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Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14<sup>th</sup> International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Interakcje under the banner of the audience – 14th International Action Art Festival InterAkcje

Malgorzata Kazmierczak, 2012-07-07

InterAkcje this year participated as a member of an international network of performance art festivals entitled "A Space for Live Art" that includes seven organisations. The festival was co-curated by Mara Vujic (Slovenia), Antoine Pickels (Belgium) and Nieves Correa (Spain). This allowed for a broad range of artists, especially featuring very young ones. The so called OFF programme was prepared by Janusz Baldyga. As in previous years, the name "OFF" was only a formality, because often performances by the artists who were invited to participate in this "OFF" category, were more interesting than the ones by the more experienced artists.

The very first event of InterAkcje was an exhibition by Andrzej Dudek-Dürer (Poland) entitled Circle of Life and Death. The artist believes that he is the impersonation of Albrecht Dürer. In his art he treats himself as an artwork. He is interested in religion and spirituality. In the photos presented during the exhibition (curator: Krzysztof Jurecki) we could either see his entire figure or just his famous almost 40 year old shoes and trousers photographed in various places of the world. These same elements appeared in the performance that he presented another day with three video projections, sitar music and elements of meditation. Another exhibition by Anne Seagrave (Poland) I am" opened the next day. The artist presented a series of watercolour paintings that were created during the process of an interesting media transfer which inluded her personal transformation (curator: Piotr Gajda)1.

The performance art programme was started by Iza Chamczyk (Poland) who performed in a white dress. From a bucket hung above her head, a blue-green liquid was dripping through stretched canvas. The artist who insists on being called a painter rather than a performer, tried to catch the drops in her mouth. The action was repeated at intervals through the first three days of InterAkcje and evoked various reactions from the audience including the interaction of another artist – Miss Universe (Deniz Aygun Benba) from Turkey, who joined Chamczyk at some point for quite a while.

One could say that InterAkcje this year was a festival of intense reactions by the audience, including performers interacting with one another. This happened in the case of Sinisa Labrovic (Croatia) who started his performance naked to the waist, with a whip in his hand. He looked around for a long time and it was not clear whether the performance had already started or what was going to come. Finally, he started to whip his back with single strokes and only after a while did we realise that the number of whipping strokes depended upon how many members of the audience left the gallery. The public faced a difficult choice – to stay till "the end", whenever that might be, or leave, because the performance had to end anyway. When a verbal persuasion from two "ordinary" members of the audience didn't help, two women performers decided to interact. Natalia Wisniewska (Poland) stood passively behind his back, but when this action did not achieve anything, then Julia Kurek (Poland) hugged him from behind so that he couldn't whip himself without whipping her, too. Most of the audience left at this point, but since Julia Kurek did not discontinue her interaction, the performance lasted for another 2,5 hours. The end of the performance was surprising: all remaining spectators hugged the artist and dragged him out of the Gallery. This simple and powerful action that touched the subject of empathy, also aimed to provoke anger in the audience as a result of the element of blackmail that the artist used. Unexpectedly, the action turned into a struggle to terminate the performance event.

Another intervention that changed the course of the performance action happened during the presentation by Silvia Antolin (Spain) who invited Polish members of the audience to participate in it. During her performance she placed them on a chair, and then washed the shadow cast by their body on the floor. She repeated the action with a few people, however the last invited man took the brush, soap and a rag and slowly washed the floor under the chair himself. In the end he dropped a handful of coins on the floor in a gesture of payment to the artist for her work. As he later explained he was provoked by the fact that the artist invited only Poles to participate in the performance, and this was what he found offensive. In this case of the audience interaction, however, it did not deprive the performance of its expression and maybe even added some extra meaningful elements to it.

Ana Matey, also from Spain showed a very visually attractive performance. She performed in blue overalls, used white and black pieces of fabric, a gold ball, a gold-painted watermelon and a big stone. Everything was interestingly composed and was connected by a sound produced by the bouncing of the ball and the snapping of bubble wrap that she gave to the public.

Similarly aesthetic, but more dynamic was a performance by Ana Gesto (Spain), who in her Variaciones Híbridas chose to use just two colours – black and white. She used salt mixed with coal, and poured the mixture through three metal cones, and also used silver umbrellas with black fabric attached. The action was accompanied by a loud sound of trumpets and Galician, traditional folk music. The artist moved dynamically among the props, crawled along the floor, poured the salt, danced and played a flute. Especially visually interesting was the traditional Galician folk dance with an umbrella with a piece of black fabric attached, in particular as her figure merged with the object. Performances by Ana Matey and Ana Gesto were similar in their aesthetics and the usage of sound.

A totally different structure of performance was presented by another Spanish performer living in Germany Andrés Galeano who in fact presented nine short performances. During two of them he showed two collections of photos from his family album, which showed people in characteristic poses – pointing at something or raising their arm in a gesture of greeting. Galeano invited a member of the public to point at him, then took a photo of that person and showed it to the rest of the audience. Certainly "someone from the public" will now be included in his photo collection as it becomes a live process reflecting the artist's interest in the role of documentation in art. The remaining actions had a Dadaist character e.g. ringing a bell over a plastic rooster's head, showing his passport and a toy-butterfly on a stick at the same time, playing with plastic bags and a toy tiger. The action that was supposedly the richest in meaning was the one with the Bible. The book had a hole in it, though which the artist looked at the audience. Then he knelt in front of a table and placed the unfolded Bible on his head. He wound up a few music boxes, stuck a big feather to one of them and placed it on the Bible. This short action lasted until the mechanism whirled the feather. The artist also jumped over a skipping rope made of a metal chain counting backwards, had a bite of an apple then put it into a plastic apple container and put it on his head. He also performed a poesia sonora piece that he recorded and played afterwards, which again referred to his interest in the documentation of art.

Bartosz Lukasiewicz (Poland) invited the audience to take part in a game – Chinese Whispers. The task was made more difficult by a soundtrack extracted from a porn movie. As it turned out the word that he said to the first person was KONIEC (the end) however the audience made it into an non-existent word NAMIKO.

There was a surprising performance by twin sisters Patricia and Marie-France Martin (Belgium / Switzerland). This long show was in fact a presentation consisting of various songs, movies and puns that were supposed to refer to the fact that a few days earlier Sarkozy lost the presidential election and how this fact would affect Carla Bruni's life. They also used the symbols of Belgium and Switzerland, e.g. French fries or Belgian lace. Unfortunately neither the symbols, nor the reference to the elections in France was interesting for a mainly Polish audience. the viewers appeared interested only on two occasions – while seeing Roman Polanski in a fragment of The Fearless Vampire Killers and by the presentation of a lace vagina, breast and a penis. An attempt to explain puns from French to English by an artist speaking intermediate English with a French accent with the help of a non-professional interpreter who tried to put it into Polish was time consuming and even irritating.

The duo was the curatorial choice of Antoine Pickels, who also invited a group of young performers called RE: Collectif (Boris Dambly, Elisa Espen, Julie Gilbert, Valentin Périlleux, Madely Schott, Britta Vossmerbäumer). The group, consists of young artists who met during studies at the art school in Brussels, but they come from different countries. They started with a classic performance art gesture – sitting still at a table, but very soon the action gained its dynamics, as they started to bite each other in every possible body part, crawling on the table, performing loud, even erotic sounds. Then keeping the aggressive tension they went outside and whilst performing similar sounds they dug a huge pit in the yard outside the Gallery. Then they asked the audience to bury them so that only their heads stuck out. Even though the noises were theatrically acted out, the bite-marks and sores on their skin were real. It was interesting to compare the energy of these young artists, with the totally different attitude of Polish young performers.

Łukasz Trusewicz (Poland) performed under a structure built of barbed wire that was attached to an electric current. He crawled from one side of the Gallery to the other through a "ground" symbol on the floor made of red pigment. Then he made his way back cutting the wire with scissors, stood up, shook off the pigment and ended his performance. The whole action was pretty powerful image, prepared in detail, with a clear message of release from a situation of oppression. However, as in the case of the AWACS Group's performance from the 80s, it was not obvious, that the wire was connected to an electric current. In fact it wouldn't have been apparent until a performer put himself under serious threat.

Danger caused by performance art and artists was the topic of a performance by Monika Szydlowska's (Poland) who also participated in last year's InterAkcje. In a witty way she referred to the incident that happened in 2011 during the performance by Ko Z from Burma. The fire that he used went out of control, almost causing a pigeon used in the performance to be burned alive. The Polish artist adopted the form of a typical business-like presentation and showed all possible threats that may result from a "typical performer's vocabulary" – glass, fire, gas, blood, unpleasant sounds etc. which are by the way typical for "male" performance. The artist developed the issues of danger, which she also touched upon during last year's InterAkcje, but since last year she improved both the content and the form, which is now more communicative.

Less communicative was the performance by Luis Probala (Poland), who first showed a short movie trying to hang himself and smearing himself with mud. Then he performed live assisted by a female friend. In a previously prepared structure made of wooden sticks and translucent plastic he "washed" white clothes on which he then put plaster and behaved as if he wanted to make a sculpture out of them, fitting them into a willow box and jumping on it. He destroyed the "greenhouse" structure and took his "sculpture" out of the box. He then seemingly tried to urinate on it twice.

A very formal and clean performance was presented by Branko Miliskovic (Serbia / Belgium / Germany) who almost forced members of audience to participate in his action that comprised of bouncing a ball in a rhythm dictated by a metronome. His posture and gestures did not leave any place for disobedience. He achieved an ideal symmetry when the last member of audience who had been made to take part in a performance left the stage through the left door leading to the backstage, while the artist left it through the ideally symmetrically placed right hand door. The situation was spontaneous and it caused an enthusiastic reaction from the public. It was interesting, how the audience was hypnotised by the "Marina Abramović look" so that even other performance artists did not attempt to rebel against him.

The audience was also forced to participate in a piece by Julia Kurek (Poland) in which she exchanged clothes with some members of the audience (that recalled a performance by Marie Novotny-Jones) as well as hugged other people and made them undress, which evoked an obvious association with a series of performances by Dariusz Fodczuk (who was by the way present in Piotrkow that day), called "Game" (first performed in 2000). The interesting thing was however the "found audio" that she recorded on the previous night when the Balkan artists were singing in a pub waking up the whole town. The young performer also performed in the Fokus Mall, where she laid down in a fountain dressed as Ofelia. After a while she stepped down to the floor and crawled around the fountain a few times. In the end she sat with her back placed against the wall and held a sign with the word "SALE" in her hands. The fact that it happened in a shopping mall, gave some strength to the context of the work.

Almost at the same time Yura Biley (Ukraine) showed a more delicate performance using his own hair, a bucket of sand and a glass of water. Moving along the hall he threw sand ahead of himself and then swept it back into the bucket using his long hair and a dustpan. Along his way he also slid the glass of water. When he reached a central point of the shopping mall, he made a pile out of the sand, put the glass on top and spat into it quite an amount of saliva apparently mixed with water. In the situation of a non-artistic space like a shopping mall or a street, actions that are more subtle and not designed to provoke a strong effect fit better, otherwise, the artist's effort seems to be futile.

Another very subtle and sensitive performance by Yura Biley was made in the Gallery using sunlight and mirrors, with which he devised an "installation", then sprayed the beam of light with water and combined cigarette smoke with it, achieving very subtle and visually attractive effects.

A totally opposite style of performance was presented by another young Ukrainian artist Pavlo Kovach who performed half naked, leaning against a wooden board. His youthful body and the strong image he created was combined with a minimal action – the pulling of a rope with his mouth and the chewing of it.

The performances of two Balkan artists – Sandra Sterle (Croatia) and Lana Zdavković (Slovenia) were based on allegories. Sandra Sterle "Our father" and the "Hail Mary" sang in Latin. After some time four people placed supermarket baskets with everyday food products on the ends of the cross's arms so that it all formed a swastika.

Lana Zdravkovic used a baby doll – an obvious allegory representing innocence, on which she placed masks of the former Yugoslavia's war criminals (Radovan Karadzic, Biljana Plavšic, Slobodan Milošević, Ante Gotovina, Ratko Mladic, Franjo Tudjman). She then "breastfed" the baby doll. Then she walked around the Gallery and hung the masks above which she had placed a long mirror. She performed the same action six times and ended the performance.

Milijana Babic (Croatia) dressed exactly as Santa Claus as if taken out from a coca-cola commercial, begged in various places of Piotrkow Trybunalski, causing a particular enthusiasm among children.

The previously mentioned Miss Universe (Deniz Aygün Benba) performed in an elegant red dress, with a bunch of artificial flowers and a "Miss Universe" sash as well as (typical for this kind of events) artificial smile and gestures. She asked a few members of the audience to find a golden ring hidden under one of several cups placed on the table. In the end it turned out however, that there was no ring. This obvious mockery of the convention of a beauty contest through the usage of script was at moments dangerously close to theatre.

The two performances by young artists Karolina Kubik and Natalia Wisniewska (Poland) were in a way similar because of the props they used (fox fur) and the idea, which seemed to be talking about our connection with nature. Natalia Wiśniewska on one wall showed a video with herself sitting on a pier at a lake with a view of a forest. On her head she wore an identical fur "hat" like during the live action – she was sitting bent, half-naked, facing the wall on the opposite side of the Gallery. She had sand paper bracelets on her wrists, licked them and rubbed them against her body. The action was accompanied by a sort of a ritual-magical sound that the artist called "Self-Message System".

Karolina Kubik's performance was much longer and more developed – she started by collecting branches of trees from people's gardens and built structures that gradually blocked both Gallery's doors. She also layered a wood tar substance on the entrance floor. In the final stage of her action, outdoors – in the Gallery yard, she ate the fox tail that she had attached to herself throughout the whole action.

Peter Grzybowski (USA / Poland) performs actions that are "self-referential" and formal. Here he used live video linked projection, and the camera was recording the performance at the same time, so we saw a multiplied image on screen. Grzybowski disappeared 10 times behind a door, where he waited for an audio signal from his computer and then performed some actions that are known from his previous performances like the tearing of newspapers, swinging of a bulb, swinging a broken umbrella (which is difficult not to associate with Tadeusz Kantor), or displaying an American flag, breaking bulbs, beer cans, smashing computer monitors with a golf club, burning the Quran and a Bible. The whole action took place in UV light and it was accompanied by sound – a re-mix of the sounds from previous performances.

One the most interesting performances was by Justyna Scheuring (Poland/UK) who first organised the audience so that people surrounded her body lying on the floor with her arms and legs held up, holding an egg and a torch. She had an empty coca-cola bottle tied to her wrist. She lasted in this position for quite a while, so when she finally stood up, the audience naturally thought that it was the end. But actually the performance was about effort after an enormous effort and at that point the actual action began. The second part of the performance started with a loud and continuous scream, after which she broke the egg. Then her recorded voice said: "Look – it walks like humans, look – it works like humans." Then she hit her heels with the coca-cola bottle several times and screamed again. Holding an egg shell in her hand she kept repeating through the microphone: "of course, I understand", making eye contact with the audience. Next she dressed herself in a blue swimming suit, took drumsticks, laid down on her belly and with the drumsticks in her hands and her legs lifted said or rather yelled: "I love my life, everything is waiting for me, I love people and people love me." Then she got up again, dropped the drumsticks, placed her hands on her shoulders and said: Hands / I'm between / I'm clapping / Now. The characteristic thing was that Scheuring controlled the tension felt by the audience, repeatedly loosening and strengthening it. The whole presentation was a bit dada, a bit abstract, but all the same included concrete images whose message could be literally interpreted (like the coca-cola bottle). However, the way the performance was composed was full of unexpected turns. She allowed no space for any improvisation or unnecessary decorative details. The performance was clean, ideally thought through and planned.

Vida Simon (Canada) said she planned to do two actions. The first of them was just one gesture – she unfolded a calendar displaying a naked woman, then she covered herself with the calendar and showed it to the audience. Next she climbed a ladder placed next to the Gallery's door, and took out huge rubber gloves hidden there in which she later performed. Wearing the heavy gloves, she tried to write some words or phrases (like: taste, choosing one over the other, image, weight, memory, status, association, bias, prejudice, ignorance, sound, smell, upbringing, religion etc.). She was writing using a quill and read the words aloud. Then she wrapped herself in the same sheet of paper on which she wrote the words, took out a cabbage and tore off one leaf after another until the cabbage was torn to bits completely and thereby finished her performance.

In a way, similar was the action by Peter Baren (The Netherlands), who performed one of the pieces from his ongoing series ARK. The artist has been performing them since 2004 and they are a kind of stream of consciousness. Using white chalk the artist writes down words – notions (hope, safety, desire, fear, progress etc.) in various languages in a circular shape on the floor. Within the circle he placed two white shirts stained with molasses and one of the female volunteers who was supposed to represent "progress" was running around. She was also smeared with molasses and wrapped semi-naked in cling film, with balaclava on her head. In the end the artist kissed the girl on her lips, lifted her and took her out of the gallery. After a while he came back and mopped the floor, so that all words disappeared. His entire action provoked many questions amongst the audience.

Inari Virmakoski and Tiina Tuurna (Finland) performed twice – both of their performances were very "Finnish". In the shopping mall they played with two colours – white and red and made a circle on the floor out of milk and wine. They were dressed in red and white and even ate red and white ice cream. An association with the Polish national colours is pretty obvious, but the colours are also used in Finnish design. The second day the artists invited the audience to the park, the same one in which Inari had performed a few years earlier. They asked people to close their eyes, hold each other's hands and walk around, then embrace trees and listen to them, lay down on the grass, and, finally to split into three groups and release their energy producing whatever noises they pleased. The walk was very soothing, pleasant and meditative. The most magical moment was when the artists gathered people under the trees on which crows had built dozens of nests. Their crowing was terrifying. In the end the artists showed printed photos of Inari's action from a few years earlier and announced that their current action was dedicated to Jan Swidzinski, (who could not come to InterAkcje this year) and also dedicated to the memory of Jan Piekarczyk, who died April 1st, 2011. The dedication and the fact that it was performed in a place where one of the artists had already performed, showed that InterAkcje has its own history, the history of its artist who become tied to this place. It is very interesting to observe the process.

InterAkcje is also a festival that concentrates positive energy and drags along the attention of many more or less apt amateurs. Certainly one of the most devoted to art is Jagoda Kiciak (Poland) who performed in the main market square – walking in a white bird-mask and using mirrors in which the audience could see themselves. The mirrors were then smashed having announced the end of the world.

During InterAkcje we also saw Mikołaj Tkacz (Poland) who works with sound.

Roberto Rossini (Italy) showed his aesthetic-ritual action entitled Zeitgeist in which he used video projection of a violent fire. Moving along a path that he marked on the floor by tea lights, he carried two buckets with coal. In the end he set fire to them. He also used a red rose whose petals he tore and dropped on the coal so that they created a colourful contrast with the coal.

Shannon Cochrane (Canada) performed in a navy-blue dress and gold sneakers. First she painted one leg white. The foot of the other leg she put to a bucket of apparently boiling water. Standing in the bucket she first magically produced a bunch of artificial roses, using a trick that she later revealed – showing the already folded heads of roses attached with wide lace. When she completed the whole bunch of roses, she took out the scolded foot out of the bucket of water and painted the other leg red and put on other, regular sneakers. She tied her dress around her legs and taped it, so that it looked like shorts. She tore up a large pillow and spread the feathers on the floor and started to jump over a skipping rope. The air caused the feathers to disperse and slide backwards. The important part of the performance was the soundtrack which was perplexing, as it was not obvious if the sound was a real stadium noise or something else, but as it turned out it was prepared by a sound artist. The whole had a clear feminist sense and a very visually attractive form.

A performance by Akenaton Group (Philippe Castellin, Jean Torregrosa – France), was not at the beginning clear in its message. The artists started to form a circle, using sand, debris, and black, white and red pigment, as well as crumpled white shirts. Inside the circle they made a pentagram using a green pigment. Finally, together with a sound in which one could decipher Arabic language among screams it became clear that the colours on the outbound of the circle were supposed to represent one of the Arabic countries. As it turned out it was Syria and the soundtrack came from a movie showing people being killed on their way to a hospital. In the end the artists showed a tab screen with the film shots.

The two last performances were traditionally by Przemyslaw Kwiek (Poland) and Restauracja Europa (Poland). Przemyslaw Kwiek first performed his PerfidiaPerfearance III – he stood on grey bricks with blue paper and white cotton "clouds" in the background, with a wild look on his eyes, adopting the position of a plane, while a volunteer produced sparks with a grinding machine. Then Kwiek asked all artists who participated in InterAkcje to perform simultaneously for 20 minutes. Every artist performed a characteristic gesture which caused interesting confrontations and accidental – nomen omen interactions.

Restauracja Europa Group (Gordian Piec, Piotr Gajda, Mariusz Marchewa Marchlewicz, Martyna Marusinska, Justyna Danielska) first seemed to prepare for a concert on a carpet previously spread out. The carpet reminded us about the absent co-creator of InterAkcje – Ryszard Piegza and his Flying Carpet. The performers took off their white overalls under which they were dressed in elegant suits. They tuned their toy "instruments" and at a given signal they smashed them violently. They stood up and standing in a row lit fireworks. At this moment we could hear a EU anthem, which was a clear reference to the event's sponsor – the European Commision, but also the initial years of the festival.

1 The process was described in detail by Lukasz Guzek in his text that we published at:
http://www.livinggallery.info/text/anne_seagrave


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