We sow paranoia and we reap it
We understand paranoia both as a certain attitude, characterised by mistrust towards the world, other people and strangers, as well as the state of reality – imperfect, absurd, difficult to comprehend. Our first work in this section is “Greetings from Poland”. Next, comes an interactive billboard entitled “Give the ship back”. On the billboard, we placed the following text: “Buy just any postcard, write the slogan ‘Give the ship back’ on it and send it to Leszek Miller, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Aleje Ujazdowskie, Warsaw, Poland”. The happening referred to the conspiracy theories claiming that the US government seized an alien spaceship and hid it. The Polish nation will not fall behind – we also have our ship! The action turned out to be incredibly effective – soon afterwards the government led by Miller fell!
Another work that could be viewed in the book is called “Animals take over the mass media”. This happening referred to the activity of the Catholic and anti-Semitic Toruń-based radio station, Radio Maryja, and to the mindset represented by many of our compatriots, who are bent towards conspiracy theories. The work was interactive – in the billboard’s frame, small pictures depicting animals were placed for the viewers to take home. At home, the animals were to be activated in accordance with the manual enclosed. When the picture animal became active, it took over a massmedium of choice for us.
Yet another work presented in this section is “Selling out the Polish grounds”, referring to the people’s fear of Poland’s EU accession and the possibility of foreigners – Germans, in particular – buying out Polish grounds. During the happening that we carried out in the Gdańsk Shipyard, a place which is very symbolic and important for our contemporary history, we sold Polish ground in small, plastic bags. On request of the “client”, we wrote on the bag where the ground came from. People were particularly keen to buy the ground from Wadowice, the place where pope John Paul II was born, or from their own place of birth. A few times we also managed to sell the ground from the Gdańsk Shipyard.
In this section we also place our work entitled “Icona Vera”. This work is connected to our fascination with folk sacred art and it explores the contrast between the sacred and the profane. Sometime after we put the poster up, on the commercial billboard next to it, an ad was placed that resonated with our work in a “perfect” way, depicting the true nature of reality. From that time, we treat both billboards as constituting one complete work of art, complementing each other perfectly.
We can also see the series of works called “The Cushion Watch”, depicting animals and people looking out of windows. They consist of small murals, painted on one of the dilapidated backyards in Płock. The inspiration for them comes from observing the life of city dwellers, “entertaining” themselves for long hours by observing everything that happens outside.
The section contains also a work called “50%”, referring to an article in press dealing with the research on genetic mutations. In light of the genetic research presented in the article, Polish people are half-Jewish. If this is true, and the evidence seems to be rather reliable, this is one of the greatest paradoxes of our history, turning the Polish identity upside down.
During the happening that we carried out in the Gdańsk Shipyard, a place which is very symbolic and important for our contemporary history, we sold Polish ground in small, plastic bags. On request of the “client”, we wrote on the bag where the ground came from. People were particularly keen to buy the ground from Wadowice, the place where pope John Paul II was born, or from their own place of birth.
On the billboard, we placed the following text: “Buy just any postcard, write the slogan ‘Give the ship back’ on it and send it to Leszek Miller, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Aleje Ujazdowskie, Warsaw, Poland”.
“Whence we came? ”, Paweł Górecki, Newsweek Polska No 35/06, page 54 (…) A conclusion similar to the one presented by Dr. Płoski (a university reader) was also reached by Professor Jan Lubiński from the International Hereditary Cancer Center in Szczecin, although the latter’s research method was completely different. The researcher investigates the genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer, ovary cancer or colorectal cancer. “If we were to simplify greatly, we would say that according to the experimental data, our genetic make-up is above all very Slavic, there is almost nothing German in our genes and 50% of our genome is Jewish”, says Professor Lubiński. (…) What is most interesting, however, is that Poles – a nation often labelled anti-Semitic by the western press – are in fact so Semitic in their genetic make-up. “When one investigates the genetic predispositions to cancer among the population of Israel or the population of the Ashkenazi Jews living in the USA, 50% of cases are just the same as in Poland. In both Polish and Jewish populations three mutations responsible for the susceptibility to cancer are dominant”, says Professor Lubiński. Thanks to this distribution of genes, it is easy to conduct research on the Polish population. It is no accident that Poland has the greatest database of women with the BRCA1 mutation, predisposing them to breast cancer. Only the Icelandic population, which for centuries was cut off from any foreign genetic influence, is homogenous to a similar degree as the Polish one. The Iceland-based company DeCode genetics conducts the largest genetic research in the world, involving all the inhabitants of the island. The aim of this research is to discover as many cancer predisposing mutations as possible. A few months ago, the representatives of the DeCode genetics company met with Professor Lubiński and invited him to co-operate with them, which testifies to the uniqueness of the Polish gene pool. (…)