Photos by: Andrzej Lachowicz
OPUS MAGNUM No. 1
December 13th, 2011
The very complex scientific concept of the theory of the curving of the space-time continuum exemplifies itself in my life with astonishing ease. In 1969 I presented my exhibition called Face Geography at the Mucsarnok Ban in Budapest. I was welcomed by the directors of Mucsarnok and the technical team with extraordinary hospitality, like a movie star. Once I carelessly remarked that my husband loved Hungarian salami, Pick and Hertz. Before the flight back home on a Malev airlines plane my most kind hosts put two big salami sausages into my suitcase with candid smiles, and saying “Lengyel Magyar bar atak”. I shall never forget this flight from Budapest to Warsaw because over the Carpathians the Soviet plane Lyushin 14 was shaken by severe air turbulences and at Warsaw airport it turned out that my suitcase with the precious salami was flown to Beirut, as it was accidentally packed on board of another Malev airlines Lyushin 14. It was then that I learnt how funny many airline slogans may be: “Breakfast in Budapest, dinner in Warsaw, your luggage in Beirut”. Three weeks later my suitcase was returned to Wrocław, but unfortunately, without the salami. I did not know and I still do not know whether my gift of these salami sausages was consummed in Beirut, Leningrad, London, Helsinki, Warsaw or Wrocław (as such was the route of my luggage). This was one proof that fragments of matter can disappear in the curving space-time continuum. By the way, I consider the Hungarians great artists and critics, some of whom I have the honour to know and whom I can count among my friends. It is hard to understand the art of the Mittel Europa region without Laszlo Béké, Tibor Hajas, Gabor Attalay, Endre Tót, Dora Maurer, Imre Bak, Sandor Pinczenhelye and many, many others whose art I know and value highly.
December 14th, 2011
The tragic history of the Hungarian nation is connected with the history of my ancestors. In search of work and bread my grandfather escaped from Żywiec to the city of Koszyce, which, like the Polish Galicia, belonged at that time to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My mother, Elisabeth (Erzebet) was born in Koszyce, my aunt Monica graduated from high school in this city, and later in Poland she worked as a sworn translator and interpreter of the Hungarian language. I also have very warm memories of my honeymoon spent in Budapest in 1966 after I married an artist as wild as myself, Andrzej Lachowicz. We lived in a house near the Kéléti train station and stayed with the extremely nice Tabor family. I remember the silvery laughter of Mrs Margit Tabor when I asked her for an electric iron, saying “Wilamos wasaló” which means more or less “an iron tramway”. Andy, an enthusiastic traveller, organized ship cruises on the Danube to Estergóm. We spent the days of our belated honeymoon at the pools of Margit Sziget (?), sunbathing and swimming in warm water from local mineral springs with an incredibly high, artificial wave. It was there that Andy produced his first conceptual work which was also probably the first conceptual work envisaged by a Polish artist. It was called INFERNO and it would not have come into being if not for those great artificial waves at the pool of Margit Sziget.
December 15th, 2011
I keep returning to the theory of the curving space-time continuum like a maniac. I was a nuisance to the teachers at Liceum Technik Plastycznych [High School of Art Techniques] in Bielsko-Biała. I had been playing hookie each year since the beginning of March. When absent from school I sunbathed with my friend, Dorota Weber, who moved to Israel after graduation. But our truancy was not trivial because while sunbathing we discussed art and physics. Dorota wanted to become a world-famous artist and I was troubled by the inability to comprehend that the speed of light, i.e. 300 000 kilometres per second, could never be surpassed in any way. My intuition told me that the equation E=mc² was invalid and temporary. My physics teacher, irritated by my disobedience and insolence, gave me Fs or Ds with two minuses (which was worse that an F+ since a student with an F+ grade seemed to be able to fare better in the future). And now unexpectedly a few weeks ago I read in the magazines “Science” and “Nature” that neutrinos, particles without mass or electric charge, travel at a speed that is a few hundred times greater than the speed of light. The experiment that proved this was conducted independently in a few scientific centres. Therefore I can say that during my lifetime the false theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism fell apart completely silently, as well as the theory of relativity which I was contesting quite intuitively. Chance (?) would have it that both these theories were proposed and followed by people of Semitic origin – and one might see a certain consistency in this. But let us speak in concrete terms – it was this semitic element along with the not quite convincing theory of the Chosen People that in spite of the humbleness and generosity they ought to have displayed because of their cultural legacy made them replace this inheritance with unimaginable vanity. Let me add here that I have many Jewish friends. I like them and often admire them for their numerous talents and great laboriousness. The downfall of Einstein’s theory of relativity due to the questioning of his equation E=mc², where “c”, i.e. the speed of light, cannot be cosidered a constant any more, bears certain cognitive consequences. Science is being built laboriously, step by step, brick by brick, as a cause-and-effect construction. Art in my opinion is an equally valuable method of getting to know the World. However, it is based on intuition, illumination, and even on the association of irrational delusions. Therefore, art is something that could be compared to skirmishers – the knights who ventured into the enemy territory without the backup of main forces behind them. Thus art is like a scout of our understanding of the world.
MENTE ET MALLEO! With Thought and Hammer
Natalia LL, 2011