Michał Łagowski [Poland]
Podejdź bliżej / Come Closer
location: closed shop „dywany firany zasłony chodniki”, 2 Straganiarska Str
”Listen, you have to open the door to me and give me electricity access – I’m going to project my video on your wall – it will make you and others realize how miserable your situation is.”
I have been following festivals in public space in various cities for some time now and what worries me about them is the reocurring motif of the exploration of neglected districts, as well as tracing and learning personal stories of their inhabitants. An experience of participating in one of such festivals was a turning point to me. It was like a real failure in a visually interesting setting – generating yet another paradox on the boarder of art and a particular social situation, poverty in this case. It’s the poor, the old, the sick and the lonely ones and their stories that become an attractive material to artists. Sniffing around poor districts and backyards, digging into painful memories, camera close-ups on picturesque-looking old people. The production of shallow emotions and series of questions with no prospect of a reply. For the other part passiveness is often the only way to be present among the public.
My work is deprived of an aesthetic charm, it’s like an experiment concocted in an artificial sterile surrounding. Bare scenario of an intervention in public space. I wanted this performance to reflect upon our greedy desire to get to know, touch and experience people and places connected with historical places of memory.
Lack of reflection is combined here with the burglary character of the encounter with witnesses of time. We experience the fetishization of objects and people whose subjectivity is being questioned in order for us to quench our curiosity and produce yet another artefact.
Michał Łagowski, born 1988 in Gdansk. He is currently working on his diploma at professor Grzegorz Klaman’s intermedia studio at the Gdansk Academy of Art. In his works, he touches upon the issue of adjustment to social norms and requirements, the role of an artist as a person with a realistic influence on the shape of the society. He’s in favour of the open politcization of culture.