Komuna Otwock: “Untitled”

untitled deals with the multiplicity of choices and the conscious taking of responsibility for oneself. It asks the question of whether it is possible to influence the development of the individual, the fate of the world and reality in one’s most immediate surroundings. The spectacle takes the form of a concert of live samples of techno music accompanied by rhythmic drumming on barrels. Screens show questions about the meaning of life, and about our awareness and consciousness. The answers: nouns (love, coincidence, loneliness, god, blood, neighbours) and photographs (well-known people, historic figures, landscapes, works of art, architectural drawings) appear in a haphazard order. The “songs” are accompanied by short narratives acted out by the actors, which combine the techniques of simplified modern dance and performance.
Music: Arek Waś, barrels: Mariusz “Szupla” Szuplewski

Reviews:

In the “untitled” multimedia event the Otwock Commune asked the audience a few fundamental questions. Against the background of loud techno music two screens showed black and white slides. Similarly to the music they were insistent, expressive, unsettling.(…) Some of them asked questions (“are you happy? What disturbs you in life”)… and some presented short slogans which could suggest the answers. There were also photographs: industrial landscapes next to the Pope, or dancers on Bali falling into a trance next to abstract, geometric structures. Associations rapidly followed associations. In front of the screens young people acted out short narratives referring to the questions asked, but not suggesting any answers. During one of the scenes it seemed that the audience would finally find out the preferred choices made by the creators of the performance. The question “what influences the way you make decisions?” was asked. A girl sat on a chair, as if for interrogation. A young man brought in subsequent answers written on tablets. When one of them read “Career” the girl shook her head. The slogan was hung on a pole held by a girl standing on the right (as seen from the side of the audience). “Fear” – a nod and the tablet went left to the pole held by the man. Also “feelings” and “God” went left, while “knowledge” and “money” found their way to the right. It seemed that a choice had been made. But – no. The girl who had given the answers goes up to the young man on the left and kisses him. Then she crosses over to the girl on the right and again kisses her passionately. The earlier choice has been radically questioned. Was it a serious choice she had made, or did she only pretend for the benefit of us – the audience? In another scene of the performance the Otwock Commune tries to refer to social reality. Various symbols painted on white paper are brought in: a cross, the symbols of hippies and punks, the star of David, the swastika (…) Each symbol is cut with scissors; one part is thrown towards the audience and the other one pasted into a strange collage combining everything. Finally the collage is taken up to be viewed by the audience, as if the young people were saying: look, this is our, your shattered world. In their own words the artists from the Otwock Commune are not interested in our answers (“Your answer is your happiness or your sadness” – they wrote in the programme. The contemporary world is more and more isolated; according to the artists everyone should only ask only himself or herself. But is every answer equally legitimate? – one can ask. Nevertheless asking questions is a value in itself. Especially that the young people from the Otwock Commune ask them with determination and passion. Well – as a group they are even trying to carry them out in real life by organizing various ecological campaigns.
• Tadeusz Kornaś, Inny teatr – A Different Theatre, 1998

The spectacle is a specific crypto-manifesto of the young generation, which is tolerant and open to all kinds of ideas.
• Magdalena Gołaczyńska, Dialog, 2001