Friday, July 17, 2015

Demolition of the churches, Global Communication Festival of Performance Art, Czech Republic, Brno, 2011

Global Communication Festival of Performance Art

House of Art in Brno, Czech Republic

6th and 10th of September 2011

This edition of the festival was dedicated to an idiom which represents the topic and main subject of the whole project in 2011: “Open space / Free space / Work”.

Bartosz Łukasiewicz // Warsaw/Poland General Director of Global Communication Festival

František Kowolowski // Brno/Czech Republic Coordinator of Global Communication Festival in Brno

Description of my performance:

We can consider religious buildings such as churches, synagogues, and mosques etc. as “privileged” city buildings. They act as though they are “open” to the public and yet they always only serve the purpose propagating their own totalitarian religious interests. They behave like a sleazy mix of public and private purposes. These buildings have been dictating the dynamic of urban spaces for centuries. I was interested in what would be the effect on the architectural landscape if all those buildings disappeared. That is, how would the urban dynamic be changed “spiritually” (in a non-religious meaning)? Would the disappearance of these buildings create a new “open and free” space in the city? The architectonic “web” which would be created by the absence of these buildings would create a new path of movement for the citizens of the city. This movement, which would not be dictated by spiritual demagogy, would be more associated with the free and natural way of movement and spiritual life of animals. After studying a map of the city of Brno, I realized that the religious buildings (in this case churches) are all situated like a big noose suffocating the center of the city (see attached chart). I suspect that religious organizations consciously create such a design in order to build a “spiritual concentration wall” around the inhabitants of the city. It is very interesting that these buildings have survived many different political systems and during various eras have constantly served as billboards for the sale of religions. Even communist governments did not have the courage to demolish them. They only changed the purpose for which the buildings were used (storage rooms, housing for elderly, schools, recreational centers etc). In order to initiate a public discussion about the possible demolition of these “cancerous” buildings, I step-by-step performed in front of all those “noose-like” churches surrounding the city center. I always hung a sign

“ Destined for demolition for the sake of liberating the public space”

on each church and using a megaphone I encouraged people to sign a petition asking the city officials to demolish these buildings. During the performances I encountered a few religious fanatics — one tore up my petition, another stepped on my megaphone, screaming that St. Mary will not be offended and another called the state police and was demanding that they arrest me. As a part of this performance I was also carrying a cage trap for pigeons with me. I wanted to trap them so that they would be replaced by humans as “free shit-ers” on religious buildings. No pigeon was willing to be trapped. It appears that it is only us “humans” who are willing to be trapped by religions.

Have a nice not "brainwashed" day