Joanna Leśnierowska
... (Rooms by the Sea)

from the series Exercises in Looking

The beginning of this work lays in the image.
Many images.
To see them is to inhabit them, they say.

Yet the few people who appear in them seems to be employed rather as prototypes of humans than individuals – figures frozen in positions, gazing mildly into unknown, waiting, withdrawn unto themselves, isolated, often lost as if being thrown into existence without any choice – suspended-detached from space and time.

The images seem like full of suspense stills whose narrative character is suggested by the picture but still cannot be read in its entirety on a purely visual level. They seem asking for imagination and emotional engagement of the beholder invited to think further into the story suggested by the image, dig in his/her own archive of images and gestures and start its narrative motor with his or her own fantasy or memory...

And here is where we enter the stage…

The work departed from the research and exercise of re-staging and putting on move still-like images. This certain “image archeology” and imagination game led us to scenic laboratory and created a space in which abstract and real constantly blurs unfolding sudden moments of reality’s poetic beauty. By removing figures from their original context, and concentrating on their appearance alone, we built a piece that conflates scratches of situations and images revealing their links to both individual and common reservoir of memories and emotions. Choreography emerged from pregnant pauses – moments of suspension, awaiting or contemplation, leading into investigations of essential everyday gestures and physical representations of emotional states. Persevering penetration of what visible in order to reveal invisible – atmosphere and feelings – effects in use of external reality as a stage-like space for expression of the inner world.

But the piece is first of all on the practice of looking.

And seeing with images, rediscovering their traces in reality that surrounds us.

The work examines the possibility of conflating the mode of perception and experiencing the visual arts (especially a possibility of long time exposition and maximum proximity to the artwork) and that of performing arts (relatively distanced voyeuristic observation of constantly developing in time actions).

The stage window of theatre has the power of inviting viewers to see things with a total new eyes and offers them a pure vision abstracted of necessity ever present in a daily life.

Cause only what exists for no other purpose than to be seen, we really look at, been also said. But …to see the world, one needs first to make it model or memorize its image… And that is why we entered this work with believes that art cannot change the world. But what it is hopefully able to change is the onlooker, and his/her relation to the world…

choreography, dramaturgy, lights Joanna Leśnierowska
performed by Aleksandra Borys, Márta Ladjánszki, Janusz Orlika
music Zsolt Varga
exercised by Aleksandra Borys, Márta Ladjánszki, Joanna Leśnierowska, Janusz Orlik, Zsolt Varga and Halina Chmielarz
graphic design Michał Łuczak
concept and shooting Leś&Łuczak
production manager and technical realization Łukasz Kędzierski
produced by Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
with residency support of DeVIR/CAPa, Faro; El Graner, Barcelona
our thanks go to Ana Rodrigues & José Laginha, Mara Maso & Elena Carmona, to Peter Pleyer for his support during kick off residency in March 2013 and always for the Team of ASF’s performative program

January 17th, 2014

Stary Browar, Studio Słodownia +3, Poznań, Poland

June 27th, 2014
Stary Browar, Studio Słodownia +3, Poznań, Poland
Old Brewery New Dance at Malta Festival 2014

October 19th, 2016
Skorohod, Saint Petersburg, Russia