performative installation
master degree
prom. prof. M. Bałka
june 2016
In 1978 Robert Morris wrote in his paper titled “The Present Tense of Space”: “Anytime the object has become specific, singular, dense, articulated, and self-contained, it has already succeeded in removing itself from space. It has only various visual aspects: from this side or that, close up or farther away – unless perhaps it is disposed in the space in some way that elevated the existential fact of placement to one of ‘occupation,’ thereby charging both the object and the space around it”* . Laura Grudniewska has implemented her degree project in the space of the former Passenger Automobile Factory in Warsaw. She has introduced four horses and four female riders to the abandoned factory hall. The equestrians, moving in a disciplined way, have entered a dialogue with raw, concrete architecture. Trained horses have tested the strength of the material memory of architecture devoid of its original, productive function. Training and architecture have met in magical poetics. A quadriga is a two- -wheel car drawn by four horses. The passage of quadriga used to accompany triumphant processions. Architecture created to be a testament of the triumph of people’s state, stood on the brink of collapse. It was lost, just like the equestrians in its space. Are the silently moving equestrians the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, named: War, Pestilence, Famine and Death?
Mirosław Bałka
Architecture enforces a choreography of movements and thus it is an element that organizes daily life. In other words, it generates movement and supresses it simultaneously; everything becomes obedient to its rules. In the scope of bio-political thinking, architecture can be compared to a case for a body. In my work I change the inanimate case into a living body. In order to achieve that I use a group of horses which are of a great significance in architecture. This symbolic transfer of the quadriga to the inside of the bulding is a beginning of a transposition. An element of nature which used to accelerate building degradation, now contributes to the rebirth of space. The place in which I intervene has got an industrial origin. While it used to be lively and vibrat with machine noise, now it came to a standstill. Before its transformation, the Car Factory used to be a buoyant center of the Polish heavy industry. Yet, now it is a blank space on the map of Warsaw. Therefore, I decided to reactivate this space at least in a symbolic way. Because of the muscles of the horses from the quadriga, the heart of the factory will start beating again. The horsepower unit of mesurement will be distorted as imitations of real horses will replace mechanical horses and the repetitive sound of factory machines will be replaced with the rhytmical sound of hooves.
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