The Performer, a combination of cinema and experimental art
by Dorota Hartwich
- Maciej Sobieszczański and Lukasz Ronduda are shooting their feature debut in Warsaw. It’s a Wajda Studio production that focuses on artist Oskar Dawicki
Wajda Studio, the production company founded by Andrzej Wajda and Wojciech Marczewski, has already produced over 70 documentary and fiction films, as well as 200 graduate film projects. A new title is now to join this list: The Performer [+see also:
film profile], a first feature by Maciej Sobieszczański and Lukasz Ronduda that is currently shooting in Warsaw in view of its release next summer.
The film’s main character is performance artist Oskar Dawicki (photo) who plays himself in the film.
"The Performer is far from a conventional biographical film," stresses producer Pawel Sosnowski. “It’s the portrait of an artist obsessed by death, not only human death, but also the death of art whose value, today, is fixed by the market or by the manipulation of institutions.”
A cross between a traditional fiction feature and experimental art, The Performer is a real novelty on the Polish film scene. The film is a result of the close collaboration between filmmakers and visual and performance artists. Thus, Maciej Sobieszczański, a filmmaker and expert at the Polish Film Institute, directed the film with Lukasz Ronduda, the curator of the Warsaw Contemporary Art Museum. Similarly, director of photography Lukasz Gutt is known not only for his work in cinema but also for his visual art. With this mixture of disciplines and genres, the directors want to surprise the public with "the world’s first art exhibition in the form of a fiction film."
The cast includes very good Polish actors such as Agata Buzek, Andrzej Chyra, Krzysztof Globisz, Jakub Gierszal, Arkadiusz Jakubik, and Wojciech Solarz. Famous art critic Anda Rottenberg and Zbigniew Warpechowski, a great figure in Polish performance, also make special appearances in the film.
The Performer is co-produced by Futro Film, Heliograf, Film Factory, and Artcore, with the support of the Polish Film Institute, Canal +, and the Art Stations Foundation with the official sponsorship of the Warsaw Contemporary Art Museum.
(Translated from French)