25 January 2024

Connection festival. The International Festival of Performing Arts has come to an end in Płock

It is a festival where there is no distance, where the audience is close to the performers not only during the show, but also during breaks and evening meetings, when we talk and have fun together – reported participants of the event organized by the Masovian Museum in Płock.

The museum embarked on an extremely ambitious endeavor – organizing a four-day international event, with performances scheduled every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nearly 50 artists from 19 – as it turned out during the event, as the number of artistic guests was already increasing during the event – countries served the audience tea from a three-and-a-half-meter-high teapot, invited people to dance in the city streets, talked about ecology, the human condition in the face of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and liberation from fear.

– Pranksters and rebels, sensitive people and fighters – they all impressed us with their courage and imagination. We listened with bated breath to their stories, and at the same time we learned about this brave and demanding field of art, which is performance, sums up Leonard Sobieraj, director of the Masovian Museum in Płock. – Artists and audience – we have created a common history. Which, we hope, will continue.

Afterwards, the audience commented that it was a festival where there was no distance and the audience was close to the performers, not only during the shows, but also during breaks and evening meetings, during which there was time to talk and get to know each other. – This is a festival of space for being here and now, for thoughts and reflections, for peace that allows you to face the abyss. It’s a bonding festival. I’m taking a year off so as not to miss any performance, they declared

The festival curator, Małgorzata Sady, an artist and translator, an expert in both performative art and the work of the Themersons, recalled the “Truth about Home” workshops conducted at the museum a week before the festival.

– So we have had eleven days of an extraordinary adventure with performing arts that came to the Masovian Museum in Płock – he emphasizes. – It consisted of seven days of workshops conducted by Verena Stenka and Andrea Pagnes from the VestAndPage duo and four days of the festival. 14 people from the Netherlands, Ukraine, England, Greece and Poland participated in the workshops. Intensive, many hours of work under the supervision of the world-renowned German-Italian duo took place in an atmosphere of intimacy, cordiality, mutual support and harmony, which was clearly felt during the collective performance opening the festival.

Sady is happy that the extraordinary atmosphere lasted throughout the entire four days of the festival. – The variety of presentations, because we were dealing with musical, sound, choreographic, video, puppet theater productions, as well as activities using artificial intelligence and augmented reality, placed alternately in the program, aroused the audience’s interest – he adds. It was wonderful how many people participated in the festival, both from Płock and those who came from other towns in Poland, but also from abroad. It happened that it was difficult to fit in some spaces. The wonderful atmosphere was shared by everyone. The reception of the festival exceeded our wildest expectations. Many positive comments also included the wish for the festival to continue. We will try.

The four-day performance festival in Płock was part of the “Stories. The world is more complicated than our truths about it” carried out together with the Center for Contemporary Art in Hamar, Norway. Its spiritual patrons are Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, avant-garde artists associated with Płock, people who have influenced many generations of filmmakers, photographers and poets around the world. A permanent exhibition devoted to their work can be seen in the Płock museum. The project also includes, among others: exhibition of Norwegian art and artistic crafts, to which the Masovian Museum in Płock invites you from August 10.

“Stories” are financed by the EEA Funds and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Photo Przemysław Sztupecki