2016 | 14 | 114-116
Article title

Sekcja 2. Performowanie relacji. Transdyscyplinarność współczesnych działań artystycznych. Wstęp

Title variants
Section 2. Performing relationships. The transdisciplinarity in contemporary artistic practices. Introduction
Languages of publication
In recent years transdisciplinary tendencies have been growing increasingly stronger in Polish culture. They can no longer be reduced to intermedial or transmedial practices within the field of visual arts. Rather, they consist of transgressing and extending the borders of different fields of cultural production and their respective institutional circuits. Visual artists have been trying to enter the field of movie production and use the professional work conditions it offers together with their specific sensibilities, ways of thinking and habits. Another important factor is distribution within the movie industry field – an opportunity to reach a different and potentially larger audience than the one that visits art galleries and museums. This trend which was described – in a somewhat exaggerated manner – as “the cinematographic turn” in Polish contemporary art is really one part of a more general phenomenon. A few years ago “the performative turn” was announced. A bit later it was followed by “the audio turn”. Today it is probably the right moment to start a discussion about an analogical “theatrical” or “choreographical” turn. The point is, however, to recognise that all these “turns” in visual arts are elements of a more comprehensible configuration and they develop according to similar lines. The transdisciplinary movement has also occurred in other fields of cultural production. It can be observed in the field of literature, theatre, music or dance, all of which not only appropriate selected elements from the field of visual arts – e.g. materiality, iconicity, performance, multimedia installations, conceptual and documental dimensions, cognitive and generative protocols, artistic and social actions etc. – but also penetrate further and further into its institutional spaces and circuits. The development of such transdisciplinary tendencies is conditioned – on various levels – by a series of factors: starting form the logic characteristic of visual arts – the one of expansion, self-redefinition and appropriation of the outside – through transdisciplinary studios at art schools, the changing of identities and the tasks of cultural institutions or the criteria of grant programmes, to the general transformations in the forms of labour and modes of production under capitalism. Obviously, there has already been a history – manifold histories – of such exchanges and they are not absolutely new or without precedence. What seems to be new, at least in Poland, is the co-appearance and growing intensity of transdisciplinary and “transinstitutional” practices in various fields of cultural production. Transdisciplinarity can be the main purpose of singular projects or a basis for taking up other issues – a basis for performing relationships between a whole set of elements: body, movement, time, space, habit, affect, sight, hearing, mind, object, sign, discourse, history, culture, production and politics. The common ground of texts gathered in this section is the motif of creating or “performing” relations. They do not exhaust the subject identified here nor even present its full complexity. They rather provide a number of case studies which indicate some more general outlines of the transdisciplinary and transinstitutional logic that governs the field of contemporary cultural production. We hope that the section will contribute to wider discussion on the subject. Ula Zarek defines dance as an “art of relationships” and shows how contemporary choreographic work goes beyond “pure dance” and approaches the field of visual arts and performance art. Using phenomenological and aesthetic concepts of bodily intentionality and the thinking, sentient soma as well as a theoretical reflection on dance, which is becoming increasingly present in Poland, the author analyzes a series of projects based on improvisation – the main method of experimental and cognitive acts in contemporary dance. She also indicates that transdisciplinary practices draw on both the field of “performative arts”, which is often described in Polish with the word “performans”, and the tradition of “performance art”, which is in turn referred to with the original English term. Similar issues are taken up by Katarzyna Słoboda, who presents from the perspective of a curator and dance researcher, the objectives and course of the project Frames of reference. Choreography in the museum. The case study becomes an occasion for general considerations of dance as a way of exploring affective relations, which are an important aspect of contemporary capitalism and its production culture. The analysis touches upon such subjects as choreographic scores, improvisation as an act of coming into relationship with a context, and the presence of the viewer-participant at the site of the creative process: in the space of choreographic work and production. In this space the border between workday movement and dance becomes highly uncertain. Piotr Olkusz presents the project Avant-Garde and social realism, developed as a result of institutional co-operation between The Kazimierz Dejmek New Theatre and The Museum of Art in Lodz. It was intended to explore the relation between certain aspects of social realism and the ideas and practices of the Avant-Garde. It included transdisciplinary practices that led to the interpenetration of theatre and visual arts and, at times, to the creation of a “total performance beyond all genre”. However the project was not centred on the historical past. It was rather meant to examine the inheritance of the Avant-Garde and social realism and check if within it there remained anything alive, worth taking up and updating. It was above all to raise a question about the contemporary place, role and mutual relationship of experimental and socially engaged art. The presence of visual arts themes and practices in the field of theatre is the frame of Katarzyna Urbaniak’s text. The author uses contemporary theories of things and objects to examine the status of Jerzy Grzegorzewski's scenographic objects. She analyses, on the one hand, past agency and performativity of “ready made” objects that co-acted on the stage with human actors, and on the other hand, the place of the objects in the theatre which turn into a collection and an archive. Two difference projects during recent years aimed at presenting the archive – in the form of a book and a hipertext website – change the status of the items it includes: they displace them out of the contexts of the spectacle and actors play and puts them into a space in which they become closer to artistic objects or biographical and cultural traces. In both cases the scenographic objects turn into memory afterimages of Grzegorzewski’s theatre. “The turn to things” also sets a theoretical frame for Joanna Glinkowska’s text. Her analysis concerns the exhibition Things, organised as an artistic project at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in Lodz. In accordance with the concept designed by artist-as-curator Agnieszka Chojnacka, the project participants presented or created their artistic objects in relation to the exhibition space and narration of the museum’s permanent display. Glinkowska tries to show how those artistic objects acted and performed in relation to one another. She also wonders if Things are a sign of a wider tendency on the part of Polish contemporary art to penetrate into the field of ethnography.
Physical description
  • ASP w Gdańsku, MIoS
  • Uniwersytet Łódzki, Instytut Kultury Współczesnej, Katedra Mediów i Kultury Audiowizualnej
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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