MEDIUM IS A MESSAGE: TEXT: PART 1 of 4
Noqontrol: Maciej, I see a pattern in your recent
work. It is a deadly pattern. You made projects titled Sylvia Plath,
Kurt Cobain and Aokigahara Forest (a suicide forest in Japan). Why
would you choose to explore darkness instead of light?
Maciej Toporowicz : I have no choice,
I am a medium.
What do you mean?
Well, I don't want to give you
mumbo jumbo answers, so let me give you Webster. "Medium"
is an individual held to be a channel of communication between the
earthly world and a world of spirits.
Sounds like a mumbo jumbo indeed. How can
you fit this concept into your Sylvia Plath, Kurt Cobain projects?
Both of them killed themselves. Plath put her
head into the oven. Cobain took his head off with a shotgun. I projected
myself into these stories and photographed oven interiors and shotgun
bullets. Medium is a substance regarded as the means of transmissions
of force or effect. There was no access to the original oven or
shotgun; therefore I used a means of transference.
I didn't have to project myself into Aokigahara Forest because the
place WAS original site for hundreds of suicides
Are you saying that it was haunted?
Oh, yeah Baby, you could slice
the air with the knife, the thickness of it.
How possibly can you feel it?
There is a feeling of closure.
It feels like you walk through the staged reality in theater. Not
only the space seems to be limited but also the sound travels and
bounces in a way that feels like the whole place is sealed. It feels
like something made by Robert Wilson.
Where did you feel it for the first time?
I felt it in Venice. Venice is not a place charged
with any specific deadly past, but things happen there.
This could be a reason for Thomas Mann to write
"Death in Venice".
Yeah, he was a medium, too. The "Magic Mountain"
is very much like Aokigahara Forest.
How about the project you did in the Baby House
for HIV positive children in Bangkok: did you feel the gravity of
You are talking about the Baby Gap project. It was
indeed a house for babies whose mothers were HIV positive.
Lacan said that one's desire is desire for Other.
Do you see a connection?
I don't know what he meant, but I can read into it.
The other side wants to communicate. Meanwhile we can't help but
to desire to become the other, dissolve and become part of everything
what surround us, the Cosmos, the purity of space -- not just a
bag of bones.
The other side wants to communicate. Was this
a reason to make a set of 48 drawings called Serial Killers?
Most likely. I made all these drawings using only
my fingerprints on one hot summer day in my studio in NYC. I can
give more details ... it was a ravishing experience. I projected
the images of serial killers on paper upside down to create the
base for negative energy flow. Then, I smeared my hands with black
ink and I made image after image in rapid bursts of energy lasting
no more than 30 seconds per drawing. Meanwhile, the heavy metal
music was on.
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