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ANDRZEJ DUDEK-DUERER

Andrzej Dudek-Dürer is performance artist. He also works in the field of photography, graphic, installation, music or video. Against the background of his reconstructions of identity since the end of 1960s he has been practicing his entire life as art, considering himself as a living sulpture or a reincarnation of Albrecht Dürer. For many years until the 1990s he was one of the most contested and – probably often most misunderstood – figures within the art scenes in Poland. Since then, however, after e.g. his participation in the 50th Venice Biennale, after numerous international exhibitions and actions as well as a list of publications on him or catalogues covering, interpreting and embedding his work – sometimes even in a kind of retrospective manner – the skeptical tone has been fading away. Instead there is now a context based understanding and he receives reception as one of the probably most interesting, consequent and charismatic contemporary artists in Poland.

 Andrzej Dudek-Dürer is based in Wroclaw.

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Andrzej DUDEK-DÜRER performer, media artist, composer, musician, visual artist, lecturer. Believes in reincarnation he is a personification of Albrecht DÜRER. His art activities are: music, graphic, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture,  action, environment, metaphysical-telepathic activity, antypoetry, metaphysical  instruments construction, installation, video art another forms of realization. Since 1969 he has practiced the life performance The Art of Shoes, The Art of Trousers, The Art of Life of Andrzej DUDEK-DÜRER (living sculpture) non-stop activity in the places where the author appears."... Art for me is a way, a special possibility of self-realization communication and cooperation... ALL MY LIFE IS ART..."

Andrzej DUDEK-DÜRER lived in isolation till 1978 and since 1979 he has started project The Travel Art, first in Poland next in the West Europe, Mexico, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan  performing his LIVING ART i.e. exhibitions performances, lectures, workshops, video art e.g. The Art Institute in Chicago, Academy of Art College  in San Francisco, Conservatorio National de Musica in Mexico City, School of Art Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin- New Zealand, The City Art Institute  in Sydney, Berkley University in Berkley, Centre  of Contemporary Arts  in Warsaw. A holder a grant of the Ministry of Cultur 2002. In 2003 presented performance and documentation of creation during 50 La Biennale di Venezia/ EXTRA 50/ BRAIN ACADEMY APARTMENT. In 2004 presentation  performance, installation during NINE DRAGON HEADS FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM in Cheong Ju and Dae Cheong –Lake/ South Korea  exhibition , concerts, video show and performance in Tokyo, Sendai and Kyoto/ Japan. He is initiator and coordinator of the International Metaphysical-Telepathic Projects. He has exhibited on numerous individual and group shows in Poland and abroad. His works and documentation are in many national and private collections e.g. National Museum-Warsaw, Centro de Arte Actual - Barcelona, Stedlijk  Museum - Amsterdam, Museum  of Modern Art - New York, Tate Gallery London, City Art Institute Library - Sydney, The School of Art. Institute of Chicago.

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The following text is taken from the the catalogue "ANDRZEJ DUDEK-DUERER: RECONSTRUCTION OF IDENTITY. Photography and video. Art works from years 1965-2005". It is the introductory part of the essay. 

"Andrzej Dudek-Duerer and change of art sources" by art historian Andrzej KOSTOLOWSKI

"While watching Andrzej Dudek’s various actions, prints, drawing, pictures, photographs, or letters, and while listening to his concerts or recordings one yields to the impression that he is concerned only with himself. The world o n l y should be underlined here, since most of us do everything, but our own things. We save the world, make others happy (no matter if they want it or not), we produce, purchase, dislocate various things, etc. We do so much, but very seldom we try to penetrate ourselves. Typically we leave such introspection to some artists or all those eccentrics, who choose such “self-insight” viewpoint. But we often mistrust even them. 

Andrzej Dudek, as an artist or as an excentric, permanently proves to us that we should rather start from ourselves. Instead giving in to dispersion, so common today, he is rather trying to reverse the problem and to reach complete focus on searching within himself. This is where he follows the well known hint of Franz Kafka, who once postulated to quit chasing the world and to sit down instead calmly waiting until the world comes up on its own. For Dudek such concern of oneself, penetrating oneself alone has become systematic piling up difficulties and – at the same time – a magic reversal of purpose, since it evidently turns out that while exploring oneself one may vivisect the world the best and to get to know it the most thoroughly. That’s why Dudek is neither an egocentric, nor a maniac, and he does not indulge in superficial sociologising either. He is instead somebody seeking this most mysterious union of spiritual element with the material one in himself. The spiritual element represents subsequent states of the artist’s spirit, while the material one is in his cloths, surroundings, messages, documents, and actions. The purpose, the very hardly reachable final objective, is for him to create a kind of adequacy reference between things that are lived through spiritually and those communicated materially.

We know from the regions explored by surrealism, Witkacy, psychedelic art, or some performance-type undertakings (or, perhaps, Jerzy Bere’ manifestations) how difficult it is to translate impressions from the spiritual sphere into a document with a material element format. It has often turned out that such translation is virtually impossible, and only something that has been not-too-intentionally procured as a project’s “by-product” (for Witkacy it might have been an uncontrolled pastel trail, for psychedelic art – contrary to its whole visually dazzling programme – a completely dry “reference” diagram for instance, for performance a “collateral” act rather than direct doing, for Marina Abramoviè or Zbigniew Warpechowski directness instead of a ritual) may gain features that enable triggering the audience’s illumination. But, let me repeat, it is always a rare and some how unintentional achievement. For instance spiritistic media know about it, those who can communicate with the great beyond only from time to time, and in order to impress every day they must employ bluster (see Eusapia Palladino for instance). 

Dudek had realised it quite early and quit striking with colours, decoration, stage design, or other overblown effects. Using a few Asian practices enabling his spiritual concentration he plays his self-made sitar, lights up fire or extinguishes it, develops or displays photographs (showing himself) and then sets them together with himself, marks this or that with an inscription (and a caption), shoots video films which are then incorporated in a performance, procures high tech installations, practices also the “art of eating” involving food served for public consumption. He fills-in time with his existence, multiplies ist reflections and traces, does not avoid computers, employs digital recording, at the same time he’s nurturing the “art of living” and its objective examples (shoes, trousers, hair…). 

All this does not mean however at all that we, the audience, experience the same feelings as the author does, or that we understand them. Some Dudek’s projects are even visually quite monotonous, as if they were deprived of adorning environs. And we are already about to shrug shoulders, when at a certain moment we are caught by some extraordinary effects of the things being presented to us. The “by-products” of these manifestations, such as, for instance, the overwhelming suction of darkness of a blackout venue, intoxicating repetitions of an action or tones, and, for instance, the monstrous futility of post-action leftovers, seem at a point in time to direct us at co-experiencing with the author spiritual states that elicit our ability to get illuminated. We are directed by the author to what is spiritual, yet we are not presented with any ready-made preparations, or “spiritual prosthesis”, which are so abundantly available from the Vienna actionist scene, for instance. We are directed not with so called art forms, but rather with something that Jerzy Ludwiñski has identified as “negative forms” and Dudek produces visually. These “negative forms” account for the whole background of his interests (even those strongly technologised) and contexts, in which his “in situ” actions are performed. Remains of things or lack thereof are for the author the vehicles of the “negative form”, the black holes of his art. 

But probably the largest of those is Dürer."


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