video, full hd, 05'29", collection of Zachęta National Gallery Warsaw, PL, 2nd prize of Spojrzenia/Views
Deutsche Bank and Zachęta National Gallery Award, 2017
On 16 December 1922 in Warsaw, during the annual Salon of the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts at the Zachęta (now Zachęta National Gallery), Eligiusz Niewiadomski assassinates President Gabriel Narutowicz. The killer is sentenced to death, a verdict he asked for himself. He is executed by a firing squad on 31 January 1923. On 19 November 1971, American artist Chris Burden is shot with a rifle by his assistant. The historic performance, "Shoot", recorded with a Super 8 camera, took place at the F-Space Gallery in Santa Ana, California. On 19 December 2016, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, is opening the exhibition "Russia Through Turks’ Eyes. From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka", at the Museum of Modern Art in Ankara. He is shot dead by an off-duty Turkish police officer who has been planning his attack for a long time.
In all three stories, it is clear what the motivations of the parties involved were, both the perpetrator and the victim. I’ve decided to combine all those into a single narrative. Working with history and the archive and redefining their aspects through the contemporary is my key preoccupation. Asking whether what we see is the truth makes me a person balancing on the verge of truth and myth.
Screens from the video
Portrait (oil painting) of the writer Stefan Żeromski by Eligiusz Niewiadomski, 1900, Lublin Museum. A copy of the portrait was used in the film.
Still from documentation of the performance "Shoot", Chris Burden, 1971 (source: youtube)
Killer of the Russian ambassador at the opening of the exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, 2016 (source: PAP/EPA / author: Burhan Ozbilici/The Associated Press/WORLD PRESS PHOTO HANDOUT )