Open Form—Game on an Actress’s Face (1971)

Artist duo KwieKulik were active between 1971 and 1987 in socialist Poland. As a response to their ideas being rejected both by the regime and the Polish Neo-Avant-Garde, the duo set up an independent gallery in their private home, calling it the Studio of Activities, Documentation and Propagation (PDDiU). Within the frame of this project, they organized lectures and exhibitions.

Game on an Actress’s Face is one of nine sequences of a series called Open Form. It was realized by a group of students between 8 and 14 February 1971. The film reflects on participation, media, and mediatization. It treats the well-known face of actress Ewa Lemańska as an allegedly neutral surface for a collaborative artwork.

Each participant adds his or her own layer with colorful materials, remaining off-screen. The actress squints and tears up at the painful procedures to which she is subjected. The obvious disregard of the students, who cause her physical comfort and perhaps even humiliate her, comments on the violence behind the presupposed neutrality vis-à-vis the space of art.

KwieKulik is an artist duo consisting of Zofia Kulik (1947, Wrocław, Poland) and Przemysław Kwiek (1945, Warsaw, Poland), who were active in this constellation between 1971 and 1987, which was also the time of their partnership. In this period, KwieKulik carried out countless performances and artistic demonstrations and produced many objects, films, and photographs. The last two decades have seen a resurgence of interest in KwieKulik’s work, which has been featured in international group exhibitions including Kyiv Biennial 2015; OFF-Biennále Budapest; New Museum, New York; Moderna galerija Ljubljana; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Istanbul Biennale; and Documenta 12, Kassel, among others.

35 mm film, 2′29″

© KwieKulik Archive