The 1988 Freiheit? Nein, danke! is one of the most prominent creations of Łódź Kaliska, and a breakthrough work in the career of the artists. After the ties brining together the wider community of the Pitch-In Culture had dissolved, Łódź Kaliska members focused on collaboration among each other, and moved from their previous anarchistic, art-world-contesting stance towards a postmodernist play of quotations, pastiche, and borrowed meanings. In 1987 the group entered into possession of a video camera, which allowed it to record performances for camera, document events and recreate previously unrecorded actions. It was at that time that the now iconic stagings of classic works of art were created, along with the famous Freiheit? Nein, danke!, a jocular reconstitution of Eugene Delacroix's Liberty leading the people.
Nonetheless, this work represents more than just a simple joke on the art history canon. Its perverse title — to add fuel to the fire in German, which at that time in Poland could be interpreted as a purposeful provocation — reflected the years of struggle of Łódź Kaliska against the aporia of liberty in the field of art. Subsequent experience in creating “embarrassing art”, “idiotic art”, “unfocused art” etc., conceptualised in numerous theoretical texts, have led the artists to believe that any violation of artistic conventions, insult to audience, as well as disdain for art institutions, and creation of intentionally trivial, mediocre, and pointless works, will sooner or later be absorbed by the art system. Acts of resistance belong to the domain of art, and it is in accordance with its rules that they are interpreted. Artist’s liberty may seem very ample but it stems from the very status of the artists and their works (similarly, in Łódź Kaliska’s view, there is no freedom from society). Thus, the idea of freedom in art seems to be naïve or false — that is why Łódź Kaliska artists decided to make do without such freedom.
Freiheit? Nein, danke!is a rejection of liberty offered to artists by the society, in a deliberate, bantering, frivolous, and immature act. As a paradox, if anywhere, it was in those brief moments of antics, shenanigans, immature jokes, frolics, and mischief where Łódź Kaliska saw freedom, and again, paradoxically, it was burdened with great solemnity and tension, in spite of the festive and ludic atmosphere. The film serves as a testimony: the artists are fooling around in front of the camera, pushing each other out of the frame, frolicking, making faces, waving around their genitalia.
The film shot by Andrzej Kwietniewski (according to his and Marek Janiak’s concept) accompanied the creation of a photograph by the same title. The photograph was displayed in 1988 during the Polska fotografia intermedialna exhibition, a major event at the Art Exhibitions Bureau (BWA) in Poznań. In front of the large-format photograph, a nude female model was placed, around whom Łódź Kaliska artists continued with their actions, such as colouring elements of the photograph, or adding humorous slogans. The event attracted the attention of the visitors and gained recognition among at least some of the critics, e.g. in Poznań Krzysztof Jurecki expressed a positive opinion on Łódź Kaliska. However, there was a scandal too: during the dinner, the members of the group threw a pork knuckle in the direction of the table where Andrzej Lachowicz and Urszula Czartoryska were seated.
The altered, repainted version of the 1989 photograph, known by the title The Bull Man is currently in the depository of the Museum of Modern Art.
Jarosław Lubiak (ed.), "Szczerość i blaga. Etyka prac Łodzi Kaliskiej w latach 1979-89", Łódź 2009.
Łódź Kaliska (ed. & comp.), "Bóg zazdrości nam pomyłek", Łódź 1999.
Marta Pierzchała (ed.), "Biała aura", Łódź 2010.
An open letter written in January 1965 by Knuts Skujenieks from the prison camp was addressed to his writer colleagues. He asked them not to keep silent about his fate, because ‘culture does not exist without its carriers, and it is important to fight for them, and not to contribute to their moral and physical annihilation.' The letter is a statement of Skujenieks' civic position, a protest against inertia and the fear in Latvian society. It was perhaps too bold for the political climate of Latvia, because it presented evidence that in prison Skujenieks became spiritually more liberated than his colleagues who enjoyed physical freedom, although it has to be admitted that the spirit of resistance of the younger generation of writers in Latvia in the 1960s was stronger than in the 1970s. Official discussions by the Writers' Union in 1965 and 1968 of the poetry he wrote in Mordovia testify to this.
- Rīga Mūkusalas iela, Latvia 1048
- Skujenieks, Knuts
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Poznan Anarchist Library in Rozbrat owns both the first issues of “Gilotyna” and “Homek”, as well as many other underground magazines on politics and culture.
“Interrogation” is one of the most renowed films directed in Poland after World War II. It is a bold, politically engaged settlement with the Stalinist period in contemporary Polish history. The story is about a young actress (character played by Krystyna Janda) who is arrested by the Security Service and held captive in prison in order to force her to testify about her colleagues. “Interrogation” shows the methods used by Stalinist repression apparatus in order to break ordinary citizens, as well as prisoners’ efforts to preserve dignity and humanity.
The pre-release committee took place in April 1982, in the midst of Martial Law in Poland. As one can see from the committee’s meeting protocols, film critics and representatives of authorities deplored Bugajski’s oeuvre as hateful, false, antisocialist propaganda without any value. By the central decision, the copy of “Interrogation” was sealed and put on the archive’s shelf (this way “Interrogation” became one of the most famous “półkowniki” – the films laying on shelves, without possibility to be shown publicly). Bugajski managed to preserve one copy of his film, which was later screened privately within opposition circles of the "second circuit" (“drugi obieg”). The official premiere of “Interrogation” took place on 13th December 1981 – eight years after introduction of the Martial Law and eight years after the film had been produced. The film was Bugajski’s debut – repressions put on him by authorities, forced him to emigrate from Poland in 1985.
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Bár a szerkesztőség még több számra való anyagot készített közlésre elő, a ’régi’ Mozgó Világ utolsó – kinyomtatása után betiltott, bezúzott – lapszáma az 1983 decemberi volt.
Valójában búcsúzó gesztus s egyben mementó volt ez, melyet a szerkesztők szinte teljes egészében Bibó István kiadatlan kéziratos tanulmányának s a róla rendezett történész vitának szenteltek.
A szám elején Illyés Gyula és Egyed Péter versei állnak, mintegy mottóként. (Az 1983 áprilisában elhunyt Illyés volt egyik versével a Mozgó Világ címadója – így kettős tisztelgés volt emléke előtt, hogy a búcsúszám élén két versét közölték.)
Ezután Bibó István nagyívű tanulmánya: Az európai társadalom fejlődése teszi ki a lapszám túlnyomó részét. Az erősen antimarxista eszmetörténeti művet Bibó 1971-72-ben mondta hangszalagra, majd leírt szöveget halála után fia, ifj. Bibó István javította és rendezte sajtó alá.’Európa, társadalom, fejlődés’ címmel ezt egy kerekasztal-beszélgetés követi a Bibó-tanulmányról Ágh Attila, Németh G. Béla, Szabad György és Szücs Jenő történészek részvételével. Végül Ludassy Mária filozófus reflexióját közli a lap ’Krisztus és Condorcet. Hozzászólás Bibó István humanista utópiájához’ címmel.