Piotr Wójtowicz. Pictures with the Letter A + Appendix
I do not recall exactly when the letter A first appeared in my pictures. I can only say approximately. Dating my own works is not my strong suit… But I can point to the picture in which it first emerged. I also know that from the beginning it was like an apparition whose presence surprised even myself, all the more in that it took on a powerful, decisive form. It was upside-down and, standing on its head, was begging for the company of a circle and an X. Hard to say why I doubled my response in the picture… I instinctively struck out the letter with a bold diagonal line.
ms2, 19 Ogrodowa St.
Some time had passed before I figured out that this upside-down A, as the first, or even “pre-first” letter in the Latin system, as well as the Greek alphabet, meant a voice straining upward, an echo of ardent supplication… Moreover, it can also be a pictogram of a scream after birth, the visual equivalent of its phonetic sound. Thus, what comes first, what is both high and low, can be contained in the letter A. The paradox of this situation is that the contradiction of meanings defining this symbol in its enduring and ocular form is somehow reconciled, while the tension remains between them. At that moment, a certain essential property of the letter in the picture appeared before me as a fundamentally dramatic motif.
Then events took their own, meandering course. I painted new pictures, in which the shifting presence of the letter A changed its meaning, and from this emerged a recurring vector of changeability. The process of constructing the forms of a picture became a compelling dialogue with the main character in the dispute, more often a recurring, disquieting trace of it than a reconciled conclusion. As if its suspension maintained the temperature necessary to make another effort to solve the riddle. There was some relief in the appearance of a few new symbols in the field of the pictures, filling in the phrase of the dialogue, such as brackets, vectors, stairs, the outlines of hands and heads (self-portraits?), and certain digital suggestions… Nonetheless, the stubborn presence of the letter A prevented me from dispelling the recurring thought of it or erasing its presence from before my eyes. This is why the first picture’s apparition did not vanish in the last one. Like a great compass, it found its way again front and center, as if wanting to say: look, I’m still here… you just have to turn and face me.
Excerpt from the text "Pictures with the Letter A"
to the exhibition catalogue