also recalled his famous photograph Business- / Bat- / -men from 1997 showing the artist accompanied by the late Janusz Rasiński, both wearing suits and batman masks while sticking out their middle fingers. This time the artist used an Anonymous mask referring to the international gesture of civil disobedience against limitations of freedom in the Internet.

These three very different performances, showcasing the characteristic styles of the artists, served as one of the highlights of the Museum Night, as well as providing the finale of the exhibition during which the artists met for the first time.


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