Janusz Baldyga is a performance artist, who also makes objects constituting the traces of his actions. They are simple objects made from simple materials. He studied painting. In the mid-seventies he was a member of 'Pracownia' (Studio) group, that included two other artists. They communicated with the audience by means of 'presentations/performances' that followed closely their written scenarios. They often used films (super 8 mm) read, lectures, formulated and declared their statements. Although the artists did not refer directly to Ludwig Wittgenstein they explored the boundaries and possibilities of a new language of communication, that seemed much more suitable considering the level of their consciousness and modern iconosphere than, for instance, painting. 'Pracownia' ceased its activity in 1981. Janusz Baldyga got involved in his individual works that can be defined by the term 'performance'. The fact that the artist got associated with Academia Ruchu theatre company was not without any significance. In some way it influenced his approach to a presentation that happens only once, he accepted the street as a natural environment for artistic actions. General Centre, performed a week before the material law was introduced in Poland (December 1981), was one of the artist's first individual presentations. It consisted of several elements, the most significant being a lecture and a short action with an object. The lecture or rather a declaration on General's operations was formulated in a language reminding of modern talking, so typical for the period, and at the same time and encyclopaedic entry. The action consisted in setting a propeller-barrier in rotary motion. It introduced the most simple chance element, contrasting personal and intentional behaviour with an artificial language that did not convey the truth and despite its illusion of objectivity it glorified our 'General'. A centrally exposed, simplified silhouette drawing of the General's torso was subjected to a peculiar inflation. It also appeared in a form of multiplied leaflet.
An object and actions performed on it became a basic characteristic of Baldyga's artistic language while he was still occupied with painting. Some of his paintings, for example a duplicated map of Poland, were to be encountered later in his street performances.
In the eighties he started to employ and relate to some elements of visual information: sings, colours and simple drawings. He referred to the complex network of visual information that was transparent, unified and ideologically controlled. Sometimes a portrait photograph adored by the Bolsheviks and other forms of totalitarism, an element of our identification system 'did not quality for being photograph for a passport or identity card', as the audience was informed by the artist during his performance and it was becoming a target of his brutal action. The background of such an action was provided by the memory of the attitude to images as performed by various cultures in the past worshipping icons and iconoclasm. It formulated a question about the meaning of our visuality, penetrated many layers of or identity determined mainly by an image - a medium conveying an idea. In his subsequent performances, also presented in the streets the artist used an image of a passenger airplane, as if taken from 'modern' information icons that emerged in the seventies (Gierek's epoch). The catastrophe of a Korean airplane downed by the Soviet fighter planes, constituted the disturbing background of Baldyga's action, during which he kept shouting 'Attention! Soon force will be used'. Simple materials like beams, nails, slats, string, white linen and red wine continued recurring in his work systematically. They had to be associated with Arma Christi. His mysterious operations performed intentionally and symbolically on these materials referred to a sacred ritual (Adoration, Attention! A Boundary) and evoked a tremendous tension in the audience, resulting from their empathy and the sense of joint responsibility for the actions performed in front of them.
In many of his works, including workshop projects, as running educational cycles is a permanent constituent of his versatile activities, the artist concentrates his attention of the notion of 'a critical point'. It is a special point, found in actions and constructions performed by a man, beyond which there is only a catastrophe or violent transformation of the established order. It is not only an element necessary for creating an expressive work of art. Its presence in each dynamic structure as conditio sinequanon manifests a distinct and fragile value of existence as a complicated arrangement, formed as a consequence of numerous interdependencies and bound for a dramatic transformation.
The objects that are left from the artist's actions always put in balance the dynamically operating forces. Their profound metaphorical meaning does not result from their mimetic and visual qualities, although they happen to be significant, but from the structure. However, this structure is not cold, it is not conveyed in a stipulated way. It exists due to the concrete material and action.
In Janusz Baldyga's oeuvre references to his religious experience functions as the key, the initiating programme that should be followed by your own individual work, requiring concentration and attention in order to be able to think about the ultimate issues, the destiny of man and society.
Krzysztof Zwirblis '00
Ttranslation: Malgorzata Sady
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Janusz Baldyga, the artist who acknowledges inspiration with constructivist avant-garde, communicates his artistic ideas by means of a language in which the issue of construction of the communicated message is of a primary importance. Performance and ordinary materials: a board and a string, and simply symbolic representations: an ID photo, a map, the silhouette of an aircraft or a statuette may become the matter of his work. The character of actions on his body and objects will be always functional and expressionless but at the same time symbolic and resembling ritual, sacrificial and dramatically purposeful gestures. Objects and materials, their physical properties, inertia and stress will form the language in which a statement is made. They will be neither amorphous materials - clay or paints used to create a new though conventional being - nor real objects selected because of their expressive and symbolic values. These extremely concrete materials will, however, show the essence of forces operating at may levels of the organisation of matter and a social or individual life - unsteady balance, critical points and moments, a disaster and a possible rescue. In the symmetrical maps of Poland (the earliest works reproduced in the catalogue), a transformed stereotype - no longer attractive but hammered into heads in the country that learnt to its cost the conventionality of boundaries or the contour of territory - becomes a sign that directs attention toward what is essential and constant. What should not be coded and explicitly linked with a concrete place on earth. This attention is directed toward what is really spiritual and may pose a threat to the integrity of spirit. The compositional and primary use of read colour without - what seems to be a must in that time (early 1980s) - political undertones - is also important. This colour, one of few, will recur in various presentations and works ("General Center", "Caution! Frontier"). The public will always wonder whether it is the colour of heart, blood, the national flag, a ban sign, a communist banner or a these things.
Baldyga's first major actions were held with Jerzy Onuch and Lukasz Szajna, the other co-founders of the "Pracownia" group. The actions were presented with no scenarios although the three shared fascination with medical communication. They ceased to perform together in 1981.
"General Center" (1981) wisely confronted the specific language of an encyclopaedic entry, a brief epitaph ("he dried swamps") with a visual action in which the artist was turning a propeller - barrier. The minimum apparent symbolism of the object and the matter-of-factness of a lecture on the general, delivered emphatically to the public, were nearly shocking and made the public realize that something had been growing intense and felt intuitively. "General Center" was performed a week before the imposition of material law. Baldyga's works embrace chiefly presentations, performances on objects or rarely object creation. His productions from the 1980s, especially early 1980s warn of threats and define the artist who tries to take an own uncompromising attitude. The "Use of Force", exercised against photographs "not suitable for an ID" and an airliner, disrupted by warning announcements "Force may be used", "Attention! Force may will be used at once" was such an explicit and timely action that the artist, already connected with the Academy of Movement, performed it outdoors for an unprepared public.
His performances, easily adaptable in gallery studios and outdoors, often combine the elements of earlier works and become a compact spectacle that has the force of moving accidental spectators. Performed with no theatrical exaggeration, overexpressiveness, they enliven the street with an unusual type of artistic activity in which there is no room for pretending. This stems from the presupposed plan of a composition of such a performance around concrete activities that may always fail, e.g. a release of the artist by an assistant who breaks slats trammelling him ("Adoration"), the sucking up of red wine through a flexible straw with the power of his breath or the splitting of a seemingly uniform beam. ("Caution! Frontier". For the public, the simplicity of elements and purity of actions had references to the sphere of sacral experiences. The public usually felt responsible for the actions undertaken by the artist, and their empathy was often so intense that they would be more affected if something "failed" than the artist himself.
Objects, always present and co-existent with Baldyga's performances, often were their components. He also created autonomous works though they were the objects of his actions. What was essential was the way of construction that transferred a kind of performer's thinking to these works, i.e. in which the drama of action and the release of forces amassed in a momentarily static object was important. In "Low Risk", the force whose presence one could not suspect was the drying of wet slats; the process which triggered an autonomous and hardly foreseeable movement. The artist simply released them by unscrewing the blocking bolt. In "Sides", a wooden chevron pushed out the nail-blocked plank; when moved upwards, the chevron became the load that bent it dangerously downwards.
"Deflections" were often huge and expressive constructions fixed with a single point, just a nail, in which the distribution of forces and their dramatic meaningful climax were of primary importance. They showed how a hardly visible component came to become the most significant element from the point of view of statics and survival of the whole composition. A big and human metaphor.
An inclination to comment and the surrounding reality or rather finding what personal and historical moments had in common made Baldyga build symbolic though not very expressive, almost ordinary objects. "East-West Swing" was such an object. Both options grotesquely placed at a joint construction were ruled out. Movement was possible only in space.
"Horizontal Result", the dynamic cross and underslung beams. This is an eschatological perspective, created with simple elements and resilient properties of steel bars and linen belts. Always tense and dynamic despite fixed position.
"Projection of Column", the projection of the statuette of the Poet and of his bust, the national idea throw, iconographically commonplace though dynamic with split beams supporting a black cloth.
All that touches upon values present or absent in our lives. Te following is Baldyga's comment on the issue: "Analysing my gestures and actions, I say that I want to be on the side of those who add to the value of surrounding or signal such aspirations if they cannot do more".
Krzysztof Zwirblis '97
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Emilia and Andrzej Dluzniewski suggested a simple and open topic to some artists-friends - "View From the Window", a photographic glance from one space into another. Preparing the presentation of this project at the BWA Gallery of Lublin, they invited Janusz Baldyga to perform an artistic activity corresponding with the general theme of the exhibition.
Responding to this impulse, Janusz Baldyga realised a performance situation leading to creating an object, which should be called: "View into the Window". His performance focused on the window itself, on the very idea of the geometrical figure of the window.
The window - the point where the internal and external spaces meet - was treated as an independent space between them, the space constructed in the course of the show by the author outlining slowly its boundaries.
At the moment when the performance began four wooden planks of equal length joined by three hinges formed a single line on the surface of the floor. Baldyga stepped on this line and, moving backwards, went the distance outlined by the first plank. Then, standing on the second one, he started to build a construction, raising carefully the first plank until it stood vertically. He did not pretend to be careful and soon the reason for his caution became evident - in the middle of each plank there was a string linked with a jar half-full with water, standing on the floor. When the first plank got to the vertical position the surface of the water in the jar that was hanging now rippled for a while and became still on the level. This was the first, simplest state of poise of the arrangement. In the construction, which was mobile in the following part of the show, the performer was both the factor shaping the form and - due to his care - the condition of its homeostasis. Moving slowly backwards along the next lying plank, he raised the "freed" planks from the floor until they formed a square which made a particular ideogram of the window, with the figure of the author inscribed into it. A moment after the structure was closed into a square, two ends of the planks which had not been linked so far became joined permanently. Remaining inside the construction all the time, Baldyga carefully - not to spill water in the jars - rolled it turning the square round. This process revealed some intriguing coexistence of flexibility and rigidity of the whole construction, and the dependence of the form on the performer being one of its elements.
Treating the construction transformed during the performance as a general symbol, the activity presented could be read out as a performance seen in the window, and not through the window. The event was situated metaphorically between the private and social sphere. The show was ended with hanging the form created in its course on the adequately prepared wall. At that moment the form became a static object of merely potential mobile character, making simultaneously a kind of condensed recording of the event. The architectonic contrast created some additional meaning of the hanged object, since it was placed in a gallery room without any windows.
Grzegorz Borkowski '96
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Searching for our own, separate order, we are trying to leave the area of the binding techniques, concrete disciplines and standards. We recognise the marks of currency of the place and time of our existence.
My techniques are not those of a performer, they do not lead to any normative techniques. However, the point of departure is based on my individual experience which is the activity within the space of performance. Whatever the character of my work's result (object, installation, drawing), I'm aware of the genuine existence in the space of performance.
Starting at such experiences, I distinguish the space of performance and the concrete presence as the marks of the zero point. Since as a result of our choices and necessities we exist in concrete conditions, also the limitations must be definite, and we permanently experience the severity of the latter.
Your experience and my experience, which are definitely different, let us recognise the limitations which won't be identical either. The window-pane that separates me from the external, or the line of the horizon that is visible through it kilometres away.
You start your concrete activity in the middle of a limited circle, as if trying to avoid any contact with the physical character of its limitations, or - on the contrary - you situate yourself on its edges, feeling the solid wall behind your back and viewing the whole space in front of you. This is the performance of the centre and the performance of the edges. Two conceptions of being present within the space of performance.
It happens really frequently that we decide in our everyday life to choose the variant of an equivalent, namely we exchange one fragment of the reality for another one, a word for a different word, a narrative for a call, an oration for a silence. A decision to exchange does not degrade the environment but rather revalues and transforms the latter.
Let us mark a group of rudimentary notions to which the exchange does not apply, they are inviolable and beyond any discussion. We can find them in the indispensable certainly of the axiom.
Yet it is not tracking them that matters, but rather discovering new definitions of the indispensable ideas. The equivalent does not push us into the inferiority of a substitute but, paradoxically, it creates the reality of a higher value.
I would like to confirm the basic feature of performance: the presence of the performer in the concrete space, in the face of the concrete viewer.
The presence is sometimes carried out by its contradiction, i.e. by the absence of the expected, but then the condition of a strong signal of the absence's evidence must be fulfilled. The severity of the absence, the severity of the lack results in the opposite notion - the presence perceived in an ambiguous, unexplained way. The absence which brings about such an idea as awaiting, impatience, memory; becomes blurred in the face of activity of the viewers.
It seems that absence as a lack, or in its drastic form as a severe lack, can definitely open the field of the performer's presence. What is intriguing is the moment of the first step, crossing the line behind which the space of performance begins. A performance is initiated, the borderline has been crossed or, paradoxically, the performance has started without crossing the line.
Janusz Baldyga '97
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The order of performance which is being build around the point I am results from symmetry of my body. I am aware of continuous and inevitable need to alternately destroy and reconstruct that order. This process which is not univocal and full of doubts and relinquishments is questioning the steadiness of decisions and settlements I have accepted.
It is important that order and chaos - that alternately create the foundations of construction of their own - are not oppositional values. They are essential for me to create dynamic and potential space where the process of evolution may occur.
I'm permanently accompanied by the phenomenon of relinquishment. This phenomenon falls out of communiqué as a result of my attention and my being aware of hazardous unnecessary gesture could be. The signum of relinquishment is difficult to be read from the outside because of undue privacy or uneasy intimacy. A performer who seeks the order on the edges comes into an interesting sphere that is beyond stability, but also out of its deficiency.
The performer as someone who acts is outside of any play, imitation or pretending someone or even himself.
I am a performer. My objects is a consequence of a figure like its shadow, even though very long and misshapen because of being thrown on complicated and distant relief. I transfer symmetry and proportions of the figure onto my objects. The use of weight and proportions derived from particular figure can give probability of a result. When I find myself in front of the object of performance having certain intention on my mind. I'm sure that I have got a chance, even if this chance is poor and provocatively weak.
I, as someone who acts as a performer, would like to confirm that the elementary feature of performance is the performer's presence within particular space in front of particular viewer. It is very puzzling when such presence is constructed through its opposition, i.e. through absence of the expected, however a strong evidence of absence is needed then as a condition. Intensive pain of absence, felt as severe deficiency, recalls for opposite notion of presence which is perceived as unequivocal and unexplained.
In some cases absence treated as deficiency can adopt a dramatic form of severe pain. It seems that it might open the area of presence for a performer in a decisive way. The very moment of first step, when crossing the border line behind which the space of performance becomes open, is a puzzle. So, performance can be initiated with the border line crossed, or, paradoxically, can be started without crossing the line.
If we assume that an implicit and unquotable performance is an original gesture, we might question whether following exposure of object of such performance would be veracious. Why, as a consequence of the original gesture, they should be a trace that is revealed only once. This, however, may be perceived in quite another way, where gesture of performance can be treated as succeeding sequences and following executions of the idea that was previously realized only as internal projection.
The weight of the original might be taken out from the first execution, and put closer to the artist by means of pushing it into his intimate area of internal decisions that are made before exposing in public.
Thus, I reveal in public the succeeding and important sequences of my performance.
Janusz Baldyga '97
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Column's view - performance / object filled the gallery space. Between the vault and the floor, qualifying and limiting space conditions, the order of the columns, perceived as it were, is brought to a stop. These columns create a kind of "mowed" colonnade, its static, vertical order is replaced by another one. The column loses its basic, reference point, which is strong grounded under the base of a column and the open space over the figure of conqueror, splendid traveller, placed on its top. The column was situated in the environment, which disables it from seemingly of natural order based on the laws of physics, tradition, dogmas, etc. It can further exist and signify but it was deprived of the earlier nondoubt law - the vertical attitude in a time of triumph and the horizontal one in a time of fall. The possibility of existence in extreme fated states was taken from it, being doomed to specific frustration in spite of aspiration of its founders, against conventionalities, against the laws of physics. The column, I watch at the nearby square, collapsed. It soon turned out, that it was only a bit …
Janusz Baldyga '93
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Performance - "The Workshop" is a dynamic, specific part of space in which we would like to create a field for exchange of thought, feelings and doubts; it requires knowledge of our limitations. We must remember that with surrounding phenomena we are dealing with a very complex set off self dependent elements. The problem of the phenomena that we can see never appear separately, the solution to one of them instantly brings another problem and in that way the perspective of further understanding is created. We are all responsible for its existence. In attempting to loose conventions which simplify, creating useless and often misleading points of reference, we want to lead to the unmarked meeting in space and to mark it with our own gesture, we are poised in front of the sheet of white paper, we can decide about our first step, thinking about the consequence of creating a sign, a testimony of our intention. We declare activity towards ourselves and our intentions. Your work must almost at once be modified, it hates stasis-it destroys it, it constructs rubbish, not an important effect of your work. We stand in front of ourselves, conditioned by borders of our own condition and perception in the surrounding reality. We cannot exclude its influence and even intervention in our message. We stand in front of ourselves. I, who wants to give you an impulse, who wants to provoke the intriguing sphere which is situated between you and me. And you, whose role is just being created (…) The sphere between us is like a selected fragment of the whole space which is the most important for both of us. It brings us together when there is the mutual flow between you and me, when it becomes more active, when it becomes the field of non-stop creation, pulsing and inspiring. When I make a certain step backward, you stay alone, as though in the centre of the space which is bordered by the influence of your impulse. It is the drop which moves the surface of the still water, affecting it only for a moment, sending the biggest and weakest circles (…) You are in the intermediate space which is accurately described by the word "between". Entering this space we come closer to the edges which are almost organically connected to the critical state. Existing in the border states we are very often at risk: being pushed close to just one point which exerts further control on the impossible situation.
The critical point
You observe the process which arrives at the critical point, where any further step will lead to catastrophe, not necessarily destruction, but we are sometimes witnesses of the exhausting calm before the storm of erasure.
The Centre of the performance
You are creating a situation in which relating to the centre, there is external expansion, for example when you draw a large circle with compass, or internal expansion like, for example winding wool. There you are in the centre of the space, or you point your external activity to the centre.
Activity and other objects
Very often, the situation forces us to substitute one object or word for another. It appears that we take the entire reality - and we don't bring about destruction but create a new object with a new performance as the result of substituting one value for another, one substance for another. The direction of the changes is prompted by the aspiration to explore the values, which can not be substituted, which are not the object of my work.
Performance of a Secrecy
Every activity which causes the emission of words, signs and sentences can only convey fragments of what was intended to be communicated. There is an intriguing sphere which remains undiscovered until the very end (…) Very often we have to cope with communicating on the edge of visibility, communication which belongs to "between", between what is visible and invisible. So, we find the reality which is both secret and non-secret and this is which shows the contour and makes the detail invisible.
In the performance, you confront yourself with time, matter and the result of establishing this rather than the other concept of time. You operate with a specific moment, the moment of uttering a word, smoking a cigarette or closing your eyes. Find the best concept of time that exists outside the conventions. You exist between the minimal period of time and that which stretches the limits of endurance and leaves us in suspense. Private Space and
Public Space Concentrate
On the important dividing line between something which remains private and the moment at which it becomes public.
Aspects of Presence and absence
We speak about absence when it is not expected, when its existence is a desired value. I work with absence, looking out of the window or checking my watch. And so the absence appears to be a special equivalent of presence. There are examples of the situation in life - telephone conversation, attendance lists, representatives of absent people etc. we can also discuss this problem in the context of opposition of fragile and solid. The determination to survive leads us to use solid materials that are a phantom of solidity, a phantom of a total presence. I propose that you search for the values which oppose each other, which resemble negatives. And everything begins again. The workshop is just beginning.
Janusz Baldyga '92
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Janusz Baldyga is a leading Polish performer. His most important and longest continued series of perfonmances are entitled 'The use of force', 'Adoration', 'Watch out for the border', 'Steps'. The author is a precise and efficient person, under control and always faultlessly prepared. His individual style, mastered for over twenty years, is not easy to copy. His playing supported by actor's practice (for many years Baldyga has been participating in work of Warszawska Akademia Ruchu*) simultaneously includes elements of nimbleness and structure. A union between the artist and assigned space (no matter whether it is a gallery, square or street) is formed by the energy of gestures transferred to attributes that change their properties and meaning in a process of their uncovering.
'The Performance of the Mean', 'The Performance of Expectation' are his own expressions he uses to comment on own work. By wrestling with the matter, freeing dynamically behaving powers and manipulating his body or chosen elements while facing risk and traps, he focuses spectator's attention on an performed act of continuous revaluation of the matter and signs. This ongoing process of calling signs up and their transfonnation uncovers transgressive nature of art of this outstanding artist. Carefully watched successive phases of action reinforce the empathy of audience. Baldyga's performances are always accompanied by a thrill; and the question 'whether he succeeds or not?' utterly sucks in the audience which feel successive gestures while watching with interest an effort accompanying the perfomer. An onlooker somehow participates in the result of the action. The artist probably most cares about it exactly. This both discrete and extremely effective method of 'gist smuggling' makes his work intentional and public-oriented. Especially when it is accompanied by an ethically impeccable, deeply moral attitude of the artist who watches basic and not-for-sale values, and the personality who deeply penetrates human attitudes and behaviour.
The roles Baldyga performs - in spite of their neutral and even reticent appearance - are manifold. Once he is an angry warrior and accuser ('The use of force'), another time a god brimming with energy ('Adoration'), a constructor setting up a new order ('Watch out for the border'), a humble wanderer ('Steps'), a sage and commenter meditating on properties of the world ('Pages', 'View of a column') or a messenger announcing the victory of the impossible ('Inclination'). In all these works he gives an expression of his piercing observation of the real world he finds fascinating but also disturbing, in which there comes to revaluation - cancellation of so far obligatory strategies, attitudes or meanings. ln the text entitled 'Between a performance and good morning', Baldyga writes 'We are constantly accompanied by the awareness that none of the problems on perception phenomena never appears on its own, is not an isolated phenomenon. A problem solution gives birth to a whole train of new problems. This way a new perspective on our penetration - or searches - is born. Each of us is a reason for their constant cancellation.'
The language of Baldyga's work is reticent, simple, sometimes even minimal. Into the crude aesthetics of structural details: lines, boards, wooden beams, nails, the artist weaves elements of symbolic significance that give his works a specific metaphysical and sacral character. A jar of water of life, a glass of red wine, figures of saints, pilgrims, crosses, circles symbolising the world - are some of them.
In Baldyga's work threads of conceptual thinking and rationalistic tradition - coming form the legacy ofthe Constructivists - unite with the universal language of symbols of predecessors. They are all softened by the expression of gcstures that - like a dashing brushstroke in a painting - gives his works a human dimension. The artist finds place for a chance, imperfection and mystery. His opening to a discourse, to things barely apprehended or underqualified, the understanding of significance of ambiguity are next features of his work. Surely the processionary nature of Baldyga's works - these in which the artist participates or objects and installations created by him - flows out of analytical and researching roles so characteristic for experimental traditions of last century's avant-garde movements he has been taught. However, idiomatic construction of most Baldyga's space works performed in the '90s (especially the series 'Inclination' and 'View of a column') forces association to the post-modern style of thinking. This is also suggested by the rejection of functionalism or knocking down the canons of traditional thinking about the structure of sculpture, the logic of form, the material the artist attempts to change into an equal partner, narrator or maker of the state of affairs. The discursive nature of objects performed in accordance writh principles of opposition, discrepancy, ambivalent feeling of balance and gravitation; then encrusting one space into another one; and the use of space quotations coming from different language (using drawings and projects to create the unified spatial whole); or finally a transgressive change of meanings - they all make me perceive Janusz Baldyga not as a post-avantgarde formalist but rather as a misleading analyst of space language, a post-modern wrestler struggling with inevitable things: variety and ambiguity of the surrounding world.
Since the performance 'Watch out for the border', the body has become his main medium; the lack of this element has predicted the disintegration of the sense of the whole figure. The activity of opposite forces has intensified the dynamics of the object. The deconstructional character of the installations 'Horizontal result', 'Little risk' or 'Inclination' is evident to me. The highest point of performance in any of mentioned executions: force application or its deduction, altering of vectors or tensions, and simultaneous alternation of figure properties, which signifies the decomposition - is connected with an appearance of the 'critical point', the drama principle this artist's most works are based on. The moment of expectation for climax in many Baldyga's works seems to last forever. A catastrophe seems to be inevitable: the burdened jar of water had to crack, carefully mounted pyramid to collapse, some element to fall down and other ones to follow. All these moments refer to frequently emergent in artist's theoretical statements the notion of the 'critical point' that always has to be followed by some climax, noticeable revaluation. l wonder whether this kind of thinking comes from the romantic belief in power and efficiency of a 'revolutionary' deed or rather is Cassandra-like catastrophism; no wonder if we remember about the feeling of the life bordering at the turn of two epochs: technical and virtual ones.
Janusz Baldyga's post-modern art includes two main elements: speculative value of mind and respect for forces inherent in Nature. Forces which are dark, hidden, dramatic and unpredictable as the whole history of human behaviour. However, while communicating with his work, I most value this exceptional respect for truth and freedom of each kind of being, including also this one called into by artist's hand. At times of manipulation, incessant take-overs and falsification of meanings, this kind of attitude seems to me to be significantly valuable.
* Warsaw Academy of Movement
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