This transmission from a TV studio took place in the spring of 1994 under the auspices of the WRO Polish Monitor Festival in collaboration with Polish national television. Władysław Kaźmierczak’s action was the first perfomance broadcast live on public television in Poland. Direct transmission is essential to the nature of the work, which was broadcast while other channels were showing the evening news. This was a period when more and more TV stations were appearing in Poland, and, along with them, the practice of channel-surfing.
Kaźmierczak’s action is a striking blend of artistic expression with the realm of news broadcasting. The personal predicament of the artist, who’s trying to get down from a rickety structure and out of the public space of the TV studio, is interspliced with reporters’ footage of the absurdity of police intervention in a spontaneous demonstration by kids celebrating the first day of spring.
Television has a new language now; the propagandistic newspeak of the previous era has long since been replaced by the explosion of violent images that typifies contemporary news programs. The mentality of the police, though, is still blurry: Several years into the general social and political transformation, the police don’t know whether to react in the old style or the new.