August - September 2021
IMO gallery, Stary Sacz, Poland
Performative installation, 4'56".
The project “Ada” is dedicated to the famous Polish opera singer from the beginning of 20th century - Ada Sari. It was created in the village of Stary Sacz where Ada Sari spent her youth and where her family lived.
The inspiration for this project came from the letters and postcards which Ada Sari sent to her family, while she was touring and performing around the world.
Being the sole communication channel at the time, the letters and postcards contain very personal stories and reveal the singer’s private life. In the piece “Ada”, the artist imagines and represents Ada Sari’s feelings and emotions, assumed from this personal correspondence.
The performative installation "Ada" consists of 369 flowers, made of a letter paper, which are the exact number of Ada Sari’s letters to which we have access today.
Surrounded by these flowers, the artist is listening to Ada Sari’s music and pretending she was her.
“As I am a visual artist and not an opera singer, to imagine being someone else, means for me to be empathetic and understandable to others’ feelings. I simply let myself experience the feelings of someone else, no matter how different from me he or she is, no matter if this person is still around or passed away, no matter the distance. It is the art of empathetic consciousness.”
Performative installation, 4'56'' at IMO Contemporary Art Gallery, Stary Sącz, Poland
Curatorial care and director: Małgorzata Kaczmarska
Music: Aria "Caro nome" from Opera Rigolleto by Verdi, performed by Ada Sari.
Camera and video editing: Dariusz Ptak
Photo credit: Aneta Wojcik
Copyright of images: IMO Contemporary Art Gallery, Stary Sącz, Poland
The second part of the project focuses on the significance of the place for Ada Sari.
Addressing all her letters and postcards to Stary Sacz, Ada Sari wrote the name of the town on the envelopes with passion and sentiment.
The handwritten text Stary Sacz is taken from one of the postcards and used in three different media to highlight its importance for the singer.
An interactive map shows some of the postcards at the locations from which they were sent by Ada Sari between 1911 and 1925. At the location of Stary Sacz, instead of a picture of the town, there is the handwriting by Ada Sari.
The same handwritten text is used in a short video, pulsing like a heart and printed on a T-shirt souvenir.
Usually souvenirs are made with pictures of buildings or monuments, important for the place, but in this artwork, a souvenir represents a personal story and how important for someone a place can be. It has also the symbolic meaning of the name of the town being close to someone's heart.
This project was created during a residency at IMO Contemporary Art Gallery, Stary Sącz, Poland.
It uses archival materials from the collection of the Seweryn Udziela Regional Museum and Sądecka Digital Library, Stary Sącz, Poland.
Copyright of postcards Seweryn Udziela Regional Museum in Stary Sącz, Poland.