Two artists come into possession of a big collection of photo slides. Its author was born in Java in a Dutch family with a high status. In his adult life, as husband, father and important employee of a respected company, he decided to create his own collection of memories. During over 50 years he captured trips, visits in museums, family and business meetings and growing up of his children. After his death the pictures were given over to the artists by one of his sons. Slowly they become more and more silent. The captured stories vanish from the memory of those closest to him and the archive becomes more and more prone to various interpretations. The price that has to be paid for the artistic freedom in reading them are the meanings written there by the creator himself. The starting point for the performance by Turkowski & Nowacka, an artistic duo, who reach for the archive materials not for the first time in their work and use the tools of the documentary theatre, is a record of the journey through the collection of memories, places and times. Gradually the Dutch collection starts mingling with the collections of the artists families, Netherlands with Poland, Indonesia with France, present with colonial times, all the way to the prehistory and one of the oldest images made by a representative of the species homo. The shell, on which apparently one of the ‚upright humans’ engraved some geometrical patterns around 500 000 years ago, becomes the starting point for collecting further stories about capturing ones own experience or the world around us on carriers more durable then life of an individual human. Sometimes the very gesture of a human made centuries ago, 50 years ago or quite recently is more interesting then the preserved content of the memory. The performance "collection of" is a story about different attempts to save one’s experience, about reading the signs from the past and creating one’s own stories on this basis. The work on reading the collections never ends after all and the archives and images from the past gain more and more surprising meanings.

Everything in this production is on the move. The events are set in motion by the founding of the community company JaWa. Its employees are unhoused man Jan, and Waldemar - who just got out of prison. Work becomes for them an opportunity to establish a complicated relationship with two artists from Szczecin – Iwona and Janek. This encounter will take them to one of Warsaw's theatres, Komuna Warszawa, which the group will start renovating as part of an artistic residency. The trip offered them an opportunity to form improbable bonds, go through crises, and ponder the nature of trust and whether real change is possible. Over the course of this performance, which chronicles the artists' work with JaWa, the protagonists' situation changes dynamically. We walk a fine line between being housed and unhoused, between addiction and freedom. The feasibility of this enterprise is also put into question, and the meanings of the words success and failure become rather murky. This moving and humorous story is symbolized by a small trailer on a stage. It acts as a mobile home, a mobile screen, and the venue for this story, guiding the audience through the trials and tribulations of JaWa and its employees.

2016 decided the British nation (even if just with a narrow majority) to leave the European Union. The date was agreed, it should have happened in the end of March 2019. In reaction to it London organises the Borough of Culture, an event inspired by the European Capital of Culture. As part of it the polish artists duo gets an invitation to Walthamstow to talk about Brexit from their perspective. There is just one thing: the Brexit date is postponed and then it is postponed again, and then even more. So finally it happens just after their premiere. However the story they discover in the meantime is waiting for them just in front of a Polish shop „Cold cuts“, which, as quickly becomes apparent, could be part of the Brexit story as well.

This theatrical investigation starts out quite innocently. Invited to Groningen in the Netherlands, Janek Turkowski creates a performance for the local community inspired by a club of amateur filmmakers that was founded there in the 1930s. Some time later, together with Iwona Nowacka, they decide to return to that completed project and re-examine the archival film footage they have gathered over its course. They are particularly interested in materials from 1945 that show the city's liberation from German occupiers. Shots depicting joy and celebrating the end of the war are interspersed with scenes showing collaborators targeted by vigilantism. The artists were particularly taken with images of a mysterious woman whose head is being shaved as she is heckled by a crowd of onlookers. The whole event was filmed in detail from various angles. After this peculiar "execution", the woman was forced to walk down the city streets at the head of a procession of hecklers. But instead of the fear or shame one might expect in this situation, her face radiates pride and confidence. She looks less like a culprit and more like a runway model. Who is this mysterious woman? What was she punished for? Is her tranquil expression proof of her innocence? What future awaits her? In order to answer these, as well as other questions, the artists launch their own investigation, searching for the elusive truth. They use research tools such as working with archival materials, talking to witnesses, as well as trying to locate the family of the woman depicted in the film, and supplement their efforts with artistic techniques, including a reconstruction of the woman's walk through the town, performed by Nowacka. The results of their investigation are presented to the public as a video performance. But confronting the gathered materials with reality does not end this story – on the contrary, the act only complicates it further. As the artists peel back layer after layer, they come face to face with an even bigger mystery. Maybe sometimes speculation, uncertainty, and an open ending have to be enough in the absence of the expected proof and a complete narrative?

In 2008 Janek Turkowski discovered a cardboard box containing 64 8mm film reels in a market in North Germany, close to the Polish border. Each of the films included images of the same woman, Margarete Ruhbe. Captivated by the subject of these celluloid reels, he embarked on an artistic reconstruction of a life of a woman he didn’t know. Margarete tells the story that unfolded from this curiosity-driven purchase, and how it prompted one man’s private investigation into the identity of a person who left only a slight mark on silent film.


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