This work entitled Family House was created under the influence of inspiration of the poem by Polish folk poet Maria Kozaczkowa, under the same title. Idea was developed and realised during Experiment’Arte artist-in-residency in Candal, Portugal.
Maria Kozaczkowa (28.01.1910r.-30.04.1982r.) born in Zalipie nearby Dąbrowa Tarnowska (Żywiecczyzna, Poland):
”Mallows had hidden a little house,
Circular nest on the roof:
Like a mossy hat – so old
Is my family house…
I will go, I will cuddle my face to the wall,
I will sit on the smashed doorstep,
Remembering bony bread of hungry gap,
Sour taste of rural pear.
And – I will walk away, like before
I had to leave into rain and darkness.
It was so quiet! – but it haven’t protected
A child from his first worries…
To whom I will tell about bygone
Rustic youthfulness – longing content.
About three small thoughtful windows:
What will mother give to children to eat today?
Whom I will convince, to come with me
To look into that world one more time?
Although… there, where my years are passing,
Will be no cottages nor mallows…
House got crooked – thatch leaks
And are sticking out – like ribs – the patches…
– But else where to die more beautifully,
If not on the doorstep of your own house.”
Candal attracts more and more people, thanks to musical and artistic events scheduled by active and dynamic Cultural Association – Experiment’Arte. Many years ago this village has been abandoned by its citizens, resulting
in almost unchanged characteristic appearance. Nowadays only few people live there permanently. Majority of them are not at all related to the local ancestors.
Yearly, through the mountain serpentines, thousands of people go to this village, but they don’t leave no traces of their presence there, remaining as anonymous strangers to its land and houses.
I have prepared three door steps for three different cottages: first for the old and abandoned house; second for present and inhabited one; and third for modern and emerging. In these wooden doorsteps I engraved floor plans of these three buildings, painted with pigment obtained from the local soil. I laid them on the traditional folk scarfs – two Portuguese ones and one Polish. Wood gravers were inserted in the roots to be used by the guests of the village, in order to preserve themselves in this place, registering their presence in the wood of these doorsteps.
Before the visitors entered the village, I asked them to play a game. It is a variation over a traditional Polish play on St. Andrews day, in which participants are pouring wax through the hole in the center of a little trunk (instead of traditional puring through a key) into the water. They were not supposed to read their fortune from the shadows of emerged wax sculptures, but to look into their past.
“[…] look into that world one more time”
To look into your past:
– light the candle and lean it forward. Grab the slice of trunk and let wax to drop onto it – from its edge to the centre
– pour wax freely trough the hole into the water
– turn the candle off, put the trunk away
– delicately grab your wax form which emerged
– hold it by the wall to see shadows evoked from your past
– look into that world one more time