The Secret Performance

Mikołaj Smoczyński

  • type of object: photography
  • date: 1985
  • material/technique: black and white photography
  • dimensions: 70 photographs 25,5 x 31 cm each
  • inventory No.: R-233
  • image licensed under: CC BY-SA

Mikołaj Smoczyński has been inspired by contemporary art movements such as Minimalism and Arte Povera. He is known for his minimalist, site-specific works — related to specific locations and the existing walls or floors found there. The Secret Performance is a photographic project that the artist carried out in a building at 11 Zana Street in Lublin. Its demolition in 1993 brought work on the series to an end.

According to Smoczyński, photography is not a direct record of reality, but rather allows for the creation of fictional spaces. The artist explained: ‘The object, which from that moment became the subject of observation, no longer existed as a sculpture (because its role as a sculpture had ended). It was now a kind of performance, executed by a medium that imposed its own conventions.’ The use of long exposure times in The Secret Performance series made the images dark and surreal.

Image published as part of the Operational Programme Digital Poland: Open Zachęta financed by European Funds

Other works by artist in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy Untitled
    UntitledMikołaj Smoczyński1991
  • Zdjęcie pracy Mediterranean sea (October 17,1994, 6.30 a.m.)
    Mediterranean sea (October 17,1994, 6.30 a.m.)Mikołaj Smoczyński1994
  • Zdjęcie pracy Double object
    Double objectMikołaj Smoczyński1983
  • Zdjęcie pracy Double horizon
    Double horizonMikołaj Smoczyński1994
  • Zdjęcie pracy Map room I
    Map room IMikołaj Smoczyński1991
  • Zdjęcie pracy Map room II
    Map room IIMikołaj Smoczyński1991

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  • Zdjęcie pracy Jezuicka Street by Night
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  • Zdjęcie pracy from the cycle A Glade of Fairy Tales
    from the cycle A Glade of Fairy TalesMaurycy Gomulicki2001