Übung

long duration performance (12 hours, 06:03-18:04), 2016

black table divided into two equal parts, 1kg of sugar, white highlighter, chair. Air filled with sweet smell

“(...) For even if we come close to counting up all the grains in a kilogram of sugar, we encounter an inevitable obstacle: besides the roughly countable sugar crystals, we are ultimately left with the uncountable sugar dust. There are numerous meanings and connotations of sugar that could and should be activated when following Przemek Branas’s performance, but it is the process itself that is undeniably of utmost importance, as it alters the status of the sugar crystals – they become individualised, counted and grouped.

This process is, in turn, preceded by a technological process, in which sugar is extracted and re ned from the sugar beet to be crystalized. This may legitimately bring to mind the increasing individuation that marks modern societies – the effect of processing “the unenlightened masses” (frequently associated in Polish with “buractwo”, literally “beetrootness”, meaning “the great unwashed”) into autonomous, countable and cleansed (re ned) individuals. However, individuation notwithstanding, modern societies in many ways continue to be “the masses”. Furthermore, the counting up and grouping of individuals – an imposition of a mathematical, algorithm-governed order – ultimately reveals its incompleteness: besides the socially visible individuals, capable of political and social articulation, we are left with the social “dust” that eludes regulation and categorisation and has no (right to) voice.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Tomasz Sikora

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