• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Paweł Kwiek

Paweł Kwiek was the key figure in Polish experimental film and video art during the 1970s. At that time, he was actively collaborating with two important neo-avant-garde formations: Workshop of the Film Form in Łódź and a group of artists connected to the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The Warsaw group consisted primarily of the circle of Prof. Oskar Hansen, including Zofia Kulik, Przemysław Kwiek (Paweł’s brother, who was part of KwieKulik), and also Anastazy Wiśniewski, and Zygmunt Piotrowski. Together, they formed the “Soc Art” movement (also known as “Socialist Conceptualism” or “New Red Art”), which tried to introduce new avant-garde political art and, in doing so, subvert the communist regime from the inside (since they all perceived themselves to be leftist artists). Experimentation with regard to Hansen’s theory and practice of Open Form likewise had an important impact on Paweł Kwiek’s approach to the filmic medium, to spatial experiments, and to participatory strategies that he developed later on. In 1971, he came together with Zofia Kulik, Przemysław Kwiek and Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski to co-author the filmic project “Open Form (Forma Otwarta)”, consisting of sequential study cases including the spectacular “Game on Actress Face”. These experiments determined the shape of Kwiek’s first “political” films, involving his deep interest in mass-media, in the phenomenology of the medium as such, and in the manipulative power of film as propaganda tool: “Face” (“Twarz”, 1971); “Me and the Phone” (“Ja i Telefon”, 1972); “1,2,3 Cameraman Exercise” (“1,2,3… Ćwiczenia operatorskie”, 1972); and the “assembling film” Niechcice from 1973. Needless to say, Kwiek was a co-founder and member of the famous Workshop of the Film Form (a formation officially active between 1970 and 1977) together with Józef Robakowski, Ryszard Waśko, Wojciech Bruszewski and Kazimierz Bendkowski, fellow students and alumni of Łódź Film School. Later on, between 1978 and 1981, he also worked as a lecturer at this institution. All of his filmic experiments from that period correspond with the practices of the Workshop, in which he was a leading figure. In the non-camera and non-screened film “Commentary” (“Komentarz”, 1972), he developed the interest he had nurtured in “Me and the Phone” to radically conceptualize (textualize) the filmic image, replacing the screening with a performance, “reading” the film’s content in front of the audience. This film was a “radical rejection of the cinematic communication mediated by film” that opposed clichés of the viewer’s narrative and mental expectations, according to Łukasz Ronduda. Other provocations appeared in “Mirror” (“Lustro”, 1971), consisting only of a mirror and the projector’s light “attacking the audience”—and in 1973, just before his real engagement with the medium of TV, “Numbers” (“Numerki”), which presented only the opening countdown (film leader) of the film reel in a way that resembled strategies from structural film.
The period of 1974–1976 saw Kwiek made his most important TV videos: “Video A”, “Video C” and “Video P”. The first video of the A–Z series was “Video A [Sytuacja Studia / Studio Situation]”, which was both the first Polish work to artistically employ the potential of the television medium and a pioneering video work in general. During a TV show devoted to the Workshop of the Film Form, Kwiek presented a performance, standing in front of the cameras and issuing his directives to the cameramen. By directing a live “television broadcast about himself,” he demonstrated that “every attempt to report objectively through a medium is doomed to fail, as we always deal with the interpretation both by the viewer and the operator, who decides what to show and what to hide,” according to Marika Kuźmicz. In his text Video (a catalogue introduction for Galeria Remont, 1976, Warsaw) Kwiek stated: “TV technology allows me to construct sets that transmit the image of reality in a way that is acceptable for human beings and conforms to its attributes. Therefore, I construct sets where the observed reality is the human being—for whom, in turn, the image of reality is his own constructed image. It is possible to build sets of varied degrees of dependency on the mode of transmission to the observed human, and therefore from themselves to the perceived image of reality. On the other hand, the structure of such a set determines what a human being who forms part of it can point out, discern, determine. As it is, we are dealing with a matter of intentional, physically existing realities and investigations into the ways in which humans operate within them. The investigation is developed through specific operations carried out thereupon and therein.”


1951, Mulawicze / PL

Kwiek studied at the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź (Poland). He is visual-arts artist and co-founder of the Film Form Workshop (1970-1977). From 1978 to 1981 he lectured at the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, from 1977 to 1978 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Poland). Kwiek has participated in many presentations of Polish Art in the country and abroad, he is the author of theoretical texts on avant-garde art, and also involved in poetry events and performances. His artwork is generally divided into two stages: The first one is characterized by his activities in the neo avant-garde movement of the 1970s, while the second stage is marked by a departure into spiritualism.


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