Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths

project carried out within the visual arts programme of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016

The project under the title Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths is carried out in Wrocław within the visual arts programme of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 from September to December 2016. The aim of this broad undertaking is to acquaint the inhabitants of Wrocław with the work of Stanisław Dróżdż – an outstanding artist and concrete poet.

The form of the event is varied. The first part comprises a series of murals on the walls of two tenement buildings located in the city centre (68-70 Legnicka Street, 35 Hubska Street). They feature large-scale reproductions of works titled optimum and Forgetting, whose graphic forms were prepared by poet and painter Stanisław Kortyka in 1967, and Temporally-spatially, a 1969 piece graphically designed by conceptual artist Barbara Kozłowska.

The second part of the project consists of a reconstruction of an artistic installation prepared on the basis of Barbara Kozłowska’s sketch from 1970, in which she interpreted Dróżdż’s poem under the title Loneliness and endowed it with a third dimension. This work will become a permanent element of the landscape of Popowicki Park.

The third element of the event concerns the publication of Stanisław Dróżdż’s first volume of verse under the title INWARDS BEYOND THE WORDS BETWEEN, which comes from 1969 and has never been published before. Compiled and edited by Małgorzata Dawidek and translated into English by Krzysztof Bartnicki, the volume will be published by Warstwy in September 2016. Simultaneously, in September and October, reproductions of selected pages of the publication will be featured as city light posters at 42 tram stops all over Wrocław as well as in the street gallery Szewska Pasja in Szewska Street.

As part of the project, we will prepare a map-guidebook to historical and contemporary places in Wrocław connected with the concretist movement and Stanisław Dróżdż’s practice.

Moreover, educational actions will be carried out in schools in Wrocław that will acquaint the youngest inhabitants of the city with the life and work of Stanisław Dróżdż.

The opening of the exhibition Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths will be accompanied by a concerto Essay for Voice and Double Bass “Before / Behind”. Stanisław Dróżdż: Theology of Prepositions (performers: Tadeusz Sławek – lyrics – vocals; Bogdan Mizerski – music, double bass; Joanna Kściuczyk-Jędrusik – soprano; BestremyDuo: Bożena Mizerska – harp, Fryderyk Mizerski – trombone)

 

The project Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths addresses the postulates of text materialisation and exceeding the confines of page by literature, both of which were present in Dróżdż’s work. The curator of the project intends to present Dróżdż’s pieces of poetry in an overscaled form, matching the dimensions of architecture and thus becoming part of the urban structure embedded on the city map. Consequently, the inhabitants’ interaction with the physical elements of text will become another step towards changing the reading habits started by the artist’s work.

 

Concrete poetry is a current which uses linguistic notation as a visual material in a way that brings out the function of its materiality, i.e. uses its visual properties. The English term “concrete poetry” is often translated literally as “poetry made of concrete”. The versions of works featured in the Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths project are made of concrete or transferred directly onto walls of buildings, and therefore literally fulfil the postulate of materiality.

 

Stanisław Dróżdż (1939-2009) was one of the most notable artists of the Polish avant-garde in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1967 he began making works formally situated at the intersection of poetry and the visual arts. Defined by him as “concept-shapes”, they combined linguistic symbols with mathematical systems. Dróżdż was the driving force behind the Polish current of concrete poetry. He represented Poland at the most important exhibitions of conceptual art in the world, including ?sound text – concrete poetry – visual texts at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1970-1972), the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), and Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form 1940s-1970s at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2004). He lived and worked in Wrocław.

 

Project curator: Małgorzata Dawidek

 5.09.2016, 10.15 AM:

A ride on a rented tram to venues making up the Stanisław Dróżdż: Text Paths project in the public space of Wrocław. During the ride, project curator Małgorzata Dawidek will talk about the pieces of poetry featured at line 33 tram stops and outline Stanisław Dróżdż’s artistic practice.

Start: Uniwersytecka tram stop (Szewska Street), 10.15 AM

Opening: 6.09.2016

5 PM – official opening

7 PM – Concert: Essay for Voice and Double Bass “Before / Behind”. Stanisław Dróżdż: Theology of Prepositions

(performers: Tadeusz Sławek – lyrics – vocals; Bogdan Mizerski – music, double bass; Joanna Kściuczyk-Jędrusik – soprano; BestremyDuo: Bożena Mizerska – harp, Fryderyk Mizerski – trombone)

Proza Club, Przejście Garncarskie 2, Wrocław

 

Venues:

Murals: ul. Legnicka 68-70, ul. Hubska 35, Wrocław

Artistic installation: Popowicki Park, Wrocław

Pieces of poetry in the city space: line 33 tram stops, Szewska Pasja street gallery (ul. Szewska, Wrocław)

 

Organisers: Art Transparent Foundation, European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016

 

The project is prepared as part of the visual arts programme of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, curated by Michał Bieniek. The project is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Sciezki tekstu_logotyp projektu

Graphic design: Magdalena Jaskułowska / Kolektyf

 

Stanisław Dróżdż

optimum, 1967

The work consists of two antonyms understood in many languages: minimum and maximum. In spite of opposite meanings, these two words differ in only two letters as far as the graphic form is considered. The piece titled optimum presents the process of transforming one word into the other. As a result of changing letters, the words are substituted for their opposites. Thus the work emphasises the unclear meaning of both notions while its title refers to looking for balance between them.

mural_optimum_fot_Olga Jasnowska

Hubska Street 35, Wrocław

Project preparation and painting the murals:

Grafitektura / www.fatcapstudio.com

 

Stanisław Dróżdż
Forgetting, 1967

In this prominent work by Stanisław Dróżdż, the process of forgetting is visualised by reducing the letters making up the eponymous word. The notation assumes the form of a reversed right-angled triangle. In the subsequent lines of the text, the letters are regularly torn off the word and vanish. All that is left is a dot, which symbolises a trace left by writing and memory. Forgetting shows the act of reducing and transforming memory and the impossibility of retrieving lost memories.

 

mural_zapominanie_fot_Olga_Jasnowska (druk)

Legnicka Street 68 – 70, Wrocław

Project preparation and painting the murals:

Kolektyf /www.kolektyf.com

Grafitektura / www.fatcapstudio.com

Stanisław Dróżdż,
Temporally-spatially, 1969, work in the collection of Wrocław Contemporary Museum

The composition is based on the arrangement of two letters forming two words with opposite meanings. Temporally-spatially is an example of a concrete poem in which a limited number of elements is subjected to multiple transformations. The title of the work suggests that the words used in it have both temporal and spatial meanings, pertaining to distance, length and duration. In 1993 the work was expanded into a series of 82 boards containing monolithic arrangements of prepositions “OD” (“from”) and “DO” (“to”).

mural_czasoprzestrzennie_fot_Olga Jasnowska

Legnicka Street 68 – 70, Wrocław

Fot.: Olga Jasnowska

Project preparation and painting the murals:

Grafitektura / www.fatcapstudio.com

Barbara Kozłowska
Spatial Interpretation of Stanisław Dróżdż’s Structural Poetry “Loneliness”, 1970

Prepared by Barbara Kozłowska, the design of the artistic installation was based on Stanisław Dróżdż’s 1968 work titled Loneliness. Kozłowska showed it for the first time during the exhibition accompanying the Wrocław ’70 Symposium of Visual Arts.
The work consists of 45 concrete blocks, each of which is a spatial form of the digit “1”.
Both in Spatial Interpretation and in Loneliness, the digit depicts the connotations of an individual’s relationships with others. It represents loneliness in a crowd.

The project was part of Kozłowska’s programme total system and was also titled One.

Barbara Kozłowska (1940-2008) was a conceptual artist and one of the most important representatives of the Polish avant-garde. She wrote manifestoes, texts on art theory as well as visual-poetic pieces which she termed “poetrography”. In the 1960s and 1970s, she cooperated with Dróżdż on preparing the graphic representations made on the basis of the poet’s typescript.

 

 

Popowicki Park, Wrocław

Preparation of the artistic installation:

Roman Rutkowski | Roman Rutkowski Architekci

Stanisław Dróżdż

INWARDS BEYOND THE WORDS BETWEEN

Dated 1969 and rejected by the publisher at that time, this volume of verse is Stanisław Dróżdż’s debut as a poet. The book comprises poetic pieces from 1962-1969, when Stanisław Dróżdż used to write concise, several-verse long sentences termed gnomic poetry. Their limited expressiveness and formal minimalism outline the poet’s scope of literary interests at the time, which makes it easier to understand his later choices. The collection is a harbinger of Dróżdż’s texts made in the second half of the 1960s and situated in the field of concrete poetry as well as the grand subjects present in his practice: being, time, passing, beginning and end.

This book (accompanied by a map of Dróżdż’s “places in Wrocław”) constitutes an integral element of the project Text Paths, which is carried out within the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 programme by Małgorzata Dawidek and the Art Transparent Foundation.

In September reproductions of selected pages of the publication will be featured as city light posters at 42 tram stops all over Wrocław as well as in the street gallery Szewska Pasja in Szewska Street.

 

Volume of verse:

Publisher: Fundacja ART TRANSPARENT

Publishing partner: Wrocławski Dom Literatury |Wrocławskie Wydawnictwo Warstwy

Compilation, editing and introduction: Małgorzata Dawidek

Coordination: Karolina Bieniek | Art Transparent

Editorial supervision, proofreading: Dawid Skrabek | Wrocławskie Wydawnictwo Warstwy

Translation: Krzysztof Bartnicki (wiersze / poems) Karol Waniek (Słowo wstępne / Introduction)

Cover design: Magdalena Jaskułowska | Kolektyf

Graphic design and DTP: Joanna Jopkiewicz | Grupa Projektor

project manager: Karolina Bieniek
k.bieniek@arttransparent.org

administration: Tadeusz Mincer
t.mincer@arttransparent.org

production: Julia Janowska
julia.janowska@arttransparent.org

promotion: Anna Stec
a.stec@arttransparent.org

tel: 693 075 372