WOODY ALLEN SQUARE
Hypostasis of the edge of the Garden of Eden. At the same time symbol and topographic name of collective experiment that became the transformation space within Media Arts Department of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.
What does this have to do with art? Or we could ask: What does it have to do with the new media art? Tatarkiewicz in „The Six Acts Concepts” defines the art as following: “An art is performing things or constructing forms or expressing feelings if product of the performance, construction, expression is able to delight or move or shake.” And Ryszard W. Kluszczynski in “The aesthetics of new media art” indicates that media art is basically characterized by matter in which work artistic statement is shaped… Media concept consists of all material - structural determinants of art that manifest themselves in the mutual connection in the form of artifacts”. Further we read: “In the traditional context media in art are determined by manual methods of creative work and material used by them…. The art of new media to emanation of computer culture.18 And here we come to a very substantial part, because existing under the address 15 Spokojna street square was documented not only in the realistic time, but also is functioning in the virtual space on the global world map- Google map. The dimension of hypermedia benefits thanks to Facebook portal where participants and artists make relational records contacting with the art in space and fixing the action in return.
The protective barrier, divided by the boxwood, which laid the foundation of the hedge was extended. Sidewalk was remodeled. New brick – pebble surface in relation to the surrounding elevation (symbolizes boundless sea – in Japanese garden aesthetics) gained some space for artists to meet in which like boats, moored wooden chairs and armchairs appeared and over the tables hung the bridge with garlands made up of dozens of lanterns. This place was created for people to connect with nature where they can feel its rhythm and changing beauty. In this place blending of, European, American and Asian aesthetics are pointing to a multicultural personality of Woody Allen. Work that was done towards creating that space was noticed in publication “ The guide for students and from students of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts”. Katka Blajchert in the talk with Kuba Maria Mazurkiewicz mentions: “For example we have a student of professor Szymanski, Dariusz Zawislak, who together with Janek Przybyszewski sow grass from their own funds. They developed the area making it into a nice open place”. Information about Allen’s square is also given by cycling tour guides to people who come near Powązki. Allen’s square also became an inspiration of work of Elen Lol Lola (Elena Leszczynska and Nadia Issy).
Project was initiated in November 2010. In April 2011 came in to being the first element of square installation called “358” symbolically relating to nature and corresponding with its civilization wishing to organize the world by constructing is based of the needs of humanity. Gallery space was established in 2012. In June 2012 photo documentation of the event that happened in March of the same year on New York Time Square was presented. It was the performance of Allen gums artifact on Broadway. Portrait of Allen was made from 2012 chewing gums embedded in resin. The dimensions were 35x52 inches. Allen Square shortly became informal space of students and lecturers of Media Arts Department meetings. This enclave like Greenwich Village became laboratory of intellectual discussions about modern art. In the next months, object was growing acquiring barren for the exhibition needs in order to be destroyed by bulldozers in October 2013. Just like the barbarians who destroyed the Mausoleum of Augustus and destroyed Rome to the ground. The mausoleum was rebuilt and still stands today. “Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation… In the eternal city Mausoleum of Augustus showed that we have to be ready for endless waves of transformation says Liz Gilbert played by Julia Roberts in the movie ” Eat, pray, love” directed by Ryan Murphy
On Woody Allen 78th birthday, the 1st of December 2013 artifact Woody Allen Square was unveiled. The graphic of dimensions 40x40 centimeters that consists of typography of one element shape in white color - Woody Allen SQUARE, in black application. We will not be able to avoid the reference to Malewicz. The works of this Russian abstractionist were named by the author himself supremacist compositions extending from the narrative totally detached from reality and therefore in contrast to his first composition "Black square on the white background". By interfering the space of black square inscribed in English, the message gives the multilayered meanings. Black square does not exist in nature and that is why it completes the landscape of the square as a symbol of human superiority over the chaos.
The immediate reason for naming Woody Allen Square was an incident that happened in New York. In November 2013 when the owner of basketball team Knicks – James Dolan asked Woody Allen to the VIP section that is placed in Madison Square Garden. A group of professors and students “welcomed” him in Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts giving his name to a green corner. The reconfiguration works started in March 2014. Once again the layer of earth has been applied. The grass was planted and huge old yews were planted that were rescued from logging on the neighboring property. Like in English garden the flowers and grass were planted in beds. The crown of the youngest, 9 years old three got the geometrical shape of a cube. The shaping work took five days and two days after it was finished the three was cut by construction workers – in spite of the promoter protest directed to the facility manager. The tree could be easily transplanted to a different place, the same as a new place that was found for Christmas trees. Ivy is growing on the north part of the building of the photographic studio on specially constructed steel scaffolding.
Like New York has its Bryant Park or Pier 1, where summer film projections are hold so on the square a projection of Allen’s film “Blue Jasmine” started “Outdoor Summer Movie Screenings”. Next film will be “Midnight in Paris” or “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”. The choice is made by the audience voting on the square internet website. And here I go back again to „ Aesthetics of new media art” of Kluszczynski that describes structural levels of new media art. Key art ware level – “product of interactive attitude of recipient, arises from software and hardware levels. On this level meet each other artist creative designer imagination and active, creative recipients behavior expressed by series of choices, taking responsibility for the works establishment.” So, the most important become recipients participative behaviors who grow to be co - creators. Without them Woody Allen Square could be only a group of plants and stones. Here I have to especially thank professor Szymanski. Without his huge support most of the actions would not be doable