Title of project: Twenty-four hours (Fort Sztuki 97)
the autumnal equinox (or solstice)
beginning: the sunset of September 22, 6.40p.m.
end: the sunset of September 23, 6.38p.m.
Kraków, St Benedict's Fort in Kraków-Podgórze (the Centre for Actual Art in spe)
the Fort Sztuki Association
Authors and project co-ordinators:
the Fort Sztuki Association - the Organisational Committee Fort Sztuki 97
24 hours, day and night - is a basic unit used to measure man's time. It sets the rhythm of human activity on earth and helps to organise lives of individuals and groups. Abstract time becomes a measurable and tangible phenomenon. A life span becomes isolated from the flood of time. It is man that creates time.
The equinox has always fascinated people. It was an object of celebrations in all the cultures which were familiar with solar and lunar rites, that is those that had the consciousness of life's dependence on cosmic processes. A sophisticated knowledge emerged from these rites. It provided a basis for many historical and contemporary cultures (the Fort Sztuki is situated in a pre-Christian worship site). Reference to the most archaic manifestations of human spirituality renders art into a form of anthroposophy. It makes art more human. Using performance as a means of expression emphasises this aspect of the project since performance is based directly on the mental and physical condition of the artist.
Timing of the project, its beginning and end, is determined by equal division of these twenty four hours into day and night. Cosmic processes are incorporated into a work of art. Moreover, all the cultural references form its background and context. St Benedict's Fort is built on a central plan, which adds to the holistic character of the project.
We are inviting twenty-four performance artists to take part in the project. Each presentation is to last twenty-four hours and all of them will take place simultaneously in separate rooms. These conditions constitute a boarder situation for live-created art and send a challenge which can evoke a creative impulse.
The project Twenty-four hours is an experiment as far as the contact of contemporary art with audience is concerned. A centrally built Fort integrates the audience and the work of art. Constant presence in the Fort enables constant observation of all the events. This element of the project makes reference to contemporary culture viewed as a variety of interrelated motifs and meanings. It reflects the excess of information, whose enormous amount makes it impossible for the man in the street to grasp and understand it. We must make our choices, according to our own beliefs, in order not to get lost. This is how individualism becomes the mode of existence in the world. This is also how a viewer will have to function during the project. Unable to take part in each presentation, he has to make up his mind or his perception will be incomplete. Otherwise, he will behave like a person sitting in front of a TV and scanning the channels. He will be forced to give up a position of a passive observer and to take a stand and create his own programme. By letting his intellect work, he will protect himself from surplus information. In this manner, he will become involved in the structure of the project.
(by Łukasz Guzek)