Travelling to Places with a View over the Ends of the Worlds. Open Gallery at Muzeum Sztuki / 01: Kuba Stępień
Kuba Stępień: Lava Grotto (listen patiently what magma says) was the first part of the series Travelling to Places with a View over the Ends of the Worlds. Open Gallery at Muzeum Sztuki. On September 25, the artist performed his composition which was broadcasted on the Facebook profile of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. The "multimedia meditation" was on view from October 9 in ms1 "aquarium" space.
ms1, 43 Gdańska St, ground floor, "the aquarium"
The Lava Grotto project (listen patiently what magma says) by Kuba Stępień was a multimedia meditation on the powerful, uncontrollable, and destructive forces of Nature. The starting point was the observation of volcanic activity, the desire to work through the fear that active volcanoes arouse, the need to understand the processes taking place in them, as well as reading the messages they send through their vibrations and infrasound.
The main element of the project was a piece of ambient opera music. The composition consisted of parts for the piano, guitar, double bass, synthesizers, midi, as well as the variety of sound samples from archival films, the sounds of tremors and volcanic eruptions, the voices of the forest, of growing mosses and grass, the sounds of rain and streams, of human voices and breaths, finally, specially modified fragments of traditional and contemporary songs of the tracks dedicated to mountains and volcanoes.
On September 25, the artist performed the composition in the Helenów Park, where the 19th-century artificial grotto is located, which – as the urban legend has it - was built of volcanic tuffs brought from under the Vesuvius, and thus may be a specific form of commemorating the tragic events that brought the end to Pompeii and Herculaneum. During the performance, the grotto became a kind of portal, a place of symbolic contact with the interior of the Earth, a space of communication recalling the old rituals by means of which people used to negotiate their fate with volcanoes.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the performance was available to the public only as an online broadcast on the Facebook profile of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. The recording of the piece was also included in the artist's installation, which was on display in ms1 "aquarium" space, located at the entrance to the building from Gdańska Street.
Kuba Stępień on Instagram
Travelling to Places with a View over the Ends of the Worlds. Open Gallery at Muzeum Sztuki is a series of events taking place at ms1 from October 2020 to January 2021. Its organizer is Open Gallery (Galeria Czynna), co-created by Łukasz Ogórek, Marcin Polak and Tomasz Załuski, characterized by the fact that it does not have its home seat, and locates its events in unusual, non-gallery spaces, such as vacant rooms of former shops, a closed off swimming pool, a post-factory hall, a gay bar, an open-air market or a hotel restaurant. Young artists, debuting or at an early stage of their artistic careers, whose works are displayed by the Gallery usually make these unusual locations an element of their activities. This time, they will have at their disposal the glazed space of ms1, called by the employees of the museum "the aquarium". Its windows overlook directly Gdańska Street, thanks to which the presented projects can be viewed both from the inside of “aquarium” and from the street, through the shop window-like glass.
The leitmotif of the series is the numerous and ambiguous "ends of the world", haunting our collective imagination today with increased force. They can mean the end of a certain world - "the world as we know it", but also the end of the human world. It can be the end as a time limit, but also a spatial one. It can be the end as a catastrophe, evolution, transformation - or a wait for the beginning of something new. The end of the world may be referring to the pandemic, the associated with it temporary slowdown of the global economic machinery ("the world has stopped") or vain hopes resulting in realization that a return to the old neoliberal world will no longer be possible. It may also present the images of the “evil side of Nature, which decides to get back on Man”. "The end of the world” could also represent an inevitable progressive ecological catastrophe, the specter of irreversible climate changes on Earth. It stimulates visions of the post-human world, referring both to post-apocalyptic poetics and to the undefined symbiosis of Man and empowered Nature. However, it can also generate futurological fantasies of duration, acceleration and further expansion of capitalist logic beyond earthly, geographic and biological limits - after all, it is easier to imagine the end of the world (human or earthly) than the end of (the world of) capitalism. So perhaps all these ends of the world and the images associated with them mask the lack of a different vision - our inability to imagine the end of the world ruled by economic inequality, social injustice, and the constant plundering of Nature. However, there is still a chance that somewhere at the edge of this world, something will happen; something that will bring a radical renewal of socio-political visions and that will usher in a completely different, unimaginable so far world.
What prospects for the future, as well as the present and the past, will be offered by the venues established under the project? It will be decided by the artists participating in the project: Kuba Stępień (Łódź), Aleksandra Sarna (Łódź), Wiktoria Walendzik (Szczecin) and Jan Baszak (Szczecin).
Schedule of the next project editions:
Jakub Stępień: October 9 – 31, 2020
Aleksandra Sarna: November 6, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Wiktoria Walendzik and Jan Baszak: December 4 – January 10, 2021