The fifth International Festival of Action Art ’INTERAKCJE 2003’ took place in Piotrków Trybunalski. It has been organized by Association of Art Action GALERIA OFF in Piotrków Trybunalski, Town Hall of Piotrków Trybunalski, International Association of Art WIZYA in Paris.

Waldemar Matusewicz, the President of Piotrków Trybunalski, took over the honourable patronage of that jubilee festival. Let’s sum up a bit all the facts about that special event. During these 5 years ...... artists from 20 countries took part and they came from all continents: Europe, America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand. There were artists from Japan, England, France, Canada, Israel, Spain, Mexico, India and they presented all ways of understanding the world by art - heterogeneity of cultures, traditions. During the whole festival there appeared not only the most prominent figures but also young – who have been discovered in the past few years. There was also a numerous group of Polish artists, who confirmed high position of Polish performance all over the world. Unfortunately it is impossible to describe everything in such a short form.


We usually start the festival in Warsaw, where all foreign participants are coming. Some of them have their presentations in the Gallery managed by Fredo Ojda – a well known multimedial artist and festivals organizer. But the main and proper place of that event is Piotrków Trybunalski, where special athmosphere of that historical town creates intimate climate – indispensable for contemporary art.

In the book ‘Un Art Contextuel (Creation Artistique en milieu urbain,en situation, d’intervention, de participation) ’ published in Paris in 2002 one of the theorists of contemporary art talks about how context is important in art and how significant mutual contact and interaction are: interaction between artists of different cultures, between artists and the audience, between those who come to present themselves and people who belong to the local community.


‘Performance’ derives from an English word ‘perform’ – to do something, to create. Performance means activity and is much different from traditional art exists out of the time and out of the place. Doing performance we efface differences between art. and reality, between what is artificial and what is natural.

Piotrków has a very absorbent and open audience and that is why it is a perfect place to create that kind of art. It is also a place for interaction where art expresses itself in its reality context. It is not a coincidence that almost all international festivals of performance are held in small towns not in huge metropolises where immediate contact between people is complicated by anonymous  social life. The fact that every year the festival in Piotrków is held at the same time and in the same place deepens the athmosphere of mutual contact between artists and also between artists and the audience.


The idea of localization ‘INTERAKCJE’ resulted from a meeting of two artists: Piotr Gajda, who lives in Piotrków and Ryszard Piegza who lives in Paris.

After 5 years of coming back to Piotrków we can say that the festival has become one of the most important enterprices of modern art. all over the world. Because of its anticommercial capacity performance is the domain of contemporary art., which gives a chance to all countries, not only those big and most important. Thanks to performance big, exclusive art centres gave priority to small, local ones. Poland has already conquered the tradition of international performance enterprises and also enjoys a high position. The festival in Piotrków continues this tradition and confirms the level of Polish art. Piotrków Trybunalski has become known as an art centre, not only as a historical place. One should remember that the whole event could not be possible without the support of local authorities and sponsors. It also could not be possible without benevolence and engagement of local audience.


As I am a participant and an organizer of several art festivals and also as I can enjoy being a chairman of INTERAKCJE I must admit that it is one of my best experiences of collaboration with artists, organizers and audience. Thanks to Piotr Gajda, Gordian Piec, Ryszard Piegza and their friends the festival became real.  


                                                                        Jan Swidzinski