Daniel Kotowski, A Human Being Who Does Not Use Speech Is No Human Being, 2020, video


The screening location is particularly important for the festival presence of Daniel Kotowski’s work. Next to acoustic screens dividing Orunia, we will see a video posing questions about communication, exclusion and building a common language.

A Human Being Who Does Not Use Speech Is No Human Being refers to Croatian Mladen Stilinović’s iconic work An Artist Who Cannot Speak English Is No Artist. Michał Grzegorzek had the following to say about the showcased video: “In his work, Kotowski uses a false sign, stylising it as a word in sign language. In reality, this multiplied gesture is an arrogant or rude act that expresses disrespect for what someone else has said. A sign that is clear to anyone. The work sparks debate about the limits of visibility and audibility of people whose senses (sight, hearing and others) function in an atypical way. How can a very silent voice fight for its place in discussions, and in the world? How to build new platforms of meeting and communication without resorting to old, exclusionary models?”. In the vicinity of acoustic screens that protect residents against noise and divide the space, Kotowski talks about exclusion from the perspective of the deaf community.

Film, editing: Karolina Zajączkowska
Project completed as part of the International Festival of Urban Art OUT OF STH VI. Space Absorbence.


DANIEL KOTOWSKI (he/his) is an artist and performer. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2018) and the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw (2016), and was admitted to the Doctoral School of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Kotowski’s artistic practice offers a reflection on ways of existence. He observes human-to-human experiences and relations and the way we are perceived by other individuals. His works often refer to the notions of biopower and biopolitics. He is particularly focused on categories of “completeness” and “incompleteness”, their ambivalence and hidden potential. Kotowski describes himself as an indicator of incompleteness, in breach of the norm, because he is Deaf and does not use speech. Through his art, he develops his unique communication strategy.


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