The Performer by Oskar Dawicki wins at Berlinale
#photography & visual arts
small, The Performer by Oskar Dawicki wins at Berlinale, Oskar Dawicki, Oskar Dawicki Exists, 2001, an invented title page of Gazeta Wyborcza, illustration for the project Ontological Show, photo courtesy of, oskar dawicki prace 13_6513199.jpg
The Performer by Oskar Dawicki won the THINK: FILM AWARD at the Berlinale Festival. This work is the first ever exhibition of works of art made in the form of a film. The mix of acting and performance, the documentary pictures, and the fictional narrative give a surprising view on the world of contemporary art.
The ‘THINK: FILM AWARD’ special award is bestowed on ‘works that creatively use their medium to capture and artistically transmit geopolitical context, expanding the space of aesthetic experience and encouraging a mental change of perspective’.
The Performer is a dynamic story full of punk energy about Oskar Dawicki (playing himself). The central theme of his art is seeking an answer to question of whether Oskar Dawicki... actually exists.
In the film we meet Dawicki at a turning point when his Mentor (Zbigniew Warpechowski) is dying. Warpechowski is also the master of the Dearest (Andrzej Chyra), Oscar’s childhood friend, and now also a rival who chose commercial art and achieved huge financial success. Complicated relationships also link Dawicki with The Gallery Owner (Agata Buzek), who is his art dealer and lover. As is the case with all Dawicki’s work, here social and moral norms are challenged.
The casting of Dawicki as himself reveals the specific duality of the artist: his attempt to balance between being himself and playing himself, between reality and performance, between life and art, between the possibility to show the truth about a man in a film, and the inability to grasp it.
The Raster Gallery’s website on Dawicki:
All the works are post-conceptual in nature and possess a slightly grotesque and ironic aura. The self-analysis of one’s institutional status as a contemporary artist intertwines with reflections on one’s identity, or rather, its transience and conventionality. Discomfort, misunderstanding, complication – these are concepts which the imagination of the artist is based on, and for Dawicki unproductive art seems to be its most promising dimension.
Source: distributor’s materials, Raster Gallery, ed. tk, February 2015, transl. Bozhana Nikolova