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The Theory of the Head, 1991

The mystery of art is sometimes revealed through the agency of God or through bard, utterly burning-out work. In many cases this all-encompassing work obliterates the borders between life and art. This point of view allows for a prideful conviction that one can live on art or that art (art as art) is in fact live. My whole live as cm artist is an uncertainty full of torment over what limits one can reach when art and life (live as live) are the same field of existence. Observation of the activities of other outstanding artists as Schwarzkogler or Herman Nitsch reveals how different the choices can be: either total self-destruction or a large hearted and full of goodness activity where the theatre of death, flesh and viscera is in fact to show the greatness of man’s life.

The existential attitude is particularly dear to me when for reasons not fully known I have to pursue art. The force which makes me do it is so overwhelming that there is nothing for it but to succumb to it with all humility. By this attitude I must show how important in art is the human head. What is meant here is the substantive contents of the head (brain) which Joseph Kosuth has shown with great expressiveness. Art proposed by Kosuth is a great glorification of the mind, i.e. that faculty of man which distinguishes him from other animals alive. Maybe for the first time in art history, conceptual art called out loud that it itself contains the criteria of art. It means that there is not much point in looking for these criteria outside art. If art is bound up with man’s mentality, it is the brain that must invent self motivation (!) so that an should not be idle play or chewing gum for the eye. Without the conceptual shock art would be a product of crazy aesthetes (Schoengeist) that would be suspended in a void beyond man’s. philosophy and economic practice. And that is why l think that the conceptual background is in fact a foundation on which to place all individual heuristics, fears and self-realizations. Conceptual art like a beacon can help artist and the consumer see the true importance and value of artistic activity. I am fully and deeply convinced that the conceptual attitude is the greatest value we have brought and still can bring to art’s self-consciousness. Consequently, the art of our times can only be conceptual though bereft of orthodox and dogmatic purism.

The head is not only the stately home of the brain. It is also a creature with a cavity that absorbs externality, namely different solid and liquid foods, smells and sounds. The ability to absorb external matter is the incredible secret of the head: the tenet that bread becomes flesh and wine blood is demonstrated here with great force. Without this tenet, the idea of Christianity would have been unthinkable. I envisaged the mystery of absorbing externality with such vividness that ever since 1972 all my art bas been taken up with a conceptual play on consumption. Of course, the perfidiousness of consumer art was some kind of jeer at the world of mature concreteness, so bananas in a submissive and charming mouth could be transmogrified by our perfidious imagination into penises thirsting for caresses. In a certain way I also embraced feminism though I realise the xenophobia of feminism is not exactly a liberation of the woman but her imprisonment in the claws of the vagina and uterus. The woman as part of a whole split in two can be fulfilled only with the other half, i.e. with man. However, l am in favour of those games which Sappho described in her poems, because a tired woman must have a chance of self-realization also in a situation when pleasure is not the goal of procreation. Maybe that is why consumer art is a manifestation of joy of life with the full consciousness of terror and the eschatological end of man. For purely experimental reasons I made some stabs at post-consumer art in which anonymous head takes jelly or pudding in its mouth and sometimes spits it out. This slimness of the essence of life is the reason why in the years 1972-1976 all my artistic activity was focused on the study of the sense of jelly. The incompletely explored power of the sperm not only does the job of preserving the species but it is also some kind of skating-rink where power and strength make an appearance in company with biological vigour. A painful sense of temporariness I experienced as a result of a surgical treatment of my womanhood demonstrates to me how much our artistic activity is dependent on the essence of the matter. Maybe art like frictional movements is able to register our anxieties sooner and more deeply than can be done by the science of philosophy or medicine. It is a big mistake to embroil artists in local structures. These structures are in a way an invention of our having been civilised. Not a snowball’s chance bas the view that art is to be a mirror (Lenin’s Theory of Reflection) because both life and reality are a mixture of commonplaceness and the present day. But real joy can be evoked by the fatalistic use of the bean black and white art. Art can fend for itself not on the strength of trivial connections, for our God is either willing or not to reveal our different nature. For the sake of full comfort I’d like to remind yon that the so called “White Head”, i.e. the sense and principle of man is without any meaning if it appears outside the context of art. Maybe art. fulfils the complications for which the world is scrutinized, but in the perspective of the bead.

There is not much point in the magic future of the world if art which wants to describe the world lacks conceptual background. In this perspective I want to see again my “Panic’s Sphere” installations where the picture of a bead is placed on a chair. The ethereal substance of the bead’s likeness is done on photocanvas for this canvas is a mysterious reflection of the true picture (Veraikon) of the essence of the matter. The chair appears to me to be a sort of a key to reality: it means not only sitting or usucaption: it is a symbol of concreteness and quiet.

The “Panic’s Sphere” is a call for Freedom. Man so sorely tried and imperfect cannot be crushed by simpletons. The human brain is the principle that rules the world. For this reason “Panic’s Sphere” do not need jealousy and they also cannot pretend to be normal.

The bead absorbs, experiences and excretes. and that is why our time in the reality is dependent on our falls. This principle shows that there is no world without a world of individuality. I am told what I am to say.

Natalia LL
16 March 1991

EXIT, Nowa Sztuka w Polsce
Kwartalnik Nr 6
June-July 1991