ÂŠ Bruce Davies. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
ÂŠ Image - Beatrix Milburn Wood
BITE IT OR FIGHT IT
Bakers from the Gingerbread museum in Torun prepared two traditional ginger bread recipes. On arrival at the museum I dressed into the traditional bakers costume and mixed together the separate recipes to create a homogenised biscuit material. I used the traditional moulds to create traditional symbols which I then spliced together in numerous biscuit montages. After baking, this new version of an ancient product, was presented for consumption at the exhibition.
TASTE IT OR WASTE IT
Plum products from Kuyavia and Pomerania, supplied by artist Danka Milewska have been mixed together with commercially produced jam sourced from supermarkets to create a uniform product. The new homogenised product, marrying the home made with the factory made, was served with fresh local bread during the exhibition.
Two distinct blends of home made Vodka from the Kuyavia and Pomerania region, sourced by artist Danka Milewska, have been homogenised with popular brands made in the city and from across the region. Two cordials - camomile and elderflower mixed with honey - made by Danka Milewskas mother were added, smoothing the transition from the old to the new to make a uniformed product for the region of Kujawsko - Pomorskie Self service drinks were served throughout the exhibition.
POUR IT OR IGNORE IT
The audience were invited to take a journey in the spirit of cooperation and help determine the future of the planned skate park in Torun in a show of solidarity and publicity with the local skate community. The boundary of the region was drawn anew by myself as directed by artist Danka Milewska who as part of one of her performances during the exhibition crawled around the floor blindfolded. Danka Milewska was in turn directed from Charlie Gray who read from a regional map. The process was filmed by the Poland creative producer Beatrix Milburn-Wood. The redrawn cultural boundary imprinted on the gallery floor provided us with a focussed direction for the culture of the region through out the exhibition. Collaborators: Bruce Davies / Danka Milewska /Beatrix Milburn-Wood/ Charlie Gray
This work began as a collaboration with Torun based ethnological musician Rafal Kolacki. I asked him to identify two pieces of folk music originating from Kuyavia and Pomerania and respond to these from a contemporary perspective drawing on his skills as an indigenous citizen/artist/musician in whatever way he felt appropriate to make a new song. I in turn also wanted to respond to this musical history chosen by Kolacki but instead remix them as a contemporary tourist with little in depth knowledge of the cultural history of the region. Kolackiâ€şs response was extended by drawing in other musicians/ artists/technicians from the city to a live session at Radio Sfera, Torun. Those who took part were Darius Brzostek, Malwina Wypchlo, Marta Taterak, Bartek Jaworski, Thomas (?), Darius Wojtas but also Paul Farmer from Cornwall. The audio recordings were presented on CD format as a free give away during the exhibition in a limited series of
Image: Marta Tatarek
THE FAMILY TREES OF KUJAWSKO-POMORSKIE
‘The Family Trees of Kujawsko-Pomorskie’. In geneology the family tree presents a simple and tangible way of understanding complex research, helping to explain our historical roots. It is a useful tool that demonstrates in an accessible way a visual map of our personal family history. The Family Trees of Kujawsko-Pomorskie - a cherry and an apple – are a family tree in another sense - a conceptual metaphor for the cultivation and harvesting of a sense of place, community and culture. The family trees shown during the ERoC exhibition at CoCA have the potential to bear fruit of many varieties. These chosen varieties have more than one history and are grown extensively through out the Kujawsko-Pomorskie region. Their development and growth has been shaped by geographical differences and similarities. As such, like the culture and customs of this new combined region their experiences and origins are tightly bound together. Each variety of fruit growing on the branches of ‘The Family Trees of Kujawsko-Pomorskie’ will have a place where their distinctive qualities will be able to thrive. This is possible by grafting different dormant cuttings onto common indigenous rootstock trees grown across the region. The fruits that grow from the grafts on the maturing tree remain separate as a species retaining their individual characteristics and will maintain their autonomy. As the tree grows more and more branches the opportunity to add further varieties to extend the trees diverse fruit community further still. Importantly they will all be reliant on and derive sustenance from the same original rootstock. During the pollination process, provided that there are both male and female, varieties, the family tree will be able to start a process of cross fertilisation. Out of this process of mutual collaboration new cultures will begin. Artificially grafting different varieties to the tree illustrates how our respective cultures, through intervention, are continually in a state of flux, change and growth leaving them open to influence and interpretation from other quarters. Importantly, it also underlines how more than one culture may co-exist, still keeping its integrity intact while living together side by side. For this mutually beneficial and diverse relationship to prosper, the balance of power in the trees cultivar community needs to be carefully maintained as it develops to stop a reversion to its wild rootstock. The tree must be cared for appropriately to guide it in the right direction to prevent it from becoming barren, unpalatable or creating a mono-culture by disproportionately assisting one culture to the detriment of the other. If the different species are nurtured appropriately - removing pests, cutting out disease and re grafting - they will grow in harmony with their neighbours. At the Orchard at Skłudzewo, Leszek Warmbier has in the spirit of cooperation agreed to care for ‘The Family Trees of Kujawsko-Pomorskie’ and allow visitors to Skłudzewo to be nourished by this new cultural resource.
WHAT IS C
Bruce Davies has an established and dynamic practice that has become notable for the extensive platforms he has created for the presentation of his work and also for the formulation of his ideas. His interests in exploring practical applications for contemporary art, visual enquiry and research are prominent in his site specific explorations of contemporary land use. Recognition of the contexts of place play a fundamental part in the success of these often ambitious land based and urban projects that have been staged both across the UK and internationally. He is based in West Cornwall, UK.