FUCHS 6: PISS IS A VULGAR WORD
“Fuchs 6: Piss is a vulgar word” was concerned with the significance of political performance art during the renaissance of national-conservative governments in present-day Europe. I tried to find a way to turn expressions of political protest against the increasingly autocratic Polish government into relatable artistic imagery that reaches beyond the walls of galleries and supports those who fight for democratic values. Its purpose was to manifest the importance and the rewards of being a politically active citizen.
In order to let the citizens of Warsaw partake in my actions, I mapped the hotspots of Poland’s current political power by jogging to them, equipped with a waving flag. My starting point was an art gallery, where I pulled a white flag from my pants and spray-painted a black cross on it with the help of the audience. I then started my first out of three jogs throughout the city. With the gallery remaining my point of return after each route, I made my way to the following institutions: the headquarters of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS), the Polish parliament, and the Constitutional Tribunal. On my way there I passed hundreds of Polish citizens (who showed sympathy for my cryptic protest) on shopping streets, at the main station, in busy squares, and along the route of the Black Protest against the introduction of a strict anti-abortion law. The Protest had happened just days before my performance. In front of each destination I was filmed waving my flag by passersby. Before my last return to the gallery, I made a stop at the Protest Camp of democratic organizations in front of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery. I talked to the activists with whom I had visited the day before. They generously offered me tea and shelter from the rain in their tents. There, we discussed the current anti-European and nationalist movements throughout Europe and the importance of political protest through individual strengths and talents. The content of this discussion was fundamental to the importance of my action as politics by other means. After four hours of jogging with a flag I returned to the gallery where I wrote with wet, black soil the words of former Auschwitz concentration camp prisoner Władysława Bartoszewski onto a white banner: “Warto być przyzwoitym” (translation: “It’s worth being decent”). I ended the performance by showing a black cross on my naked torso.