History of visual text. Poland after 1967
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History of visual text. Poland after 1967

Book Launch Events:
31 January 2013 – Wrocław Contemporary Muzeum pl. Strzegomski 2a, 6 pm.
16 February 2013 – Toruń, Wozownia Art Gallery, ul. Rabiańska 2o, 5 pm.

 


The main aim of Małgorzata Dawidek Gryglicka’s book is to provide an overview of the phenomenon of text as an art form, and review relevant facts in the history of contemporary Polish art; to search for answers to questions about the strength, driving forces and processes which have influenced at first the development of concrete poetry, and next, the journey of text into the sphere of conceptual art, its rebirth as concretism after 1989, the emergence of hypertext, and finally, liBerature. What is the importance of the Western European influences on the dynamic of the development of this phenomenon? In which ways have closely related literature and art penetrated and influenced each other?
The monograph begins with a chapter which examines the word and image, searching for common points of these two domains and attempts to establish their relationship. This issue has a long tradition in the history of art – starting in antiquity with pattern poetry, figurative poems, checkered poems and labyrinths (Latin carmina figurata and carmina cancelata), through very common, rich baroque images of poetry mostly by anonymous authors.
It finds its continuation in modern poetic texts of Dadaists and Futurists, and in the early 20th century art in many European countries, including Poland.
That is why the next chapter is a historical outline, attempting at characterizing and determining the role and function of the text in the fine arts and their influence on the process of shaping concrete poetry in Poland in 1967. This is followed by an analysis of artistic activities in the concrete poetry environment in Wroclaw, which was a center of this movement in Poland. This part describes creative artists such as: Stanisław DróżdżMarianna BocianZbigniew Makarewicz, the SKE group and others, and concrete artists-poets who worked in Poland during the same period of time, including Marian GrześczakPiotr BernackiRoman Gorzelski. This chapter also contains comments on the presence of text in conceptual art, using as examples such artists as Andrzej PartumEwa PartumJarosław Kozłowski and Andrzej Dłużniewski.
That is why the next chapter is a historical outline, attempting at characterizing and determining the role and function of the text in the fine arts and their influence on the process of shaping concrete poetry in Poland in 1967.

 

 

 

This is followed by an analysis of artistic activities in the concrete poetry environment in Wroclaw, which was a center of this movement in Poland. This part describes creative artists such as: Stanisław DróżdżMarianna BocianZbigniew Makarewicz, the SKE group and others, and concrete artists-poets who worked in Poland during the same period of time, including Marian GrześczakPiort BernackiRoman Gorzelski. This chapter also contains comments on the presence of text in conceptual art, using as examples such artists as Andrzej PartumEwa PartumJarosław Kozłowski and Andrzej Dłużniewski.
The third part of the book concentrates on the defining period in conceptualizing of text as notation, and includes an analysis of the art of Robert Szczerbowski as a representative of the idea of multi-thread, visual text, which is linked to the parallel emergence of hypertext works by Radosław Nowakowski. It contains presentations, analyses and interpretations of text-visual realization which have a nonlinear structure, and occurred in both forms: in material books and virtual reality.
The final part of the book includes reflections on liBerature.
This new field situated between literature and art combines architectonic notation with its own meanings. Zenon Fajfer, a Polish writer who coined the term, defines it as the Total Book, i.e., the book which is complete and homogeneous as regards text, images and meaning. Fajfer’s creative work has lead to discussions over a new structure of the novel, which requires from the user a new, more active, more involved and multidirectional process of reading than typical, linear literature. The monograph is concluded with an overview of the youngest generation of artists working within the language medium. There cybernetic artists include Roman BromboszczŁukasz Podgórni, and Twożywo group in their committed projects, as well as others who present their pieces in the public area, on building fronts, on billboards, and public transport.
The book covers the period from 1967, just a year before the global social and political revolution broke out, and continues to the present, i.e. the world of the internet, the cyber and multimedia revolution. The end of communism and abolishing censorship enabled Polish artists access to technologies, West European art and publishing possibilities, which consequently has lead to a great many changes in Poland’s artistic evolution. In conjunction with this, contemporary Polish texts-and-image art touches on the same problems and use the same multimedial techniques as text art in other Western countries, becoming an important part of international trends in visual text.

Reviews:

Book Launch at Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wrocław, 31 January 2013.