The Workshop of the Film Form
Film realizations from the years 1970-1977
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Łukasz Ronduda

The Workshop of the Film Form was the most important group working in Central and Eastern Europe to work with structural film. The group was formed in 1970 by students and alumni of the directing and cinematography departments of the Film School in Łódź (PWSFTviT im. L. Schillera). Among Workshop's founders and key figures were Józef Robakowski, Ryszard Waśko, Paweł Kwiek, Wojciech Bruszewski, Janusz Połom, Antoni Mikołajczyk, Kazimierz Bendkowski and Andrzej Różycki. These artists differed from their peers at the film school, such as Krzysztof Kieślowski, in their rejection of classic movie narration and its illusory nature or even (in some of their projects) of the whole cinematographic apparatus. Rather, their works were made in dialogue with the domain of fine arts, with conceptual and analytic tendencies in art at the turn of 1960s and 1970s, and with the tradition established by early-twentieth century Polish and Russian Constructivism. Structural cinema, as developed by members of the Workshop of the Film Form nevertheless differs greatly from similar analytic experiments conducted in the cinematic field by artists with a background in so-called traditional art forms (as is the case especially with American structural cinema). Workshop members adopted the stance of artists-engineers. In devising their analytic and structural film projects, they could benefited from professional skills and knowledge about technical aspects of film[1]  and cinema[2], which that they acquired while studying at the film school.
The phenomenon that was the WFF emerged primarily from photographic experiments mainly conducted in the 1960s by members of a Toruń-based art group Zero-61, who were later to become the Workshop’s most active members. Their media education, portfolio of previous artistic experiences, and a solid grasp of art history allowed Workshop members to produce highly original works. Thus, they are often seen as precursors in the context of other minimal-conceptual art practices of the early 1970s. The pioneering work pursued by the Workshop of the Film Form must be considered in the context of an ongoing movement away from the production of traditional art objects and toward media of mechanical registration media such as film or photography (tied to the neo-avant-garde direction in art). These were the media to which neo-avant-garde artists linked their desires and strategies of “dematerialization”, “intellectualization”, “objectivization” and of focusing attention upon the communicative aspect of the artistic process. These media were also seen as involved in a shift from aesthetic to epistemic goals of art, from artistic to meta-artistic stances, from result to process, from appearance to function and structure.
The Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form was an artistic group located between film and fine arts. Its members represented such different artistic disciplines as poetry, music, sculpture and performance art. Although Workshop's openness allowed it to become a robust and numerous artistic community at one point, four artists formed the core of the group. Theyse were Józef Robakowski, Ryszard Waśko, Paweł Kwiek andi Wojciech Bruszewski.    


Józef Robakowski

In “Rynek” [The Market], the first film produced by him as a member of the Workshop[3], Robakowski[4] trieds to uncover the film a potential of the film medium’s potential for creating an illusion of reality. The artist shows how a film's “sense of realness”, embodied in a viewer's perception of the on screen world as real, is only a technological product, more exactly the result of a specific speed, at which a movie runs in a projector or camera (24 frames per second). A slight modification of this speed, i.e or a film recorded on a camera running at a different frame rate (such as five frames every two seconds, as is the case with “Rynek”), provides an entirely different image of the registered reality.[5] His strategy was to disclose how manipulation of technical means (the film camera) produces a shocking, new image of the world, a view that goes beyond human perceptual and imaginative capabilities. Robakowski called this “animations upon reality”. These aspects of “Rynek” demonstrate the ambivalent attitude toward technical media that was characteristic of Robakowski's art. The artist’s fascination intermingled with a need for distance. In commenting upon his usage of the film medium, Robakowski in parallel emphasized advantages and disclosed dangers.
Robakowski's important early Workshop productions also included the non-camera films “Test” [A Test] (1971) and “Próba II” [An Attempt II] (1971) as well as “Ćwiczenie” [An Exercise] (1972), a film made with a camera. These three films works constitute the fullest expression of artist's aspirations to “cleanse” film art of contamination by other media and literature in particular. In “Jeszcze raz o czysty film” [For Pure Film, Once More], a text from 1971, Robakowski wrote: “Currently, the elimination of forms characteristic of literary expression is the subject of my work. (...) Working (...) in the Workshop of the Film Form at the Film School in Łódź gives me the opportunity to conduct practically unlimited trials and experiments, through which I research the limits imposed upon the perception of my films by other people. They become tests of different sorts, through which I attempt to establish how much habits formed by a literary type of perception can be undermined”.[6] “Ćwiczenie” [An Exercise] (1972) was made according to a pictorial score that defined its audio and visual construction. The artist assigned sounds of the harmonium to particular letters and through “manifold repetition enabled a given letter to be represented by a signal different from its phonetic equivalent”.[7] Furthermore, by reducing the narrative layer, usually dominant in traditional cinema, to rhythmically occurring letters of the alphabet, Robakowski researches primary components of a cinematic representational discourse based on literature, a discourse geared toward “flattering” the perception, intuition and expectations of ordinary viewers. The film also examines the relationship between these elements and the properties of the film reel as a medium (the materiality and flatness of film is particularly stressed in this work).
 Robakowski's realization shows how cinema exists in a dynamic tension between material and technological determinants on one side and their subordination to the construction of representational narrations based on literary schemes on the other. A Similar structure and goals lie at the basis of “Prostokąt dynamiczny” [ The Dynamic Rectangle] (1971) and “Próba II” [An Attempt II] (1971), films in which visual layer (an intensive red color) is separated from audio layer (classical organ music) and the viewer is deprived of the satisfaction that usually derives from synchronous reception of both.
“Ćwiczenie” focuses upon the relation between “two sorts of writing”, between the materiality of film stock and materiality of the alphabet. It can be interpreted as an attempt, guided by structural thinking, to find equivalence between primary elements of natural language (letters) and primary elements of cinematic expression. Experiments of this kind led Robakowski to formulate in 1975 “A Language-less Semiologic Concept of Film”, in which he wrote that “Aas a result of conducted research, the linguistic conceptual system can now be seen as an artificial manipulation, an operation that conducts a rape of sorts on the pure cinematic signal. A film recording is a different order of signification than language and analysis of film phenomena in terms of linguistic categories is therefore impossible. (...) Research has revealed linguistic immaturity of the cinematic signal, which nonetheless does not affect unlimited possibilities that exist for multiple signs combinations in the medium. Furthermore, it has been discovered that equivalents of phonemes, morphemes and lexemes do not exist in “pure cinema”. Grammatical rules are non-existent as well thus it seems futile to transfer categories established by structural linguistics into the field of film semiology”.[8]
“Test” (1971) was a non-camera film that Robakowski created by punching several dozen holes in opaque film stock. When the film prepared in such manner was projected, strong light from the projector would shine through the punched holes, “attacking” the viewers and leaving an imprint on their retinas. In this flickering, after-image inducing film, Robakowski analyzes the physiological aspect of the process of watching a film. “Test” initiates a series of material relations by “disclosing” the projector’s stream of “clear, pale light” and by drawing attention to film as a mere “physical object in the projector”. During projections the artist would often stand in front of the audience with a mirror and reflect “light streams from the projector”, leaked through holes in the film, back toward viewers. During one such performance at the Knokke-Heist festival in 1974, a true “light battle” erupted as the audience (mainly journalists) responded to Robakowski's “attack” with flashes from their photo cameras.
It should be noted that the above mentioned iconoclastic, non-camera film realizations made by Robakowski constitute what is probably the fullest embodiment of Greenberg's postulate for “media purity”. Of all the Workshop of the Film Form projects, these movies most radically transcend representational, illusory and narrative nature of a traditional film.
Robakowski's early works made in the Workshop include a number of noteworthy films produced as attempts at “objectively” representing reality using a film camera. This drive towards objectivization was an effect of a scientific attitude that was cultivated inside the Workshop of the Film Form. The group's members were highly critical towards the ways of portraying reality that were dominant in the Film School and had an ambition to find a manner of portraying on film an aspect of reality, a person, or a group of people in the most objective manner possible. Robakowski's assembling movies were one of the ways in which this task was approached. In creating them, the artist gave invited authors the opportunity to produce their own short films. Such This methodology of film creation, which limits producer's potential for interpretation and influence upon represented phenomena, was a way of secure securing objectivity. Robakowski was content to play the role of the initiator, coordinator or supervisor of particular filmed segments, which he then assembled and presented as a single sequence (and therefore called assembling films).
“22x” from 1971 was Robakowski's first assembling film. The artist provided 22 people with several meters of unexposed film stock each and asked them to conduct a series of material manipulations that would constitute brief personal artistic statements. Invited authors “scratched” their films with knives, razors and chisels. The sound strip was also operated on, providing the film with an interesting “material” soundtrack. Robakowski edited the 22 produced realizationssegments into a single sequence. The film was not only an interesting non-camera realization but also an attempt to objectively presenting “inventiveness” of a given group of people. In later years, the artist produced several other assembling films, such as “Zapis” [A Recording] (1972) (portraits of people participating in a creative event titled Czyszczenie Sztuki”, i.e. “Cleaning Art”), Drzwi-Okno-Fotel [Door-Window-Armchair] (1974) (portraits of applicants for the acting department at the Film School in Łódź) or Żywa Galeria [Living Gallery] (1975) (films made by Polish artists in the mid-1970s)[9]. A different aspect of Robakowski's attempts at objectivization is revealed by the film “Po człowieku” [A Person Gone] (1970), in which the artist attempts to “speak objectively” about his dead aunt by recording objects she left behind in her apartment. In the process, the artist created a photo and film archive.
“Zapisy biologiczno-mechaniczne” [Biom-Mechanical Recordings] are doubtless some one of the most important titles in Robakowski's oeuvre from the 1970s. Like his assembling films, “Zapisy” were also an attempt at transcending the category of the author. This time Robakowski decided to hand over the authorship of his own work to a machine, a movie camera. “Zapisy” are an analysis of the relationship between mechanical media and psychophysical nature of their operator. The project was created according to specific scores written  by the artist. For example, in “Ćwiczenia na dwie  ręce” [Exercises for Two Hands] (1976) the artist “withdraws the camera from his eye” and waves two cameras around  in his hands. He hoped to create a film not determined or subordinated to human habits, intentions or imagination. Robakowski used “machine creativity” to go beyond anthropocentric limitations deriving from the nature of traditional creative subject. Robakowski wrote: “The apparatuses with which I conduct aproduce mechanical recordings (...), through their specificity and capabilitie,scapabilities, allow me to transcend my imaginings about phenomena hidden in a complicated “reality” (...) with their help I can disclose more than I know, see and feel”.[10] Nevertheless, “Zapisy” were did not involve a passive subordination to a machine. They are determined by thea transfer of the operator’s psychophysical states onto film stock and can therefore be interpreted as a specific antagonistic relation connection with machines. At stake in this conflict was the possibility of saturating machines with “artistic subjectivity of their author”, with “human determinants”. Therefore, the struggle between man and machine analyzed in Robakowski's “Zapisy” extends between a posture open to the interiorization of machine logic and an attempt at anthropomorphizing of the machine.
As I have already mentioned, “Zapisy” derived from a new concept of the creative subject. In “Idę” [I Am Going] Robakowski initiates a situation in which materiality of the film establishes a dialog with the materiality of human body. This link between two physical realities is coupled with an attempt to represent the body in an iconoclastic manner. Additionally, the growing fatigue of a body carrying the camera is reflected in an increasingly tired voice of the climbing artist. This effectively increases the materiality of the point of expression (embodied subjectivity) and causes “the artist’s immersion in his own materiality”. The subject becomes only one more “thing among things”, or rather a fragment of a “living, incredibly vital mattersubstance”.[11]  “Zapisy” constitute an attempt to displace the “cinematic gaze”, to transfer it to a  machine, to a non-anthropocentric site of perception. This realization therefore most fully illustrates anti-voyeuristic impulses present in structural cinema, which endeavored to shatter the traditional, voyeuristic cinematographic model. We must add that “Idę” has the single-shot structure typical of Robakowski. In duration, the recording and viewing processes are equal. In this manner the illusory codes of traditional editing schemes were undermined.[12] A similar single-shot structure was used in “Mój fim” [My film] (1975), an ironic attempt at referencing traditional, literature- baesdbased ways of creating a film narrative. In this work Robakowski creates a tautological situation by filming in sequence, as the “narration” develops, letters forming the phrase MÓJ FILM [MY FILM]. Just as “Ćwiczenie”, this project can be also seen as visual poetry.


Paweł Kwiek

At the beginning of 1970s, Paweł Kwiek was working in the Workshop of the Film Form and simultaneously cooperating with a group of artists from the Fine Arts Academy (ASP) in Warsaw led by his brother, Przemysław. His original and innovative projects are proof of Kwiek's connectionties to two important centers of Polish neo-avant-garde of the 1970s. In 1971, Paweł Kwiek worked with Przemysław Kwiek, Zofia Kulik and Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski to create a film titled “Forma Otwarta” [The Open Form] (1971). While working on the film, Paweł Kwiek had an opportunity to experience in depth and participate in material and spatial experiments conducted by the other artists as part of the creative process. These were realized “in dialog” with the theory and practice of “Open Form” as described by Oscar Hansen. These experiments largely determined the shape of Kwiek's first film rprojects, such as “Twarz” [The Face] (1971) (lost), “Ja i telefon” [Me and a Phone] (1972), “1,2,3, ćwiczenie operatorskie” [1,2,3, Camerman's Exercise] (1972) and “Niechcice” [Niechcice] (1973). Paweł Kwiek also shared with the Warsaw group’s lefist political beliefs and socialist sympathies.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Przemysław Kwiek, Zofia Kulik (and Zygmunt Piotrowski, for example) tried to link artistic and political activity in the hope that a new type of art, created by them, could participate more fully in shaping socio-political reality. They made their art with the goal of improving interpersonal and social communication. It was based upon negating traditional, hierarchic and non-symmetrical relations between the artist or author and viewers. Finally, it postulated the introduction in their place of a new, dialog-based communicative relations that would increase individual potential for self-determination and self-development. The artists believed that their ideas linked into to postulates for a more democratic political life or improved communication between state and society, also expressed at that time by a newly-formed cabinet led by Edward Gierek[13]. In an effort to fulfill their plans, the artists attempted to link their improvised, intermedial, collective activities with with political issues (they participated, for example, in projects like the “Chrono-Spatial Propaganda Poster: Think Communism”[14] (1971) and created “Spectacle for Political Activists” in Galeria Współczesna(Contemporary Gallery)[15] (1971))[16]. “1,2,3 ćwiczenie operatorskie”, a film by Paweł Kwiek, similarly “politicizes aesthetics”. A spontaneous improvisation with a touch of Fluxus flavor, it attempts to “tell a story” about the relation of man to Socialist ideology, more specifically about “the sense of having a chapter of the Socialist Youth Association at the Łódź Film School”[17].
Kwiek's film is a mixture of different sorts of formal elements and styles[18], including animation, acted out scenes and “found” elements (both images and sounds). Coincidences, spontaneous improvisation without a script and “play” of formal elements ultimately become rules that guide this project. Kwiek treated all the formal elements included in the film in a very “cold”, material manner. He was therefore able to freely “operate” with “political motives” thrown into the mix (e.g. an image of Lenin, footage of  a Worker's Day march, a statement on Socialism by the school’s provost). This approach toward film construction allowed for free interpretation of elements with political connotations, depending on their  placement in the film. It is therefore difficult to establish whether the film is an affirmation or a critique of given symbols. Projections of the film in the 1970s often provoked shock. The film was supposed to “talk” about democratic values, but to do so through its form and manner of formulating film language rather than through its representational layer. For these structural reasons, Kwiek's film was not fit to promote the only true ideology that reginedreigned at the time. Meanings were purposely left undetermined and interpretative openness remained its overarching value. The film and the strategy behind it were a canonical realization of Benjamin's shift of accent from “content” to the “production apparatus”.
Furthermore, by treating this film as a mere collection of stimuli, Kwiek could relate ironically to films based upon literary works, which invite viewers to actively read and interpret, to engage in a hermeneutic effort.
Kwiek's next film, “Ja i telefon” [Me and a Phone] (1972) is similar in character, save for its political allusions. Just like significant parts of “1,2,3, ćwiczenie operatorskie”[19] it is based on methods of synchronous cooperation between the camera operator and the filmed actor. These methods were initially invented and used to make the film “Forma Otwarta”. Cooperation between the camera operator and the actor was based on a feedback loop principle. It lacked a script, was improvised and open to coincidence. The film that resulted from these activities ironically related (as did “1,2,3, ćwiczenie opeatorskie”) to the habit of immediate detection of meanings and textual interpretations in a representational film. The film perversely played with processes and mechanisms through which cinematic meaning is produced. Kwiek divided the film into two parts. In the first, the screen is completely dark as the artist describes the process of making the film. The second part is a silent projection of the film that Kwiek described in the first part. Within this structure, Kwiek collided objects (visualizations) of two kinds. Mental images of a given situation, which we have created in our own minds based on Kwiek's story from the first part of the movie, collide with actual images of the situation, registered on film and perceived by the viewer in the second part. Film “Ja i telefon” allows the artist to analyze relations between text and image in a very conceptual manner. The mind of the viewer, which produces “visualizations of text” in the first part and “textualizations of image” in the second, becomes a space in which these operations are conducted.
In this context, it is worth mentioning another of Kwiek's “films” -  “Komentarz” [Comment] (1972). This was a radically textual film, one that did away with the film reel and projection. It existed only as a verbal commentary which Paweł Kwiek “performed” by delivering a speech of several minutes to an audience. Everything took place in a cinema, but with lights turned on. The film’s content was an assembly of mainstream cinema schemes and clichés. Kwiek wanted to activate clichesclichés present in viewers' minds through a process of “mental” projection and textual visualization of text, in order to ridicule the process and reveal its banality. Kwiek formulated the thesis that films don't have to be shot if they can be told. “Komentarz” was a radical rejection of cinematographic communication based on mediation through film, in favor of direct communication with the viewer.
“Lustro” [A Mirror] and “Numerki” [Little Numbers] were Kwiek's two other important films-provocations. “Numerki” was a film based on a solution typical for structural cinema: a long projection of a banal, meaningless “representation”. The film lasted 30 minutes and consisted of “found”[20] fragments of film start sequences depicting numbers counting down to the start of the “actual film”. By showing for half an hour sequences that precede a film narrative, Kwiek relates in an ironic manner to habits and wishes of the viewers, who await a film that never begins. The artist intended “Numerki” to be a provocation that would “anger” viewers, break them out of their customary habits, lead them away from passive consumption of cinematographic meaning. A monotonous projection of this sort necessarily forces the viewers to focus attention upon themselves, their body position, perception, etc. In “Lustro”, a “film” having similar goals as Kwiek’s other film-provocations produced, the artist stood in front of a movie projector during the screening and used a mirror to reflect projected light at the audience.
Alongside Józef Robakowski, Paweł Kwiek was one of the most important creators of assembling films in Poland in the 1970s. For Kwiek, as for Robakowski, assembling film was a means of producing a most objective presentation possible of a phenomenon, person or group of persons. For Kwiek, however, it was also a tool of “social change”. In his concept document titled “Dokument obiektywny o człowieku” [Objective Document About Man], the artist wrote: “Documentaries try to convey truth about man. Both for the sake of art and of science. Until now, truth was always deformed as a result of the necessary influence of the author upon the final shape of the conveyed message. Attempts at eliminating this influence were made many times as documentary film art developed (...) Satisfactory effects have not been obtained. (...) At the instant that all working decisions (what to shot, how, where, how to edit and add sound) are taken away from the producer, the resulting situation is one in which the documented person produces signs that represent him in a direct, objective manner. Each decision of the documented individual bears witness to his way of being. A situation of direct communication between man – sign – man occurs”.[21] According to Kwiek, this situation limited the bias arising from a producer's influence upon the portrayed person. Paweł Kwiek made several assembling films in order to fulfill his goal of creating an objective document about man. These films were collections of several shorter film realizationssegments, each an “objective” portrait of a given person according to Kwiek's concept. One of the most interesting of these was produced as a result of a social and artistic action conducted by Kwiek in Niechcice, a small village located next to a State Agricultural Farm (PGR). The artist allowed a group of local youths to shoot short, one-minute films according to own scripts. Kwiek once again accepted the role of an obedient camera operator executing all orders given by the person directing the piece.
“Niechcice”, an assembling film created by editing together three short segments produced by the young people, is one of  the best examples of works made according to the formula for sociological art developed by Kwiek in the 1970s. This formula was based on deep penetration of a given social context, of the lives of particular people and communities. By allowing a group of young people from Niechcice to produce their own films, Kwiek wanted to empower them, to stimulate more critical and creative approaches towards reality, to help them idnetifyidentify the conditions that determined the shape of their experience. This socio-artistic process, which he successfully spurred, thisa “transfer of voice to those who have not had oneit until now”, was more important to the artist than the final element of the process, the completed assembling film titled “Niechcice”.[22]

 

Ryszard Waśko

In his reflections on As he reflected upon the essence of film, Ryszard Waśko did not focus on its physical aspect, as did Robakowski in some of his realizations, but rather upon an attempting to elaborate objective knowledge about film with the use help of a mathematic and logical “apparatus”. Waśko was attemptingsought to capture film's conceptual essence. He wrote: “I tried to understand what is the essence of that of which film is made, what constitutes its structural mattersubstance, mattersubstance in a logical sense, not mattersubstance in the sense described by Peter Gidal in Film Anthology”.[23] In accordance with postulates regarding the abandonment of withdrawal from substantial and material “film reality”, the artist transferedtransferred his reflections on, for example, the creation of film space through shots, their series thereof and camera movements, into the sphere of laboratory operations. He constructed and testeding abstract models in two realizationsprojects: „A-B-C-D-E-F=1-36” (1974) and „Układ I – VI” [System I-VI] (1974). In a text titled “Modele struktur filmowych” [Models of film structures] Waśko wroteites: “As we know, the construction of models is a method used in order to simplifingy problems and thus increasinge the chance of their solvingresolution. There are two types of models: 1. so-called theoretical model is a set of simplifying suppositions 2.The so- called real model is a realization of the theoretical model. A real model can be obtained by constructing a physical array of objects that simplifies a researched reality but at the same time is similar enough to allow for solving problems from that reality”.[24] Films „A-B-C-D-E-F=1-36” and „Układ I – VI” are real models based on theoretical ones: graphs and scores created by the artist. In “Układ I-VI” the artist researches primary typologies of film camera movements and their combinations. In „A-B-C-D-E-F=1-36” on the other hand, which  hasis a decisively more abstract nature, Waśko uses a custom-built board with 36 fields, upon which the “gaze” of the film camera travels, to conduct a series of film recordings based on instructions from a previously created score that he earlier created. In this manner, the artist created a laboratory research space in which he could test particular camera movements, their combinations, as well as and the manner in which they  create space in a film.[25] As With time went by, his realizations projects became ever more complex. An This attempt to catalog all possible camera movements and to exhaust all their combinations, which formed the basis of the project, soon proved a utopian endeavor. turned out to be utopian. Thus, the process of constant permutation, ongoing changes of configurations, became most important. Waśko wrote about this type of structure that it is not geared towards finalization but rather toward a “construction in process”: “I was always interested in action that is controlled, has a methodological character and is understood as an infinitely developing verification of basic problems”.[26] Such These activities conducted byof Waśko can be understood as an example of a strategy of accumulation described by Owens, who categorizes it as a form of allegorical art. Such “ritualistic repetitive” art is  “the epitome of counter-narrative, for it arrests narrative in place, substituting a principle of syntagmatic disjunction for one of diegetic combination”.[27] By subordinating the construction of visual form to mathematical and logical operations, Waśko's film become self-referential, autonomic systems that develop in a state of permanent tautology between the film itself as a real model and its mathematical-logical prototype: the theoretical model constituted bycomposed of graphs and scores of particular shots.
The artist knew well that the project contained “seeds” of the absurd were hidden in the project and that in general are this was inevitable in this sort of experiments of this sort. Because of them, the initial epistemic goal quickly transformeds - , as monotonous, infinite repetitions of similar operations continued - , into an ironic full of irony “play with form”. Waśko reveals the above mentioned ambivalence rooted in his own project in the film “Zaprzeczenie” [Denial] (1973). While outwardly this is just one more serious, analytical project, it takes on an absurd character as the score is rigorously “executed” byu the artist. Thus, in a highly humorous manner, the seriousness of Waśko's earlier experiments is diffused. “Model przestrzeni w obrazie filmowym” [Model of Space in a Film Image] (1974) has a similar, subversive character.   Waśko made another attempt to transgressat transcending the model of artistic activity developed in „Układ I – VI” and „A-B-C-D-E-F=1-36” through so called hypothetical film. This was, which constituted the final phase of Waśko's development of a postulate about film's dematerialization and the need to focus upon abstract speculations concerning about its nature. In a hypothetical film, the artist invites the viewer to conduct a “mental projection” of the piece based upon graphs, pictures and graphical diagrammatic scores.   The artist wrote: “It became for me a necessity for me to transgress transcend the obviousness of “photographic and cinematic matter” ” in the interest of discovering so that new potentials for understanding the nature of reality are uncovered (...) Hypothetical film does not examine, does not analyze, does not engage with logical or illogical matter of film's existence. It proposes to transfer the physical system in the direction of incomprehensible reality. Hypothetical film proposes a hypothetical projection based on two opposite qualities: physical and hypothetical reality”.[28] Hypothetical film reveals that the most important thingidea of the film is the most important for the artist is the idea of the film, unrestricted by any artistic genre or specific material medium, able to find realization in a non-representational picture, for instance. This film form shows most fully the “transmedial” aspect of Waśko's approach.   “Okno” [Window] (1972) was one of the Waśko’s most important early films realized by Waśko. In it, the artist raiseeds for the first time issues to which he will cyclically return in following subsequent years. The film consists of a single static shot, lasting 911 minutes, of a window seen from the inside of a room. From this perspective, the viewer can observe events occurring beyond the window, in the external space of a street and a courtyard. By creating thisa situation, of this type, Waśko relates in an ironic manner to statements that describe film as a “window into reality” or “window onto the world”. TheA static, rectangular frame of the window, through which we can observe “images of reality”, becomes a tautological metaphor of the film frame. In the resulting situation, the viewer is made aware of becomes conscious of the act of viewing itself. This allows him to “view himself while viewing”. The soundtrack to thisof the film consists of sounds produced by the artist in the space outside the frame, for instance by manipulating a radio receiver, “playing” on objects, etc. In this manner, the artist turns viewer's attention to the opposition between what is represented in the space of the frame and what is present in the space outside the frame. In that external space lies that, which is excluded from the frame, the continuum of reality.   Such aThis strategy underscores, according to Katherine Russell, an  „imposition of a form onto reality. A frame that has its own autonomy acquires the integrity of a picture frame limiting the view to a strict economy of inside and outside. Inside, there is composition and detail, outside there is an unknown space that is never filled in. The fixed frame represents the intentionality of phenomenological consciousness, but it equally determines the limits of the visible and the knowable. The fixed frame points to the subject of perception, and also the four sides of the frame beyond which is the continuity of the real as defined by the discontinuity of the frame”.[29]  „Od A do B i od B do A” [From A to B and from B to A] (1973) has a similar structure as “Okno”. The artist “abandons” a running camera, ostensibly leaves the frame and afterwardsthen communicates, solely with through sound, giving the viewer signals about his “ordeals” in the unrepresented reality lying beyond the frame.[30] Through In these films the artist reveals that the sound track can be used to create or manipulatehas the potential for creating or manipulating the meaning of the image. Waśko seems particularly interested in the manner in which sound evokes a sense of space in film. His Mmovies like, such as “30 sytuacji dźwiękowych” [30 aural Sound Ssituations] (1975) and “Chodzę pomiędzy” [I Am Walking in Between] (1975) are based upon an investigation of differences and contrasts between a space shown in the pictorial layer and the aural space evoked by the artist during his “aural performance”. All of the these projects demonstrate realizations prove that Waśko to have been was the Workshop of theone Film Form Workshop member to most extensively analyze the issue of space in film. Waśko's productions, described above, are characterized by a shift of accent emphasis from temporal aspects characteristic of literature or narrative cinema towards spatiality typical of the fine arts.   „Prosto-Krzywa” [A Straight-Curve] (1973), „Ściana” [A Wall] (1972), „Rejestracja” [A Recording] (1972) are three more other noteworthy studies into of film spatiality that are worth mentioning. “Prosto-Krzywa” is a specific game between actual two dimensions of the film medium and the illusory three dimensions established by the representational layer. By contrasting geometric figures of different sorts with images of reality registered on film, Waśko reminds us that film provides only a deception of three-dimensionality, t. That images are in fact deposited on flat film stock. “Ściana” is similar in its nature. The artist recorded a 7-minute shot of the fFilm sSchool's wall and then cut the tape, mixed the cut-up fragments segments and reassembled themthen edited the piece using random procedures as guidance. As an effect, Thea flat wall is the same, invariable in all the shots, remaining is left as the only stable and dominating element. Due to random editing, what takes places in front of the wall – people walking by, electric carts driving through across the frame – never fully constitute themselvesitself. The artist does not allow In this manner, the artist does not allow the illusion of three-dimensionality to develop. Failed attempts at that this are contrast withed through a focus upon the flat wall that brings evokes to mind the flatness of the film reel. Like the film “Prosto-Krzywa”, “Ściana” is therefore an attempt at reducing to bring the cinematic illusion of three-dimensionality down to two-dimensionality more befitting for film and its actual determinants of film as a medium.[31] While the editing process of “Ściana” was edited accordingsubordinated to random procedures, the editing ofin “Rejestracja” it was based upon a mathematical procedure, in a manner characteristic of Waśko. The artist measured out a section in real space, stretchingextending between two points, fromlabeled A andto B. He then divided it into 29 equal parts and marked out points indicating camera position.that determined positions of the camera. From these points Tthe artist created short shots shot short  from each of these points, andrecordings, which he later edited theses together in an alternatinge fashion. Waśko presents first a fragment shot from point A in the direction of point B and then a fragment shot from point B to point A. TheA progressively shifting point of view locatespositions the viewer inside a claustrophobic space. Jan Świdziński wrote the following about this realizationwork: “In this manner an objective, mathematical system is created, through which the relation between image and corresponding reality is reversed” and the artist “forces the concept of the image of reality to become relative, as in each case it is the result of a chosen convention for structuring reality”.[32]

 

Wojciech Bruszewski

Wojciech Bruszewski focused mainly upon initiating and analyzing complex relations between cinematic representation, human epistemic and cognitive system and represented reality. The concept of reality heldcontained for him an inherent dualism, he distinguished a material aspect (constituted by physical reality) and a mental one (our mental representations of reality). In a text titled “Problem Satorii” [The Satorii Problem] from 1974, Bruszewski ascertainsdescribes the lack of direct, non-mediated contact with physical reality (which he calls Satorii) that characterizes European cultural sphere. The artist wrote: “Our perception of the world (...) our manner of contacting reality is not direct but linguistic (...) a European cannot experience Satorii (...) because of a sign-based imagination”. According to Bruszewski, a person raised in Western culture subordinates the “mattersubstance” of perceived reeality to given conceptual models, epistemic schemes which she learns to equate with reality itself. Art should therefore have a demystifying role, should topple all sorts of (obsolete) perceptual and epistemic habits that rule our contacts with the world. “Art's greatest value lies in destroying some areas of the mind and proposing new construction structural elements in their place”.[33] By problematizing the “seeming identity of individual and world” (Adorno) , art should give back to the viewer a critical and reflexive attitude towards her own epistemic determinants. These postulates were to be fulfilled by Bruszewski's strategy of “setting up traps for reality”.[34]   The artist wrote: “The concept of <<That what which exists>> has two meanings. In the first sense, <<That whichat exists>>, – exists beyond me, outside. In the other, it is a judgment about <<Tthat whichat exists>>. A judgment is a a factor of cultural pressure. <<That whichWhat exists>> is a convention. I set up traps (...) where media exist”.[35] The manner in which a film or movie camera works resembles the functioning of human perceptual system. These were therefore best tools available to Bruszewski as he worked on his demystifying strategy. Still, the artist treated this analogy between film and consciousness (postulated previously by early theorists of structural cinema[36]) in a very scientific manner and based his analysis upon discoveries made by modern science (mainly cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics).   In his film realizations, such aslike “Doświadczenie audiowizualne/ Pudełko zapałek”” [ An Audiovisual experiment / Matchbox] (1975) or “Łyżeczka” [The Teaspoon] (1975), the world appears as a material reservoir for audio-visual perceptions which we receive, filter (through our experience, culture, language, etc.) and give meaning to (not always in a conscious manner). In these realizations, Bby manipulating audio and visual structures in this projects, the artists hoped to aid viewers in recognizing that the body (sensual perception) and mind/intelligence (conceptual interpretation of perceptual data) form an inseparable whole. These realizations works should aid in revealing “intelligence” of our perception by exposing it ass rooteding in conceptual and linguistic models that determine some of our characteristic modes of observing and interpreting reality. Bruszewski's analyses of this sort could be interpreted as a deconstruction of a modernist postulate of “pure” sensual perception of an artwork piece unpolluted by the intellect. (or the fetishism of the gaze). His deconstruction is conducted in laboratory conditions and based upon results of scientific research. In his realizations works the artist proves how this type of reception is always textually conditioned.[37]   In stating that reality is solely a linguistic construct, that we lack direct access to it and have to rely solely on individually and collectively modeled images, Bruszewski seems to come close to a approach the position of Rradical Cconstructivism (or Ppostmodernism as presented by Baudrilliard, Lyotard or White). Ultimately, the artist comes to a conclusion that our judgments about reality are nothing but cases of linguistic manipulation. Bruszewski wrote: “Since we are condemned to linguistic mediation in perceiving the world, our chance depends upon something differentelse. ArgentinianArgentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges, in a story titled “The Library of Babel” proposesoffers a certain methodological proposal (...) [based upon an attempt – Ł.R.] at obtaining all possible information about reality by exhausting all possible combinations of the alphabet (...) upon reversing the relation reality-signal-image of reality, or – to use linguistic categories – upon a shifted hierarchy (if such exists at all) between the signified and the signifier”.   Bruszewski applied this methodology iIn “Bezdech” [Apnoea] (1972), in which, Bruszewski applied this methodology. tThe artist collates (according to the rule “each one with each”) a limited number of film sequences containing statements given by four persons. The artist wrote: “By accepting (...) this manner mode of actingaction, we can conduct a series of laboratory operations upon registered images that have nothing in common with traditional preparation of informational material. At the same time, by meetingsatisfying conditions necessaryrequired of a transmission towardsintended for a designate, they would confirm realactual existence of such reality as we never experience it, the presence of which we can only anticipate”.[38] ”Klaskacz” [ A KClapper] (1971), one of first found footage realizations made in Poland, was based upon a similar strategy. By creating a film from existing representations, Bruszewski formulated thea thesis that the film relates more to other films (representations) than to any reality lying beyond the mediuma. In this manner “Klaskacz” proves a statement made by the artist’s contention that we are condemned to operate in a about our condemnation to acting in a sphere of reality that is interpretatively or linguistically transformed.   These films made by Bruszewski not only had the effect of destroying automatisms present in our “sensory and conceptual”[39] perceptionperception. They also, but  focused as well upon ways in which one can reveal how ways, in which the convergence of our between our linguistically determined perception and film narration constructed on its basis[40] (supported by a cinematic “sense of reality” and existing in a parasitic relation with the former) can become a field of potential manipulation. The artist mentions Iin this context works, the artists mentions the works of Andre Bazin, who wrote: “It seems that insufficient attention was given to the analysis of the intellectual and psychological mechanism that grants films their pedagogical power. It is worthwhile to research this mechanism, as its main spring seems to me especially dangerous to the future of human spirit, as it creates the possibility of imprisoning the masses. The rule guiding these movies is in fact one of giving  photographs the logical character of a lecture. And the lecture itself has the credibility and obviousness of a photographic image. The viewer is under an illusion that he is given visual proof, while in fact it is only a string of ambiguous facts, cemented together only by commentary”.[41] A strategy  for combating automatisms is also used in “YYAA” (1973), a film in which Bruszewski presents, throughwith the use of editing operations, the existing potential that exists for manipulating represented reality during the editing process. “Drzwi-tekstTekst/Drzwi” [DoorsA Text/A Door-Text] (1973) shows on the other hand shows thea “discursive” and “textual” nature of film narration as something that has a structure more typical of a persuasive lecture rather than an objective relation. The film is another attempt to engage and play with linguistic determinants of our perception.

 

Kazimierz Bendkowski, Janusz Połom, Tadeusz Junak, Zbigniew Rybczyński

Kazimierz Bendkowski realized/produced three movies while working in the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form: “Koło” [A Circle] (1973), “Obszar” [An Area] (1973) and “Punkt” [A Point] (1973). All of them are interpretations of spatial values given in the titles. In “Punkt”, Bendkowski focused the camera upon a single moving point (the nape of a walking girl). Afterwards, by manipulating the sound track, he attempted to “manipulate” the viewer's perception of space. Bendkowski's work differs from similar studies of film space in film conducted by Waśko, as he wantedsought to subordinate an analytic experiment to the construction of a representational proposal (that could find use in narrative cinema, for instance). This is typical of all of Bendkowski's films. The structure of “Koło” is established by a film camera spinning around its own axis. “Rigorous execution of an abstract score” is counterbalanced by the destruction, by the artist, of items present in the representational layer of the film. “Obszar” is similar and involvesin character, as the artist “describinges” a selected space in a manner that is very expressive and saturated with anxiety.Evident here as well is  aAn attempt, characteristic of Bendkowski, to balance two discourses: analytic and representational, structural and poetic, is present here as well.
Janusz Połom was the first Polish artist to experiment with computer technologies (his first attempts dateing back to 1973). HProof of his interests find reflection inis given by such films as “Alfabet” [An Alphabet] (1974), in which Połom used an oscillograph to directly translate sounds (the alphabet recited by the artist) into images (the artist’s voice is visualizedvisualization of artist's voice on the oscillograph's screen). “Alfabet” is a recording of this process.
Tadeusz Junak realized independently produced two films as a member of the Workshop: “Konfrontacja” [Confrontation] and “Epizod” [Episode] (1973). “Konfrontacja” consists ofis filled with very pleasing aesthetically pleasing close-ups of the “inside” of a machine playing a vinyl record with songs by Ewa Demarczyk, a famous Polish singer. The artist attempts to initiate (in a metaphorical manner) the process of “self-observing observation withinin oneself” of two machines (the confrontation present in theof the title) of two machines: a machine playing the music and a recording camera. “Epizod”, a found footage film, is a much more mature realization work, in which Junak made by Junak. The artist used a fifteen-minute fragment (act one) of “Sweet Bird of Youth”, a Hollywood “blockbuster” movie with Paul Newman that was at that time a Hollywood “blockbuster” playing in Polish cinemas at that time. Afterwards, Tthe artist “reversed” the narration of the appropriated movie by carefully editing it, shot after shot, so that the last shot of the original film became the first shot of Junak's piece,. the sSecond to last shot of the original became the second shot and so on. This work most clearly illustrates the sSubversive nature of cinema practiced by the Workshop in relation to mainstream cinema is most clearly apparent in this realization.   “Kwadrat” [Square] (1972) and “Take Five” [Take Five] (1972), made by Zbigniew Rybczyński while he was a member of the Workshop, are based upon the initiation of complex intermedial relations between dance, music and film. It is worth stressing that in his projects Rybczyński attempted to tried in his realizations to subordinate experiments with film technique to the building construction of a narrative and a representational discourse. Nevertheless, the dance in Rybczyński's realizations films is free of any metaphorical associations and characterized by a “cold”, almost “robotic” in its expression. By using appropriate editing techniques, the artist manipulates dancing persons individuals as if they were things (“Take Five”). He achieves aA convergence of two time-based media takes place: minimalistic dance and film. This convergence of choreographedies of filming and dance is particularly visible in “Take Five”, where Rybczyński conducts a highly successful “cinematic” interpretation of such qualities of minimalistic dance as “balancing of energiesy, balancing of parts, repetitions and subtle occurrences, neutral representation (...) single actions, human scale”.[42]   Two more realizations projects are worth mentioning while describing films of other Workshop members. “Kręte ścieżki” [Winding Paths] (1971), by Barański  is a film that is part feature and part experimental cinema. Another one is “Ech” [Eh] (1971) by Marek Koterski is both, a documentary film that is both a document and an experiment (both authors are currently respected directors of feature films).

 

Collective film realizations produced in the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form

Workshop members jointly producedrealized together two  films: “Reinkarnacja” [Reincarnation] (1974) and “Oda do młodości” [Ode to Youthfulness] (19974). The first was an homage to Wacław Antczak, an amateur artist who has been collaboratinged with the Workshop since the group'sits inception. The film is a recording recordsof Wacław Antczak reading a poem of his, titled “Reinkarnacja”. Artists from the Workshop treated with admiration people involved in the amateur artistic movement with admiration, cooperating (they cooperated not only with Antczak, but also with Kowalski's amateur theater, for example). Workshop members believed that this movement to beis a mainstay of values missing absent from the world of professional art or cinematography,cinematography, values like such as disinterested creativity, a creative stance towards the world, enthusiasm, “pureness” and sincerity of creative effortgestures. They saw in the amateur movement a source of energy that cleansed them from rigid schemes of artistic procedures enforced by dominant culture.  Avant-garde artists andshared with amateurs shared a similar critical stance of an outsiders towards this culture[43]. “Egzekucja” [Execution] (1972) by Paweł Kwiek (lost) and “Jakby lepiej” [As if Better] (1974) by Andrzej Różycki were two other proofs reflections of fascination with the amateur movement[44] and Wacław Antczak as a person.  It is worth adding that Różycki also filmed “Teatr Kowalskiego” [Kowalski's Theater], a film devoted to this a theater group formed made up of by pensioners.
“Ode to Youthfulness” was realized produced in 1974, while when a television program about the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form was broadcast by public television. The realization film was produced made collectively according to a concept of Andrzej Barański. The film isIt depicts an action of sorts, occurring in public space. In making it, tThe artists would stop passerby and encourage them to voice single words that together form consecutive phrases of the poem “Ode to Youthfulness” by Polish romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, a Polish poet of the Romantic era. The shots were afterwards then edited into a single sequence (due to this structure allows us to we can consider it to be an assembling filmrealization).

 

Conclusion

Due to given the number of Workshop members and the diversity of stances and strategies proposed represented by them, the projects offilm realizations made by the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form cannot be enclosed in within a single model of structural cinema. Films made by the group stretch range from those that are a (clearly modernist) reflection upon the nature of the film medium to those that are (clearly postmodernist) attempts to merge film realizations with “languages” of different extra-artistic fields of knowledge or science (such as sociology, psychology, politics, ethnography, etc.). Nevertheless , as  practiced by Analysis of the film medium nevertheless never related, in the case of the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form, analysis of the film medium never related to thea modernist tendency to consider form  to be the an absolute aspect (a tendency tied to a characteristic utopia of transcendence). Instead, it was connected to a search for systemic generalizations that are typical of science, and for objective structural characteristics of the analyzed “artistic language”. We must add that artists from the Workshop quickly went beyond transgressed this model by problematizing using in their analyses to problematize relations between the visual and the linguistic spheres (between text and image, between signified and signifierying, between mind and body. Generally speaking, they attempted to prove a lthe absenceack of correspondence between world and language.
This deconstructive and postmodernist aspect of the Workshop coexisted with a consequentconsistent pursuit realization of a the classic postulate of avant-garde art, regarding the broadening of art's capabilities through a stance of permanent experimentation and formal innovation. This innovativeness is especially particularly evident visible in the Workshop's cinematic production. In this text I have attempted to show demonstrate in this text that members of the group, by confronting their ideas and artistic strategies with aganist the film medium itself, created a multitude of techniques, stylistic figures and types of structural cinema. These include For example, filmsstructurally based on coincidence whose construction is based upon accident, random procedures, fulfillment of mathematical or logical procedures, spontaneous improvisation, films as means for “political combatstruggle” or “social change”, non-camera, “flickering”, intermedial, assembling, realized films produced collectively, films about art, found footage films, animations, loops, dematerialized conceptual films, films-provocations, films-performances, films-interventions, representational-narrative films-experiments.
I must add that alongside realizations the projects that I have analyzed in this text, artists from the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form used other media, such as photography, video, installation, etc., in a just as creative manner. For this reason, to this day the group poses until today and despite the passage of time, the group poses a challenge for researchers of modern art.The Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form was a phenomenon that had a decisively influenced upon  art of its period time and is as well the key to understanding numerous artistic phenomena of today.



[1] Artists from the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form described own activities as artistic “theory-practice”. This expression was coined to underline a lack of division between the two spheres of artistic activity. For Workshop members, just like for Gidal, „the proximity of theory and practice was so close that structural film could be considered theory”. Katherine Russel, Experimental Ethnography, London 1999, str 158. 

[2] Furthermore, films made in the Workshop were produced on 35mm stock and were professionally lighted, edited, etc. In this Tthey differed in this from most other realizationsfilms, such as those made by American artists. (Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form functioned as an educational group tied to the Film School and therefore had access to its technical infrastructureresources).

[3] “Rynek” is also the first film made in the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form.

[4] With the cooperation of Tadeusz Junak and Ryszard Meissner.

[5] Through manipulations of this typenature, the artist can analyze the relation of recording (cinematic) time to real time.

[6] Józef Robakowski, Jeszcze raz o czysty film [For Pure Film, Once More], Polska nr 10 / 1971.

[7] “These activities are conducted in order to capture all forms of recording known to us, to eliminate them mutually or replace them with others. Janusz Połom, Wyższe funkce mózgowe czyli w poszukiwaniu języka uniwersalnego [Higher Brain Functions or in Search of Universal Language] (in:) Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, Warsztat Formy Filmowej [Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form], op. cit. Str. 75.

[8] Józef Robakowski, Bezjęzykowa koncepcja semiologiczna filmu [A Language-less Semiologic Concept of Film], A catalogue of Galeria Współczesna (Contemporary Galery) „Aspekty nowoczesnej sztuki polskiej” [Aspects of Modern Polish Art] Warszawa 1975.

[9]  ConcerningRegarding Józef Robakowski's assembling films, see: Łukasz Ronduda Łukasz Polskie filmy asemblingowe lat 70.[Polish Assembling Films], www.csw.art.pl/archfilm.

[10]Józef Robakowski, Zapisy biologiczno-mechaniczne [Biom-Mechanical Recordings], 1975 (w:) Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, Warsztat Formy Filmowej [Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form], op. cit. 

[11]Przestrzeń zakłócona” [Disrupted Space] (1976) oraz „Po linii” [On a the Line] (1976) are two other films worth mentioning in the context of “Zapisy biologiczno-mechaniczne”.

[12] These were the schemes accepted in the Łódź Film School.

[13] Postulates that were never fulfilled

[14] The spectacle had awas subtitled “Avant-garde Successes and Public Opinion. Several films were shown as its part, including “Twarz II” [Face II], shot by Paweł Kwiek.

[15] DA documentation of the spectacle can be found in Notatniku Robotnika Sztuki Nr 1, 1971.

[16] It should be stressed that these attempts were condemned by the ruling power government and the artists themselves suffered repressions (for instance, Przemysław Kwiek and Zofia Kulik were stripped ofhad their passports taken in 1975). The fFate of above- mentioned Polish artists working in the 1970s and their “romance with the revolution” can be compared with the fate of the constructivist avant-garde active in socialist Russia in 1920s and 1930s. The history of relations between avant-garde artists and the ruling power was in both cases similar.

[17] Paweł Kwiek, Życiorys [Memoir], Łódź 1994 (script is located in the photographic archive of the Museum of Art in Łódź. This film was an important sign of changes in attitudes occurring in Kwiek's life. Paweł Kwiek remembers that in this period “I resigned my membership in the film school's ZMS [The Socialist Youth Association of Socialist Youth], an association fully inadequate for the reality of an art school. Despite my mother's sorrow I did not join the Communist Pparty, though I had such a plan during my first year of studies. Exactly the opposite occured. I switched from an activist’s consciousness to the consciousness of an aesthetic man. Paweł Kwiek in: T. Samusionek, Wywiad z Pawłem Kwiekiem [Interview with Paweł Kwiek] (in:) Zeszyty Artystyczne nr 7, Poznań 1997.

Many critics (including Piotr Piotrowski, writing in Znaczenia Modernizmu [Meanings of Modernism] stress the fact that analytic activities conducted by the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form in the field of “mass communication media” gave the viewer an understanding of the processes of film creation and of reality creation in a film. As such, it had a particularly critical dimension in the reality of Polish socialist state.

[18] This film, characterized by a particular “noise aesthetic” is a proof of Kwiek's fascination with the creative possibilities offered by the film medium. The artist himself has stated that “1,2,3, ćwiczenie operatorskie” was made with “a search for new effects” in mind. In this sense his strategy was similar to one of the basic postulates of the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form, that of “widening the potential of audiovisual arts”. Manifest Warsztatu Formy Filmowej [Manifesto of theif Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form] (in:) catalogue WRO 99 Wrocław 1999 str. 144. On the other hand, the movie summed up Kwiek's collaboration with artists from Warsaw. While creating this piece, Kwiek tried to practically utilizeuse all effects of this collaboration, which took place through different aActions and cCollaborations, with artists working in different artistic fields.

[19] As well as the film “Twarz” [Face] (1971), currently lost.

[20]“Numerki” can be considered a “Found Footage” realizationproject.

[21] Kwiek Paweł, Dokument obiektywny o człowieku [Objective Document About Man], 1976 unpublished, Centre for Contemporary Art., Ujzadowskie Castle,CSW Archive

[22] We should note that Kwiek returned in following years to Niechcice, planning constant and procesual process-based collaborations with that community. During one such visit a very interesting film  iswas created: “Niedziela 15.IV.73 – Dniem sztuki w Niechcicach” [Sunday 15.IV.73 – A Day of Art in Niechcice]. In these years, the artist consequently develops his own formula of experimental socio-ethnographic cinema and produces such realizations as “Od środka” [From the Inside] (1976) or “Poemat o świadomości” [A Poem About Consciousness] (1977).

In the 1970s, the artist created following assembling films: “Osieki 74” [Osieki 74] (1974), “Kinolaboratorium” [Cinema-Laboratory] (1973), “Ćwiczenie na kamerę 100%” [Camera Exercise 100%] (1972). Nevertheless these are Kwiek's less radical realizations, which can be seen as very original films about art. It is worth adding that Workshop members shot many films about art, mainly professional productions made together with the Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych [Educational Films Company] in Łódź. Members of the Workshop made films about Katarzyna Kobro, Władysław Strzemiński, Tytus Czyżewski, Leon Chwistek, Witkacy, Henryk Stażewski, “Polish Constructivism” and other artists. They also produced films about modern art, such as “Krzesła” [Chairs] or “Analizy Mediów” [Media Analyses] by Wojciech Bruszewski.

[23] Ryszard Waśko , “Przed i Po” próba wyjaśnienia sensu prac hipotetycznych [“Before and After”. An Attempt to Explain the Sense of Hipothetical Works] , 1980 (in:) Warsztat Formy Filmowej [Film Form WokshopThe Workshop of the Film Form], Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, CSW exhibition catalogue, WarszawaWarsaw, 2000

[24] Ryszard Waśko, “Modele struktur filmowych” [Models of Film Structures] op. cit.

[25] An analysis of relations between sight and sound played an important role in these films as well. Wojciech Chyła was the author of soundtracks to both of these films.

[26] Elementary works by Wasko, exhibition catalogue, Museum Folkwang Essen, Bochum, 1981.

[27] Craig Owens, Beyond recognition, London 1992, str 57.

[28]Ryszard Waśko, op. cit.

[29]Katherine Russel, Experimental Ethnography, Londyn 1999, str. 158

[30]Similar structure, based on exposition of the space inside and outside the frame, can be seen in has the film “Podróż Wacława Antczaka do kiosku przy ulicy Głównej” [Travel of Wacław Antczak’s Trip to the Newsstand a Booth on Główna Main Street] (1973). Additionally, this movie underlines the objective nature of camera as a source of images.

[31]“Chodnik” [Sidew Walk] (1972) has a similar function. The artist shows, using an optical copier, how a flat film reel is the place where representational (illusory) images are deposited.

[32] Jan Świdziński, Model kina [The Model of Cinema], Warsztat 7, Łódź 1975 

[33] Zbigniew Dłubak, talking with Wojciech Bruszewski, (in:) Wojciech Bruszewski,  Rozmowy [Conversations], Łódź 1973/1974.

[34]Or “setting up traps for “Tthat which exists”.

[35] Bruszewski, Practice of trapes, Galeria LDK, 1975

[36] As found in the works of Michealson or Sitney. Bruszewski crosses the boundaries of a phenomenological model of structural cinema. His films are not just a metaphor of “the workings of consciousness”, but an attempt to reveal convetionsconventions that rule its functioning.

[37]On the other hand, analyses of relations between image and text were done with the goal of liberating film from the hold of literature in mind. This goal was dominant among Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form members.

[38] Bruszewski Wojciech. Problem Satorii [Problem Satorii] (in:) Żywa Galeria, Łódź 2000, str. 138.

[39] According to Bruszewski, mechanical modes of recording and transmissions function in a manner partially autonomous from our minds. Camera is a mindless tool that lacks human habits and epistemic schemes, and therefore has a chance to see reality as it really is. These media are free from fantasies and projections that a man casts upon reality, although (and this Bruszewski stresses) they do not produce a truly objective image of reality that we wish for, but only another convention and interpretation of reality.

[40]Based on a specific parasitic relation.

[41] Wojciech Bruszewski, Rozmowy [Conversations], op. cit.

[42] Maria Hussakowska, Minimalizm [Minimalism], Kraków 2004. 

[43] For mMore information about relations between avant-garde and amateur artists  insee: Ronduda Łukasz (ed.) Entuzjaści z amatorskich klubów filmowych [Enthusiasts from Amateur Film Clubs], catalogue from exhibition by Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings, Warszawa Warsaw 2004.

[44] For mMore about collaborations between Workshop members and amateurs seein: Lechosław Olszewski, Działalność akcyjna Warsztatu Formy Filmowej [Action Activities by the Film Form WorkshopWorkshop of the Film Form], (in:) Żywa Galeria, Łódź 2000.




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