Screening of "The Performer" at Berlinale

On February 7, at the 65. International Film Festival in Berlin the screening of The Performer took place. The Performer was directed by Maciej Sobieszczański and Łukasz Ronduda, produced by Wajda Studio and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The screening was followed by a performance piece “I Am Sorry” by Oskar Dawicki.

The Performer as a part of Forum Expanded

The film was presented in the Forum Expanded section which focuses on projects that bring together contemporary art and cinema. The Performer‘s main character is a Polish performance artist Oskar Dawicki. In the film we meet Oskar at a turning point of his life, when he learns that his Mentor Zbigniew Warpechowski (himself) is dying. Warpechowski was also mentoring the Dearest (Andrzej Chyra), Oskar’s friend and a rival, who devoted himself to more commercial art and became the most profitable Polish contemporary artist. Oskar has one more complicated relationship in his life: a love affair with his Art Dealer (Agata Buzek). All this culminates just as Dawicki starts to prepare his magnum opus sculpture – Speech is silver.

Oskar Dawicki as the main character

Oskar Dawicki is one of the most original and interesting contemporary performance artist. The main theme of his art is the search for an answer to the question of whether… Oskar Dawicki exists at all. The trade mark of his performances is his blue shining jacket. He was educated as a painter, but he became interested in performance art while he was still studying. In 2000, he broadened his scope of interest onto video works, photography, documentation and finally, objects and installations. All of his works have a post-conceptual character and emanate a slightly grotesque, ironic and even absurd aura. In his works, Dawicki joins a romantically-tragic component (highly saturated with his own existential dilemmas) with poetics and the critical dimension of conceptual art. The self-reflection about his own institutional status as a contemporary artist is tightly interwoven with reflection on his own identity, or rather on its transitoriness, conventionality, airiness and weakness. Discomfort, disagreement, complication – these are the terms on which Dawicki’s imagination is built, while the non-productivity of art seems to be its most promising aspect to him.

A film co-financed by the PFI

The Peformer is the most recent production from Wajda Studio, created in coproduction with Telewizja Polska S.A., Kosma Films, Heliograf, FilmFactory, Artcore and Art Stations Foundation. The project was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. It’s producers are Kuba Kosma and Wojciech Marczewski. The film’s international premiere took place at the 44th Rotterdam International Film Festival on January. The first screening ofThe Performer in Berlin met the full auditorium. The film can be seen also on February 9th, 3 pm, Arsenal 1.

The Award of the Polish Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Wajda School

The Performer has inspired an initiative aimed at bringing the world of visual arts and filmmaking closer together – the Film Award. The Polish Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, in cooperation with the Wajda School, organize an annual competition for the Film Award, with the main prize being 500,000 PLN for the production of a feature film by an artist that operates in the realm of visual arts and cinema.

This award is aimed at promoting experimental artistic cinema that challenges conventional narratives and approaches to film form. According to the agreement between the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the Wajda School, the winner of the competition is required to participate in the ‘Studio Prób’ Feature Programme to work on the award-winning project. The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw acts as co-producer of the winning films and will include them in the Museum’s collection of contemporary art works.

Based on the press materials