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(en) Poland, rozbrat: State symbols, abstractions and small birds. AKK Revenge [machine translation]

Date Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:44:22 +0200


About the exhibition entitled "Zemsta" "Abstractions in orange, pink and yellow", which on Wednesday at 19.30 will have its finisaz, with its author, Antonym Zmyslonym, Marek Piekarski talks. ---- For me, this is one of the best exhibitions we've made during these five years, but at the same time an opportunity to show and to be present in part a bigger project, that is, to enter the role that Revenge set for itself in the assumption. Tell me what's going on in this activity, what the project is about. ---- The idea was born in reaction to seeing one boy in turn in a black and sad patriotic blouse, with a huge white eagle in this tenacious, formally approved form. And this eagle once again associated me with a hen connected to high voltage and I thought to myself - I would like to help, this tension try to somehow disconnect, unload, drain this patriotic pair. It's best to have fun, because by this napinke, all our national uglyness and the celebration of independence in November is terribly sad for us. This is how the first edition of the "Little Birds" project was created, i.e. a collection of patriotic t-shirt designs without embrace.

The exhibition in Zemscie is another part of this project, prepared on the occasion of Independence Day, the day in which everything - including the forms of rebellion against state oppression - is so Polish and symbolic that it asks for abstractions and foreign language titles.

So these are not abstractions but birds? And it has something to do with national symbolism. Are not you afraid of laws and paragraphs?

I wanted to find a pattern for a bird that would be close enough around the official form of a state symbol to be completely legible, but it did not directly use any of the elements of this symbolism - and thus provoked to play with both form and the meaning of the symbol. That the kind of black background of sweatshirts is good and pink bad? And if it offends one's feelings, then what and why? Where is the border between the state symbol and a pile of colorful squares? Is it possible to punish and for what reasons? If a police patrol caught up with me during posters gluing at the beginning of November, what would they do? In the dark, all these backgrounds are red, and I would say that I am trying to artistically celebrate the National Day because I love my homeland and Lech Poznan. And that squares are, because it's modern art, on the computer. And what, would they give me a mandate? I would like to pay a premium for the opportunity to participate in this intervention. Such things as the police council on art, especially on the radio, especially with the current power, you will not see the galleries.

The work opens dozens of possibilities for interpretation, encourages action, but also shows a specific perspective. An attempt at polemics with the current state of Polish culture? That's what you mean?

From the very beginning, the project was rather a blink of an eye and invitations to play than attempts at serious polemics with anything. And probably the most to his face in this cheap, pop-up style. On the other hand, Poland's Culture and National Heritage have recently become so tense, oversensitive and overwhelmed by their role that perhaps such a slick kick in an institutional ass is the right method of polemics.

And pixels?

Pixels are only pixels, probably just as obvious in graphics as typescript in literature. I have a weakness for them, because through such a simplification, projects lose their individual character, they become anonymous, common, they are easily duplicated, everyone can process them in their own way and use them in new ways.

I painted the pixels of birds for the exhibition in Zemrow classically, on canvas and oil paints, which I diluted with potato spirit. At the time it just seemed funny to me, but as I think about it now, after several jumping competitions, I think it's actually a pretty shapely polemic.

Jumps in art or in Polishness? Autotherapy?

All at once. The strength of these pictures is probably due to the appeal to symbolism, which we all have stuck in our heads more than we think. I once thought that in exchange for free education most of us had to stare at such a picture with an eagle in the frame for some 9,000 hours (12 years x 200 days x 5 lessons). It must have left a mark on every psyche, as well as ubiquitous religious symbols. Maybe in this way I'm trying to deal with it somehow.

From time immemorial, we have Catholics fighting for the interests of "God of Earth", as if he could not defend himself. In Poland, they were able to introduce into the law a record of punishment for insulting religious feelings. And then we have the continuation of this interpretation - the Nazis who have trod on the positions of patriots through the Independence March. On the dam, proving to people that the swastika is a symbol of the sun etc ... Is not it that anarchists or, more broadly, freedom and progressive movements, stopped fighting for their symbols by completely giving away the bankruptcy? And that culture does not like the vacuum ...

I am not a specialist, but the evolution of the meaning of symbols seems to me quite natural. The problem is, as usual, our Polish lack of distance and devotional attitude to absolutes / abstraction, which I feel applies equally to everyone from the right to the left. Easily ridiculing translations of the ancient solar symbol or Roman salute, it is much harder to swallow the fact that referring to concepts such as socialism, communism, red banner or class struggle in their pre-war meaning are analogically not swallowed by the vast majority of our countrymen. And it's not entirely their fault. This is what brand marketing means in marketing and it is very difficult to change, especially when it is negative. On the consumer market, it is usually more profitable to "calm down" the brand and introduce a new one than to force it, that our let's give it to meat does not stink anymore. Because, of course, if you replace labels on postulates, it would turn out that almost everyone in this country agrees, only that some say the capitalists, and the other Jews.

I still have a big red banner somewhere in my house, somewhere around 2x4 meters, rolled up on May 1, eighty of a pole in front of the Polfa factory in Poznan. We were maybe 10-12 years old, we were reading about the occupation and the fear was exactly the same as if we were downloading a great swastika. And we had no doubt that we were downloading the symbol of a totalitarian empire, under the occupation that we were born with, and probably we will die. By the way, when I find this banner somewhere, on the first of May I will drag him onto the same pole instead of the GlaxoSmithKline flag, a nice personal performance will come out with a giggle of history in the background.

Once I was waiting for someone at the Arsenal Gallery, near the unleavened Military Museum in the old market. A banner with an eagle in the window. A group of teenagers are approaching standing in front of the window and in delight, one of them says - "and that's what the fuck is about!" And then everyone starts to tear "away with the commune." Are your squares not too ambitious for such a deceased generation?

Well, I go by this museum every day and the fact should probably hit the UNESCO list of heritage, or better to some museum museum, as the best preserved example of nineteenth-century exposure techniques:) Once I went there with a five-year-old son who wanted to pee, but how tickets did not let us.

And squares it seems to me that this generation fit perfectly, only instead of "banner" or "eagle" say "logo". Current teenagers were born around 2000 and they are growing up in a completely corpored branding, creating for profit some completely crazed values, for joke called "intellectual". We had a block and paints in kindergarten, and now there is an Angry Birds block, My Little Pony block, Elsa paints, Star Wars paint and so on. And just try to buy not these. The kids recognize the brands in a flash, just like we recognized each other by the names of bands written on the pencil case. In junior high school one glance and one knows who is who, because Adik is oldskul, New Balance is more rebel than Nike, Fila is for debila, and brands from Decathlon for Janusza and Wieslawów.

I think that all patriotic clothing is simply another brand for them, with an anchor or an eagle in the logo. In theory, there are some values like "death to enemies of the homeland" or "never give up", but does anyone buy a Nike tracksuit because he wants "just do it"? Sooner or later, all these black sweatshirts will end up forgotten at the bottom of the wardrobe, where ours ended up with pentagrams, daggers and bleeding heads of goats.

Every day you deal with the design of such corporate brands. Is it by no chance your fault that young people ingest this whole capitalist, nationalistic, conservative crap? The creative milieu, in spite of its privileged role, does not give the impression of a society something that could embed its libertarian identity. Is it laziness, or rather a lack of willingness to understand this society? Is it more important to you than responsibility?

If I sold, then where is the money, as Swietlicki asked. Because every day I mainly deal with ZUS and rent, which sometimes works and sometimes I do not. And I think that the majority of creatively and quite independently people have a similar problem. If there is money, there is no time, and no money, no more time. So that there will be time and money, someone has to work for us, and then we take over his profit and have time:) In short - most of us sell on the market without much pleasure, but few can afford to sit down after work back to the machines and design the paper. And it's not entirely a matter of laziness. I would not like to speak on behalf of an abstract environment, but we with my friends have a whole list of revolutionary projects that we would like to move at some time. From the portal with cool materials for learning ethics for parents who want to teach their children on their own, to the foundation dealing with the organization of forest clearing. And we mark the next meetings on this topic in the calendar, and then we move them because the kid got sick, and then you have to give away some project for yesterday ... maybe now, as I've said about it and is writing it, it will succeed.

What's next with this project?

It seems that more and more will happen. On the birthday of Vengeance another edition of the project has already been created - computer game "Day of Vengeance", there are views of the appearance of shirts, and of course China has a leash and keyring container;) 2018 is a special year - one hundred years of independence and one hundred years of electoral rights, current power he has 50% support in opinion polls, so there will be plenty of abstraction for celebration and subjects for polemics. If you feel like it, I invite you to combine and share effects yourself.

So where to look for it? Any www address, FB?

Any moment, as soon as I earn ZUS in February and will be a moment of time. Projects and photo documentation will surely be able to watch maleptaszki.pl and facebook.com/maleptaszki , soon I hope you can also play there a new version of the Day of Vengeance. And what's next, you'll see it.

Thanks for the interview and inspiration.

http://www.rozbrat.org/publicystyka/alternatywy/4597-symbole-pastwowe-abstrakcje-i-mae-ptaszki
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