“The Legend” is a title of entire presentation at the Gallery Residencia Corazón but initially it was supposed to be called “Farewell to a Fairy Tale”. However the translation seemed to be wrong understood. I did all the work during month-long residence in Argentinian La Placie in Residencia Corazón in August 2019.
In my family there is a story about mine great-grandfather, Bolesław Bolest, who in the end of the 19th century swam to Argentina from Vilnius area. As far as I know he stayed in around Buenos Aires, and La Plata was just being built at that time. He was a tailor by profession. After his return he bought three estates in eastern Poland, one for each of the daughters: Tekla, Maria and Janina. Maria was mother of my grandmother Zosia. I don’t remember much from my grandma story, but this story always seemed to me magical. Although my family a lot times tried to find some details related to the history of the ancestor, it ended it’s a fiasco.
Arriving in Argentina, I thought that it would be good to find an answer but this time with the use of art. My actions were a form of a patch in the w unexplained family history.
I asked my family from all over Poland that is bound by blood ties with an ancestor Bolesław, to send me in advance some scraps of their clothes which I took with me to Argentina. I collected a suitcase of clothes where the eldest are scraps from one of the daughters Bolesław and his grandsons. Clothes are close to the body therefore carries ours emotions – our energy. I put all these clothes in something like a cocoon. From the beginning, I knew it would be abstract form. I was a bit inspired by Mr. Kleks and decoration in his movie, a bit by travels around La Plata – where everywhere the roots of the trees protrude above the pavement. The roots were probably the most inspiring here. Additionally I thought about umbilical cords as symbolic uniting all of us with the ancestor and his unexplained presence in Argentina.
For a month’s residence in Argentina I brought a round stretcher – completely not knowing if it will be useful. In La Plata, I was struck by combination of some colors, both in nature and industrial design. I divided the stretcher into two equal halves and on one side I put colors which I associate with Poland. On the other half, I put the Argentinian colors. I wanted to create this painting as soon as possible while I had a fresh look.
It is a tale of an ancestor and lineage legend in the city. A space is in some way triggered by a set of movements appearing within it, and therefore through this space activation mechanism, I create a trace of an ancestor. A new trace, which refers to my ancestor, bends existing space. I put a one-centimeter line along the foundations of buildings. I chose old ones, build in the very beginning of the city’s existence. In a minimalist way – with the use of a line I marked the place, which is the meeting point of past and present. It was symbolic definition of space and time my ancestor could function. This gesture is intended to restore balance – to restore balance in family history.
Initially, the lines were supposed to be more sophisticated forms, but when I saw a beautiful La Plata architecture from the beginning of the 20thage, I opted for the minimal gesture, not to make intervention unnecessary too large. This documented performance has magical quantity.