The mythological figure of the maze consists of an entrance, many deceptive corridors, a Minotaur dwelling therein, Theseus who is hunting for the beast, and Ariadne’s thread pointing the way. The space is dark, empty, and filled with dead silence. Only sometimes a falling drop will disturb this stillness. The task is simple. Come in, kill the Minotaur, and then find your way back outside.
For centuries, the figure of the maze has been a way to describe the vicissitudes of a man lost in the world, civilization, and culture, trying to find his own way and making difficult decisions at the intersections of life paths.
However, I found this picture to be completely out of touch with the everyday life I experience.
In my world, the maze, like a global spider web, covers the whole space. There is no entry or exit, because there is no space beyond it. We are all born in it and everyone will die in one of the musty alleys. A maze was created with uncountable corridors and crossroads. No place is special. There is no one treasure, although everyone strives to get it. It is inhabited by eight billion Minotaurs and Theseuses, and each of them spins his last resource of Ariadne thread, so on each of the crossroads there are swirls of thousands of threads, among which one cannot recognize one‘s own. Nothing is only itself. It is also a bit of something else. Nothing happens for the first time, but tied with what has already happened. We live in an entanglement. Each phrase quotes or apes other phrases. Everything is repeated but never exactly the same way. Choosing this and no other direction of the path does not matter.
My maze is filled with residents and their affairs. Everyone here is connected with all the network of references, dependencies, shared or mutually exclusive stories, views, plans. Everything is involved in everything. Everything is an echo of an echo. There is no single measure that could describe the whole, only in the form of a local and ad hoc convention. Each is looped, so there are neither absolute edges of the place nor the moment. They are laboriously laced by each of the inhabitants for the sake of a false sense of order established on the basis of tangles of Ariadne’s thread about which we do not know to what degree they are ours or someone else‘s. Everyone talks to everyone. Each whispered word has a global reach – it spreads through billions of corridors, with billions of echoes and returns to the speaker in a slandered form of slander. Nobody speaks in their own words. Each of the words drags with itself innumerable tunnels of borrowings and contexts. Their importance must be negotiated. Before the phrase reaches the recipient and its meaning is agreed upon, the constellation of references changes. That is why anything can mean anything. Everyone is lonely, even though they live in a crowd.
I settled in a maze and keep a diary of this tangled life, although I do not know why.
ANDRZEJ BEDNARCZYK Artist and pedagogue. Professor of fine arts, works at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. He is a co-founder of the “Artistic Research Platform” group, whose goal is to combine fine arts with science. He was the editor-in-chief of the periodical “Zeszyty Malarstwa ASP” [„Painting Bulletin of the Academy of Fine Arts“]. Member of the International Print Triennial Society in Krakow and the Association of Polish Writers. Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York. He practices transmedia art. His works have been presented at over fifty individual exhibitions and over two hundred group exhibitions in twenty-nine countries and are in the collections of The Library of Congress, Washington; British Library, London; Jagiellonian Library, Kraków; Narodni Galerie, Prague; SMTG, Krakow; Art & Business Club, Poznań; Polish Sculpture Center, Orońsko; Book Art Museum, Łódź; Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokyo; Oxygen – Biennial Foundation, Gyor (Hungary); Medzinarodne Bienale Drevorez a Drevoryt Collection, Statna Galeria, Banská Bystrica (Slovakia); Stanford University Library (USA); The Polish Museum of America, Chicago; Ossoliński National Institute, Wrocław; Kulczyk Foundation Collection, Poznań; Collection of the Signum Foundation, Poznań, Center for Culture and Art in Konin and in private collections. He constantly cooperates with the ABC Gallery in Poznań. Author of texts on art, including: Aspekty przestrzenności, według Św. Tomasza z Akwinu: interpretacja artystyczna [Aspects of Dimensionality, According to St.Thomas Aquinas: Artistic Interpretation], in: Idee i myśliciele – filozofia współczesna a tradycja; Twórczość jako: pytanie, odpowiadanie, porządkowanie [Ideas and Thinkers – Contemporary Philosophy and Tradition; Creativity As: a Question, Answers, Ordering], in: Proces twórczy – teoretyczne aspekty eksperymentu estetycznego [Creative Process – Theoretical Aspects of the Aesthetic Experiment]; The Shape of Graphic Art, in: Imprint 2010 Journal of the Current State of Printmaking; There is No Excuse for a Lack of Perfection in Scientific and Artistic Notebooks.