Okruchy pod stołem

(crumbs under the table) Mysterious Barricades #3
Nowy Sącz, Poland
Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA SOKÓŁ
Invited by Alicja Gołyźniak and Arti Grabowski
Duration: 21 minutes
Photographs by Monika Deimling

Event poster for the day of performance art at Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA SOKÓŁ in Nowy Sącz 2024 curated by Alicja Gołyźniak


I presented my first performance in Poland in 1996 in a tiny town called Andrychów. Since then, I had the pleasure to perform in many different places all over Poland, but I never had the chance to perform in Nowy Sącz, located in the south of Poland, about two hours by bus from Kraków. As it is with small towns, they often have these unexpected hidden treasures. I was happy to learn that one of my favorite Polish artists was born there: Jerzy Bereś. Another gem in Nowy Sącz is this wonderful new building called the Gallery for Contemporary Art BWA SOKÓŁ that appears like a mini museum with all its features. Curator and director of the BWA Alicja Gołyźniak invited Arti Grabowski, Aleksandra Kubiak, and me to perform at “The Day of Performance Art, One day I’m gonna make the onion cry”. Together with the attentive audience these three different approaches to performance art established a rich artistic dialogue addressing all the senses.

The third performance of my working cycle “Mysterious Barricades” was presented at the main exhibition space named after another important artist from Nowy Sącz: Władysław Hasior.

” … BBB Johannes Deimling enchanted the audience with a performance from his series “Mysterious Barricades” – a pervasively symbolic, visual masterpiece built with simple and accessible means. The performance was very painterly in its essence, but utilised the perceptual possibilities of the other senses as well as the image. True to his aesthetic, the artist composed the performance based on expressive colour accents and props from everyday life, which he translated into gestures and movements. Characteristic of Johannes’ performances is the departure from the linear development of the plot, but the construction of the performance through a collage of achronological elements, so that logic and rationality are lost in the process of the work and the viewer enters a field of new meanings, completed by his own imagination. …” (Alicja Gołyźniak)

Description of actions:
A collage of performance images and sounds is created by executing the following actions with selected material.

– Walking in a circle around two blue chairs and a suspended, turning table with a puppet bed attached to a guiding cross. [This is the situation in which the audience enters the space. Through the movement, the earth inside the puppet bed falls out and creates a dark circle on the yellow floor of the gallery space.]
– Stopping with the bed right in front of the audience and moving very slowly with my right hand over the heads of the sitting people. [The movement looks as if something is collected.]
– Putting the hand into my pocket and taking it out again. Slowly sprinkle little golden and silver stars into the bed, onto the black earth. [A shiny stream of stars falls from the hand into the bed.]
– Moving the hand to the bed and digging out a silver bell covered in the earth. [A light bell sound appears.]
– Walking with the bell around the table and the two blue chairs, shaking the bell while walking to a bowl with water.
– Moving the bell in and out of the water bowl. [The sound of the bell changes each time it touches the water.]
– Lifting the no longer turning table with the back and shoulders.
– Placing the table on the ground where several white plates are placed.
– From under the table turning the plates. [The turning plates create a loud ceramic sound.]
– With charcoal drawing five long lines on the white wall.
– Painting two white stripes on the face.
– Sitting on one blue chair and placing the other on the shoulder; stretching out both arms and slowly moving them up and down; increasing the movement and then decreasing the movement.
– Placing one chair upside down on the other chair; placing a white plate with hay onto the seat and lighting up the hay.
– Plating with a silver soup spoon the black earth from the puppet bed into white porcelain plates and throwing them in front of the audience. [The plates crash on the ground and leave black and white traces on the ground. The fire is extinguished and acrid smoke is rising from the chairs.]
– Moving the table and the chairs in front of the black lines on the wall; sitting down and throwing little balls of yellow dough against the wall.
– Painting with the ashes of the hay the two stripes in the face black.
– Drawing a music clef on the five lines.
– Burying the silver bell back into the puppet bed.

Video documentation of the performance
8:19 minutes

Camera: Watzek Wawrzyniak
Editing: BBB Johannes Deimling