This year Lodz Kaliska celebrates its twentieth anniversary. Because of that the celebrations have lasted the whole year. The final events of these celebrations will be:
The exhibition in the Mała Gallery ZPAF-CSW "How the picture comes into being" - "Coats not coats" and performance and exhibition in the Laboratorium Gallery in the Ujazdowski Castle.
Earlier this year Lodz Kaliska has been presenting its works and performances in the Karowa Gallery in Warsaw, in the Art Museum in Lodz, the BWA Gallery in Wrocław and also in the Liget Gallery in Budapest where in the Toldi Cinema there were presented their films and video realisations too.
The fact that the Lodz Kaliska group exists for such long time is an unusual event. Artistic activities of the group was often connected with moral scandals and shaking the schemes existing in contemporary art life, breaking through convencies and effective blurring of borders between art and life. The artists of Lodz Kaliska have had many conflicts with art circles, their work was subjected to strong contestations of critics and used to arise consternation or enthusiasm of public. At the begining, mainly during martial law years in Poland the group acted as a part of so called "culture of clubbing together", they were publishing independent clandestine magazine "Tango" and initiated festivals of "silent movies" which took place in so caled "Attic", the place which assembled independent artists not only from Lodz but also from whole Poland. From 1980 on the artists of Lodz Kaliska have had many exhibitions (individual and collective) and have been organising various art events in the Mała Gallery in Warsaw (e.g. exhibition of Andrzej Swietlik "Like children" in 1996.)
Recently Lodz Kaliska concentrates, apart from realising films, upon making performaces ("A married woman unclothed by her bachelors, even" in the Liget Gallery in Budapest) and great photographic stagings ("Histerical Battle of Grunwald", Gallery Karowa, Warsaw, photographic staging of M.Zichy painting in the Zala Museum, Hungary).
Nothing indicates that that activity of the group will decline after the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary are over. The artists are planning further actions, photographic stagings, exhibitions. They are finishing feature film which is supposed to be released next spring.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary Lodz Kaliska has published the illustrated book entitled "God envies us our mistakes".
Born in 1929, lives in Lodz since 16 years (before that, inter alia, in Częstochowa), farming education, amateur sculptor. Wife Michalina, three children. His artistic credo: To be and not to be - simultanously. Fascinated with jazz music in his early youth, spent three years in music school. He is currently working over a symbolic figure entitled "Captivation" presenting in stone the Infant himself.
Born in 1965 in Siemiatycze, lives in Lodz for 5 years. Married four times, daughter Marysia. Graduated from the Lublin Catholic University and the Higher School of Social Sciences. Amateur sociologist - in the Lodz Kaliska group he employs himself with relations and casting (it is him whom we owe that the group's muses are so nice. In 1974-1975 scholarship stay in Canada. Since one month he realizes in Bohemia a dark feature film with the interim title "The Arts".
Born in 1951. Art historian, journalist. Bachelor, two children. He has written the book "I know dada, please go out" dedicated to art of traveling. Connoisseur of wines. For eleven years he has persistently carried stones to the peak of Czerwony Wierch thus making it one and half meter higherabove sea level. Since two years he is working as 5the Promotion Department Manager of the town of Nowy Sącz. Currently his artistic activities are sporadic.
Born in 1951. Comes from Pomerania. Married, two sons. Self-taught photographer. Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Lives in Warsaw since 20 years; a friend of all male and female artists. He has made about twenty five thousands pictures, inter alia Playboy cover, bilboards, newspaper coverages. During the last three years in the Lodz Kaliska group he employed himself exclusively with conceptional and promotional work. In his spare time he is finishing few cardboard models of the first world war airplanes.
Born in 1939 in Vienna, lives in Lodz since his early childhood. Educated as a graphic artist and actor (graduated from the State Higher Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz. He has made television commercials and promotional campaigns for the world leading producers in RTV. Winner of numerous competitions, including the World Press Photo. He is dealing with Public Relations of the Lodz Kaliska group. His most recent passion are old cars (Alfa Romeo).
How the picture comes into being ...
October 16th, 1999. Lodz Kaliska is performing in the Budapest Liget Gallery* : during the opening of "Lofasznamurze" exhibition they realize their performance entitled "Married woman unclothed by her bachelors, even". The title is taken fom well known work of Marcel Duchamp, the spiritual father of the group. During the performance which lasts for dozen or so minutes two (not only one as the original title suggests) young women dressed in traditional wedding dresses are being unclothed by two bachelors who are cutting out with scissors pieces of wedding dress piece after piece. Two other bachelors walk around this event with a big mirror "transmitting" thus reflection of the models being stripped to the people who came to the opening and accidental passer-bys who grouped themselves on the street and observe the event through gallery's windows. After unclothing the models completly long strips of the wedding dresses are being hung on ladder which stand on one of gallery's walls denying thus laws of physics. There are fish thrown out of cans scattered around - what causes specific smell. Closely stands a bucket with dozens of swirling catfish, inhabitants of nearby Danube. On the walls there are - besides of the ladder with remnants of weding dresses - photographs of former performances of Lodz Kaliska. One wall is completly covered with identical Adam Rzepacki posters showing a naked model with three breasts.
October 17th, 1999. Zala. Small town south west of Budapest, close to the Lake of Balaton. Only a few know it as place of the Museum of Mihaly Zichy, one of the greatest Hungarian painters of 19th century. At this very place Lodz Kaliska makes its next performance which purpose is to make a photograph. The museum is set in original mansion surrounded by a picturesque park. The main object being inspiration and background for planned performance is the huge painting of Zichy entitled "The Truimh of the Genius of Destruction" (1878) which is placed on the wall of artist's studio. Lodz Kaliska do not pays attention to the groups of Hungarian and German tourists and follows its schedule of taking pictures. In this project participate also group's Hungarian friends: Tibor Varnagy, curator and director of the Liget Gallery and Suto Levante Lehel renown artist and ethnographer from Transylvania. Everything goes smoothly and thanks to sympathy of Museum's staff the session is over in less than two hours.
October 19th, 1999. Budapest. Two showings of Lodz Kaliska films from 1982 -1997 are presented in the BBS - TOLDI MOZI cinema at Bajcsy Zsilinsky street as a part of Budapesti Oszi Fesztival. Before the second (evening) show there is a presentation of Lodz Kaliska and the well known Hungarian critic Miklos Peternak who also presented Lodz Kaliska films ten years ago in Kassak Club cinema ten years ago delivers his introduction.**
After the showing of films the artists have meet with spectators. This very short report deals only with factual elements of these few October days of Lodz Kaliska in Budapest. The result of these days was undenied artistic success. But it is also important to report what was "in between". The journey to Budapest went with some troubles (car accident of Małgosia ("Pynia") and Piotr D. in Slovakia), a fine had to be paid for a subway ride without ticket, precious and expensive photographic equipment was lost. And there were long night talks in many languages with Hungarian friends (superb goulash at Zsuzsi Ujj's), looking for the "old traces", revitalizing old contacts ("refreshing" - to use Levente's word), interviews for local press (e.g. Magyar Hirlap), plans for new artistic enterprises. Wonderful meeting at Gyuri Durst place who together with his wife Vacskamati , daughter Macsi and son Peter treated Lodz Kaliska tasty fish soup and fine white wine from his ovn vinyard.
This way a picture comes into being ... the partial picture of a few October days of Lodz Kaliska visit to Hungary.
* The Liget Gallery in Budapest run by Tibor Varnagy since 1984 cooperates with the Mała Gallery ZPAF-CSW for more than ten years.
** Lodz Kaliska presented its works and performances in the Liget Gallery and the Kassaka Club Cinema in March 1989.
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