performance / 2017
every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. (the performance lasts ca. 5 mins)
backyard window of a residential block, Dworska 24
“Be vigilant! The Block of Wonders.” This inscription could for many years be seen above the entrance to one of the staircases of the building at 24 Dworska Street. The Block of Wonders is one of the former hostel housing blocks, where lodging was mostly given to people working in Gdańsk’s factories and the shipyard. Cramped one-room apartments found in such workers’ hostels often housed entire families, while kitchens, bathrooms and toilets were shared and located in the corridors. In the collective memory of the district, the block on Dworska Street made a name for itself through its picaresque tales and… wonders, including the drunken antics of its inhabitants.
Wojciech Bąkowski (and his carefully crafted artistic image) is strongly connected with the aesthetics of the Poznań tower-block estate where he grew up. The Block of Wonders, now hardly different from the surrounding buildings, seems to be a natural scenery for the artist’s performance prepared for Brzeźno. It will be based on the trivial gesture of brewing tea: the ordinary activity, carried to the extreme, may prove to be downright oppressive. Like the micro-shows of mechanical clocks with moving figures of saints, knights and death, the looped performance attracts the eye with hypnotising strength. The artist intends to reappear for several minutes at equal intervals: at every full and half-hour. As he says himself, “the repetitive theatre performance will be a simple blow-up, showing the incredibility of life in its most ordinary manifestations.”
Wojciech Bąkowski (b. 1979)
is a visual artist, author of animations and video works, poet and musician. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. His film works have been presented at many international festivals. In 2014, he received the Grand Prix at the festival of short films in Oberhausen. He is the winner of the Views award (2009) funded by Deutsche Bank. He has had several solo exhibitions (e.g. in New York, Prague and Cologne) and participated in a number of collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad. His works may be found in the collections of the most important art museums in Poland. Originally from Poznań, Bąkowski lives and works in Warsaw.