Memory Management on the Artist. Reflection on the Problem Alicja Kędziora
uccessive anniversaries – the year of Glenn Gould, Zbigniew Herbert (2008), Juliusz Słowacki (2009), Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin (2010), Marie Skłodowska–Curie, Johannes Hevelius, Czesław Milosz (2011) – highlight how memory management of an artist is constantly present in practice, but also in theory – as an area of cultural heritage in the sciences of management in the humanities, biographistics, cultural anthropology. At the same time, however, it has so far not developed a separate science specialty. This article does not also aspire to show the complexity of the phenomenon, and not even to identify the main assumptions, because the problem is very vast and affects a large number of academic disciplines. Consideration of this issue requires, first of all, a thorough clarification of the terminology, occurring in it: Whose memory management? What memory? If this is cultural heritage, what kind of heritage is it? Tangible or intangible? What is included in the memory of an artist? Only answers to these questions will help to understand what a memory management of an artist really is and to put the main thesis: is it possible at all? The definition of the problem raises three basic issues that require clarification: memory, an artist, management. Not without reason the question of management is in the last place; because only determining what kind of memory is provided, which is considered in this article, and what type of artist will be taken into account, allows to clarify which model of management (if at all) can be considered. This paper will focus on the first of these problems: memory.
computer science or pedagogy, not to mention the archeology or history. However, in each of the disciplines it is conceived differently and uses for different purposes, and although voices speaking about the need to address the memory as a separate science are becoming stronger and stronger (which is best illustrated by an attempt to institutionalize memory studies, e.g. published since 2008 by Sage Memory Studies) it is still treated as a tool in research, not as a subject. Will it be so also in the case of memory management of an artist? Perhaps an the answer to this question would determine the focal points: whether the focus should be on management, memory, or an artist, it is also possible that the emphasis should be put evenly. At this time, however, it could be a premature response. Some questions, however, cannot remain unanswered. The first of them, is a question: Whose memory is it? The answer is obvious: our memory about an artist – that is what is left behind, but especially our memory, meaning: what we as members of a culture, a community, remember about the artist. The answer, however, generates a further question: do we remember or do we know? Do we remember as individuals or as a group? Not to all the questions categorical answers can be given, because the substantive disputes concerning the nature of memory are constantly carried on. [see: Banaszkiewicz, 2011] The variety of solutions depends on the type of the studied phenomenon, methodology, approved research assumptions.
he memory is present in almost all sciences, from biology, psychology, and ending with
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COLLECTIVE MEMORY he main distinction from the psychological point of view is between individual and collective memory, individual, of each person, and collective – of defined community. In the case of the
Alicja Kędziora Assistant professor at the Faculty of Culture Management at the Institute of Culture, Jagiellonian University; Head of the Centre for Documentation of Helena Modjeska’s Life and Work, Deputy Director at the Institute of Culture. The author of a monograph: The Polish theatrical life in Russia from 1882 to 1905 and s series of articles on culture management and historical-theatrical problems. The co-author of a textbook for teaching Polish as a foreign language (Materials for teaching Polish to foreign students CM JU). The laureate of the Ars Quaerendi Prize, the scholarship of the Foundation for Polish Science and the scholarship for young scholars of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
discussed problem the c o l l e c t i v e m e m o r y is primarily relevant, which, similarly, as individual, deals with every aspect of human life. Maurice Halbwachs, the creator of the concept of collective (social) memory, denies even the existence of individual memory, because each memory is developed as a result of the contacts with others. [Halbwachs, 1969, p. 123] Jan Assmann [2009, p. 82] distinguishes within the collective memory two types of it – the communicative memory, including memories of the immediate past, passing along with the passing of its bearers – members of the community1 and c u l t u r a l m e m o r y, which grows out of permanent memory vehicles, such as myths, rituals, dances, but also models, ideas, costumes and develops as a result of social interaction. It is a selective memory, because does not aim at to comprehensive, or objective, portrayal of the past, but selects the events and characters from the standpoint of the community most important, making them symbolic figures. In contrast, communicative, collective memory is exclusive, not available to all, and its correct reading requires knowledge and skills, which means that it is controllable, its availability can be controlled. Another researcher, Barry Schwartz [2005, p. 245], stands in a slightly different position. He defines collective memory on the one hand as a term comprising the relationship between history and symbols, designed to commemorate events, people or phenomena, on the other hand: individual beliefs, memories, and judgments about the past. According to this definition, the collective memory does not need, but may, indicate memory, which is shared with other community members. In other words, a character may be remembered differently by different members of the same community, because it causes various associations and was retained in memory differently. Schwartz makes this characteristic feature a feature distinguishing the collective memory: different people, generations interpret and commemorate the same event or character in a different way. [Schwartz, 2005, p. 254] The most common and universal definition of collective memory has been created by Barbara Szacka, who defines it as existing in a community a group of images of the past of this
community, and all the characters and events of the past, knowledge of which is considered to be mandatory and which are commemorated in various ways and, finally, various forms of commemoration. [Szacka, 1995, p. 68] This researcher also points out to the conditions that determine that the content of the memory is the memory of society. Such content: yy is subject to constant selection, interpretation and reinterpretation, yy is common to members of the community, yy is co–created by the various social groups, yy is derived from the social experience, yy is communicated in the course of interpersonal communication, yy its forms of remembering and forgetting are institutionalized. [Szacka, 1995, p. 69]
MEMORY AND KNOWLEDGE
riting about memory management, knowledge management should be considered too. Is it the same thing? In this case also the key to solving the problem is to clarify precisely the terminology used, especially as the specialty called knowledge management, which is still relatively young, is already firmly established in many studies [e.g. Kłak, 2010; Grudzewski & Hejduk, 2004; Kowalczyk & Nogalski 2007; Chrostowski & Jemielniak, 2008; Jemielniak & Kociatkiewicz, 2009]. From the psychological point of view, knowledge is the content of long–term memory (declarative) that stores linguistic and abstract information. Knowledge (declarative) will be the content of memory that can be conscious at any time through images or words, and includes facts, with we met, the information that we have acquired or events in which we participated, as well as all kinds of memories of the intangible, fragrance or taste. Memory acts as a servant of knowledge, it is the ability of its collection and recovery. Of course, psychology distinguishes many other types of memory and knowledge, but to manage the memory of an artist, these definitions seem to be sufficient. [Nęcka, Orzechowski & Szymura, 2006] Knowledge management does not refer to, however, the knowledge in the stated meaning,
1 Communicative memory is the basis of a new branch of history – oral history, obtaining materials with only memories during the interviews.
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since knowledge is not only information but also competence. Moreover, as the definition says: Knowledge management is the totality of the processes that enables the creation, dissemination and use of knowledge to achieve objectives of an organization [Kisielnicki, e-doc.], which means that in terms of memory management it should be considered in institutional terms, when the memory becomes the mission of a particular institution.
MEMORY AND HISTORY
he memory is inextricably linked with the history, but also the history is understood in many ways. The history is different from the memory, because – as argued by Maurice Halbwachs [1950, pp. 74-75] – history sees the ages through changeability, memory – constancy, the first one is based on events and people that change its course, the other – is looking for similarities, common features, the history is one and objective, as opposed to collective memory, there are as many collective memories as the communities and they are all subjective and selective, the history has no identity – in others words – it is an abstract identity, memory is closely associated with a specific identity. There is no global and universal memory, these are the features of the history striving for a holistic approach to presented events. Perhaps, the boundary between history and memory, carried above, may seem too harsh. Tadeusz Paleczny [2011, p. 52] notices two orders of history: objective and subjective. The first of them is characterized by multiplicity of interpretations, the possibility of constructing a narrative, the selectivity in the way of organizing facts and constructing the story. However, is the existence of a subjective history really acceptable? [Paleczny, 2011, p. 53] Halbwachs [1950, p. 103] argues that at the moment when we stop to relive the past and we lose the emotional attachment to it, we stop to remember and the memory turns into history. Jan Assmann [2009, p. 69] adds that the collective memory receives from history the facts, which transforms into the facts memorized, giving them the reality, which did not have before. Since the memory, as mentioned earlier, is selective, it does not pass the past, but only its most essential elements, converting it into the ideas and symbols (m e m o r y f i g u r e s ). If someone decides on an attempt to manage the memory of the artist, should balance its presence both in history and in memory. Famous
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dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch is well known for the community of historians, theorists, dance theater; she is for them an exponent of the idea of contemporary dance and ballet reform. However, that knowledge is not common, it does not cover even if the whole population of educated people. Memory management of Pina Bausch should lead to the transfer of the artist as an idea from the memory of one particular community to as many others as possible, it will be also, for those not familiar with her art – shifting the image from the objective, linear history to the emotional, living memory. Barbara Misztal [2003, pp.102-103] reconstructs the way of understanding the concept of history and memory, their relationships, common fields, and differences, draws attention to the fact that after World War II research on the history turned to rites, rituals, ideologies, ways of thinking, becoming the study of history civilization and culture, which can be seen as an equivalent of collective memory and what made the study of memory and history enter a new stage. Already in the 80s of the twentieth century memory studies became a serious competitor to historiography in the way of understanding and interpreting the past. Historians redefined the object of their research area and made everything that applies to the past the object of their interest, as a result the difference between memory and history has been erased again. In the mid–90s one of the researchers, Barbie Zelizer, pointed to arguments in favor of such separateness of the two disciplines, as well as of their similarity: the history and collective memory can be complementary, be identical, stand in opposition to each other or be antitheses [cited by: Misztal, 2003, p. 103]. At the same time, two voices belonging to academics, David Lowenthal and Pierre Nora, calling for fundamental differences between memory and history were strong. According to Lowenthal [1985; 1998], memory rather than historical knowledge is the most significant cognitive value, because it points out to the identity of the community, identification with specific values, events and places. Nora’s concept, on the other hand, has a lot of similarities with Halbwachs’ theory of social memory, like their approach to tradition, a distinction between memory and history (memory is distorted history), the difference is that Halbwachs absolutely cut off these two concepts, while Nora underlined the mutual influences and relationships, and showed a tendency of history to destroy memory. For people before the nineteenth
century, the memory was so common and obvious, that they often even did not notice it, over time, however, eradicating the rituals, beliefs, social practices, the community also got rid of the collective memory, taking away its authenticity, and stuffing the past in the cabinets of libraries, museums and archives. [Misztal, 2003, p. 105] Pierre Nora contrasted history and memory. Memory, according to the researcher, is still developing, is subject to deformation, some of its elements are forgotten, and others on the contrary – still remembered, therefore, it is selective, but also constantly up to date, affective, and sacred, it belongs to a specific community and refers to specific spaces, images, gestures, objects. History is a reconstruction of what no longer exists, it seeks to analyze and interpret, it is an intellectual product, deprived of sacredness, it is prosaic, depends on the continuity of cause and effect and temporality. Real memory is manifested only in the gestures, skills, habits, natural reflexes and memories, the memory absorbed by history is not spontaneous, although it is individual and subjective, it is not social and communal. According to Nora modern memory is only an archive, a place where the remains of the past are collected and stored, a space, which assumes responsibility for remembering and in which memory has been materialized and democratized.2 But there are other characteristics that define today’s remembrance. One of them is an obligation, compulsion to remember, because the memory is no longer a social practice, is acquired from outside, is an obligation imposed on members of the community so that they do not lose their identity. Another – a distance, which shows the discontinuity of the present and past, and reinforces the belief that images of the past cannot be recovered, although it can store the remains of them. [Nora, 2009, pp. 5-8] Pierre Nora has created a concept of the first and second degree history, the first one was built on concrete factual data, linearity of events, cause–effect relationship, the second – on the ways of functioning of an historical event in the consciousness of a particular community. [Syrusz-Wolska, 2009, p. 20] Of course, we are talking not only about the history of political, economic and social but also cultural. For the collective memory the second of the
presented projects is especially important, because it co–creates cultural identity and we remember cultural phenomena in that form. Bearing in the mind, that Mrs. Dulska’s Morality written by Gabriela Zapolska is a naturalistic drama and the first Polish sound film, our memory also suggests images – Felicjan Dulski circulates around the living room table in the belief that he has to walk faster, because he is passing by a dangerous Jordan Park, or the idea of – dulszczyzna, originating from this drama and settling for good, a metaphor of hypocritical morality. These elements exactly located in the identity and collective memory of our culture, are part of the history of the second degree. The year 1906 as the time of the origin of the play and its world premiere at the Municipal Theatre in Krakow, 1908 – the date of the first publication in the Warsaw Orgelbrand’s Publishing House, 1930 – the production of the first in the history of Polish cinema sound film, directed by Boleslaw Newolina based on a play by Zapolska are the first degree history. None of these elements is fixed to one of the stories, they can move freely or co–exist in both. The date of the independence of Poland and the Battle of Grunwald fits both the factual, linear history degree, as well as symbolic, metaphorical history of the second degree. There seems to be an unimportant demarcation of what really belongs to the first and the second story, it is important what a community “has in mind”, what is important for its identity and cultural development. The vast majority of the members of the community are not historians, sociologists or culture specialists, but for some reason has a sense of belonging to this particular, and not another community. These reasons – events, characters, dates, symbols, metaphors – decide that they share a collective identity, and that they remember them makes the collective cultural memory. Currently, the relationships between memory and history in science seem to be conciliatory, researchers are looking for a compromise between them and use them as two equal, complementary research methods, and the key to success seems to be no mistaking their competence, because remembering the past is not equivalent to its historical understanding. [Misztal, 2003, pp. 107-
2 Aleida Assmann stresses the importance of archives as places not only of storage but also the construction of memory, which are equally subject to the social, political and cultural context, and the most bearing media and data storage techniques. Antinomy of the archive is waste – remnants of knowledge, not stored by anyone. [Assmann A., 2009, p. 115]
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108] In other words, what we remember about the artist does not need to be identical with the historical truth. Barbara Szacka believes that social memory is a part of history as an academic discipline and its history is the subject of a separate subdiscipline – the history of historiography. However, social memory can not presently exist without the historical knowledge, which is used in order to create popularized among the public images of the past. History can be elitist and accessible only to selected people, however it may come within the scope and competence of social memory, and be widely disseminated by historians, as well as those deriving from the collected and compiled by them historical knowledge. Knowledge of building the memory is not, nonetheless, the same knowledge, which builds the history, because it is subject of selection, reinterpretation and transformation. Memory, according to researchers, takes from the history characters and events and turns them into symbols and vivid, colorful stories, modifying them under the influence of current social needs, from which the most important thing is always to create and maintain the identity and (de)legitimation of power dominant social relations. [Szacka, 1995, pp. 69-70] In this approach, determined impact on the management of memory about an artist has the state, which controls education, mass media, and has the final voice in the selection of which anniversaries will be celebrated, who will patronize streets, schools, houses of culture and others, co–finances projects from its own funds. The construction of other than the state image of the past often influences the creation of new, though of course smaller than national, communities. [Misztal, 2003, p. 71] This last aspect to a greater extent, however, concerns the management of the image of artists than the memory management of them, but here there are also situations in which an artist will be appreciated and understood only after years, especially in totalitarian countries, where creativity and memory of authors do not support the political and social order.
PLACES OF MEMORY, THE MEMORY FIGURES, FORMS OF COMMEMORATION
ollective cultural memory is not always active, it is mostly just passive, dormant, waiting for the impulses which will drag it out of the lethargy and remind individual people or events. Impulses take different forms, these might be memorial plaques, anniversary celebrations, concerts or movies, which generally can be named t h e f o r m o f r e m e m b r a n c e , and whose main purpose is to u p d a t e t h e c o l l e c t i v e m e m o r y, as you usually remember what you want to remember and what is frequently updated. [Sztumski, 2000, pp.7-26] Halbwachs used the term “the figure of memory” to determine the forms of commemoration, the tangible symbols; the meaning of it, presented in this paper, seems to be closer to the meaning of Halbwachs’ follower – Nora , who introduced a new concept – a place of memory (les lieux de memoire) – and included in it not only institutionalized structures for cultural memory storage, but also the intangible manifestations and gave them the material, symbolic and functional importance, the functions that always coexist.3 Places of memory differ from the historic sites in the willingness of commemorate, the ability of metamorphosis, and the reinterpretation of meanings, lieux de mémoire are a reference for themselves, they are, of course, based on history, but their essence is in the excess, in what the history is not capable to show. [Nora, 2009, p. 12] We should notice however, that Nora [2009, p. 7] has replaced the memory itself with the places of memory, which in turn was absorbed by the history. Upgrading memory consist in recalling information remembered through impulses coming from the outside. Updating can be: a. direct, during which the images are moved from the relative past – the life time of a remembering person,4 b. indirect, when the images are taken from the relative past of other people,
3 Nora points to the multiplicity of possible classification of memory locations, including: natural and concrete experience and intellectual, which dominates the symbolic aspect and are not dominated by them, the spectacular and triumphant and humble nature sanctuary, public and private space for only a commemorative function and complex for many different purposes. [Nora, 2009, p. 9] 4 Ewa Bienkowska [1995, p. 19-30] such a process calls an assimilation of someone else’s memory, and believes that it occurs when we leave the world of family and enter into the social world (kindergarten, school, work).
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c. indirect, when the images are taken from the relative past of other generations. [Szumski, 2000, p. 9]5 The first and second mentioned types refer directly to the promotion of artist or their image, the third – the memory management of it, because the first two refer to the present day, the last – to the past, which correlates with Wieslaw Sztumski’s dynamic model of time, according to which the past is seen through memory, timeliness – perception, future – waiting. [Sztumski, 2000, p. 11] Indirect (absolute) memory can deform the message for various reasons, which reaches out to audiences already transformed (intentionally or not) through intermediaries, it may also require the rules of interpretation which are not legible for all. In other words, what is stored in memory, is constantly subjected to the processes of selection and interpretation and depends on many factors: the frequency, purpose and way of remembering, reinterpreting, cultural influences, or updating. In order not to distort the artist’s image in the transmission of memory from relative to absolute and to avoid its instrumentalization, it should be, as Aleida Assmann [2009, pp. 106-107] underlined, submitted to public criticism, reflection and discussion. Especially because these images are numerous, and each may seek to achieve social acceptance. Objects from the absolute past do not recall themselves, they need – places of memory, the more creative, the more capable to transform existing pictures memory of an artist. Figures of memory, if they take forms familiar from everyday life, will be most understandable to the recipient. [Welzer, 2008, p. 45] It seems very important to update and put the forms of commemoration into the structures of current media messages, comprehensible for contemporaries. The past is seen by the members of the community through the categories and patterns that are relevant to their culture and time. [Burke, 1989, p. 99] In order to recall facts from absolute memory, we mostly reach for the ready–made patterns, known from elsewhere, from literature, film, press, to which the recipient is used and from which knows what to expect. Each image, which is distinctive from those commonly known, causes the recipients’ discomfort, breaking their habits of perception. [Welzer, 2008, p. 45]
Aleida Assmann [2009, p. 106] points out that cultural texts, constituting knowledge and memory of the community, are clear only in the context of other texts, so the forms of commemoration of an artist also need to resign of demanding completeness, and it seems appropriate to use other cultural messages and mutual complementarity. It raises the question of centralized memory management of an artist, which would allow to avoid duplication in content and form of memory figures. If the shared knowledge, connecting an individual with a particular community (a nation or region) is lost, the bond between generations is broken.6 Memory can be alive, passed down from generation to generation as family stories, anecdotes, letters or diaries, but more often it is replaced by t h e m e d i a m e m o r y, which primarily uses various forms of commemoration: archives, museums, memorials et al. Memory management can concern remembrance, cultural acts of remembering, forgetting, perpetuating, and references to the past and designing the past. [Assman A., 2009, p. 118] We do not remember about the particular artist all the time, sometimes we hear about him almost everywhere, television programs, radio shows, movies, books, exhibitions are created, however, there is also a time, when the artist is pushed into the background, and a different author comes to the fore, whether through film, the year of jubilee, or unknown works discovered. It seems important to commemorate those that have persisted unchanged – monuments, archives, places named after the artist. Moreover, these memory figures are more reliable than, for example movies or shows, whose life is much shorter.
MEMORY AND PROMOTION
e perceive an artist as a group, as members of the community, because they co–create our identity and express ideas common to us all. Still the question remains an unsolved problem: an artist, it means who? or what? A man, their biography? Creativity? The impact on other artists? Place in the artistic trend? Do we remember Stanislaw Przybyszewski as a scandalizer, the husband of beautiful and unhappy Dagna Przybyszewska,
5 According to the researcher [Sztumski, 2000, p. 13], we can experience only relative past, we can study the absolute past, but we cannot live through it. 6 Aleida Assmann uses the term cultural tradition. [2009, p. 103].
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the author of the famous Confiteor or a decadence? Response also in this case appears to be simple. Education obtained in the primary and secondary school should provide a comprehensive knowledge (albeit superficial), covering all these areas. But it is only seemingly simple, because basic knowledge is not sufficient in this case. The forms of commemoration, mentioned earlier, are the part of the sphere of interests in an artist. What they may be, depends on the specific work of the particular artist (different for a painter, a writer, a composer and an actor), but no doubt the vast majority of them are common to all. The issue to be decided is to develop methods for defining the point at which we can already talk about the memory of artists, and not about managing their image (promotion). When the promotion of artists changes in the management of the memory of them? Critical moment seems to be death, which allows for comprehensive approach to the character, the distance to their biography and work, entering into the cultural canon. The distance in time allows verification if the author actually is part of the identity of the community, is not only a fad or a meaningless figure. Of course, not only great artists deserve to be remembered, but time seems to be necessary to establish a hierarchy between them, locating them in their historical and cultural heritage. This location is at various levels yy institutional, creating biographical museums, exhibitions, cultural routes, material yy the products disseminating knowledge about the artist, archival yy documentation centers, publications, mental yy through the use of artist’s name in the naming of facilities, locations and streets; immaterial yy in the legends, anecdotes, contests. Then, when the status of an artist, because of the position, developed from debates and discussions, and social acceptance, is already set at the mentioned above fields of cultural and scientific knowledge, follows the musealization of memory7. An extremely important distinction in the consideration on the memory of an artist is dif-
ferent testing of the people who are not alive and those who are still professionally active and those who moved away from the artistic life. In the first case we are dealing with a mild progressive memory musealization, the image, worked over the years, could become fixed and acquire the institutional and material dimension (such as research centers, monographs, exhibition). For those dealing with promotion of the artist it is a huge convenience, because they work on the already established ground, nobody needs to be convinced, who was Fryderyk Chopin. On the other hand, however, musealization brings also difficulties, because rooted in the collective consciousness image will be difficult to change. Even if the goal is not to change the image, but only to enrich and make it more attractive for recipients, the habits of perception of the community, which an artist is part of, should be changed. Popularly known as cultural icons – Andy Warhol of pop culture, Salvador Dali of surrealism, – are also very stereotypical and superficial, associated by slogans: Warhol – a can of Campbell soup, Dali – a mustache. At the figure of an artist, whose legend is still under construction, we should look in a different way. Can we talk, in this case, about memory? Certainly we are not dealing with memory musealization, even if the achievements’ artist have already exceeded the thresholds of museum, because their lives and work are still a subject of changes and evolution, as a result we are not able to determine how and to what extent it co–creates cultural identity. However, analyzing each of these cases, we should keep in mind that cultural memory is not only a cognitive category, but also interpretative, [Syrusz-Wolska, 2009, p. 18] which allows re–reading of the image of artists and their work on many levels, which results in a simple observation: there is a canonical image, but it is not immutable. Moreover, it should in the most natural way adapt to current demands and cognitive (perceptual abilities) of community members. The existing image can survive for many decades, it can also – once violated – undergo other interpretations.8
7 Concept of memory musealization although in another context (settlement of Nazism and the Holocaust) was introduced by M. Saryusz Wolska [2009, p. 13] In this paper, the definition is different, though no doubt work of the researchers was an important inspiration for its creation. 8 An example of such re-interpretation can be theories of literary studies. Lew Tołstoj’s Anna Karenina may be interpreted in a structural, formal, phenomenological, psychoanalytic ways.
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THE MEMORY OF AN ARTIST AND CULTURAL HERITAGE
emembering is not an intentional act, we remember or we do not , moreover, cultural memory does not have the capacity of self–organization [Assman A., 2009, pp. 106-119], the condition of its existence is therefore to introduce some regulations allowing for the existence and development. Barbara Szacka writing on social memory states that people do not remember someone who lived 100 years ago, but “somehow” know about this. [Szacka, 1995, p. 68] For those who want to moderate, in any way, the memory of the artist, the important question is: why? This issue: where our knowledge about an artist comes from, immediately suggests another: who is its author? Who provides us with the knowledge about an artist? In other words, who plays a key role in creating a collective memory? Intellectual and artistic environment? Writers, journalists, scientists? Managers of culture? By asking these questions, we return to the issue raised by Jan Assmann, who, pointing to elite cultural memory, stressed the uniqueness of individuals who are its bearers. In the teaching of the management of cultural heritage there are two main areas: the management of tangible and intangible heritage. Which one applies to memory management? The thesis of Pierre Nora, mentioned earlier , saying about the memorial sites, suggests that both – what is confirmed by Andrzej Szpociński [2009, p. 9]: Places, which are mentioned here can be understood metaphorically, as any signs and symbols that focus the attention on themselves, because they are suspected that they are depositaries of the past. [...] They are the property of specific social groups, and contain this or other, important for the community ideas, norms, patterns of behavior. The difference between them lies in the fact that in the first case, the ownership is understood literally, in the second metaphorically. In the first it is the physical opportunity to visit certain places, in the second it is the possibility of referring to them as to your own past.
The first of these relates to the culture of memory, which uses the natural space, and the figures arranged in it are material, that is the tangible heritage, and the second – the art of memory taking place in an imaginary space, that
is the intangible heritage. [Assmann J., 2009, p. 92] So organized places, filled with figures of memory, create cultural landscapes, real and unreal, in which each element is significant, but which are also in the semiotization process grown to a sign and a symbol. International, European cultural route, the Way of St. James Via Regia, leading from Vilnius to Santiago del Compostela in northwestern Spain, as a whole is a memory medium, but also individual objects which are situated on it – shells of St. James, the yellow signs, the sanctuary at St. Anna Mountain – are figures of cultural memory. Way of St. James, which exists for more than ten centuries is one of the most important Christian pilgrimage routes, it also creates an imaginary space in symbolic terms, the actual objects refer to multiple meanings, becoming symbols and creating a metaphor of devotion to God, atonement for sins, the attempt to reach the holy place. Monika Murzyn–Kupisz [2010, p. 206] points out the indeterminacy of the term of cultural heritage and the difficulty in its definition, as well as the multiplicity of existing definitions. In order not to multiply the existing terminology and not complicate it further, as a starting point should be considered the UNESCO conventions and they should be recognized as valid for the issue of the memory management of an artist. There are five conventions on the protection of cultural heritage, two of them relate directly to the problem: the Convention on World Cultural and Natural Heritage [Paris, 1972] and the Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage [Paris, 2003], according to which the heritage includes: • monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of these features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; • groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; • sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view. [Convention on World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972]
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From the point of view of memory management of an artist, in its field should be included all the elements of cultural heritage, which relate to an artist. The house in which he or she was born or lived can be a work of architecture; similarly complex of buildings and parks. Existing till today a palace in Kopaszewo was added to the list of monuments and, together with the surrounding park and several buildings is a significant value in terms of art and history. However, in this palace – as a legend says – fragments of Pan Tadeusz were written, and Mickiewicz stayed in it many times in the years 1831 and 1832, which means that the entire complex can be entered as an objects undergoing memory management of an artist. In Kopaszewo there is also Europe’s longest avenue of plane trees not being the part of the palace park and leading to the old farm, without doubt frequently used by the poet, which – as a work created jointly by man and nature – can be included into the elements of the cultural route of Mickiewicz, including those architectural and natural objects with which the poet was specifically bound. The conventions also specify the range of natural heritage, understood as: • natural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view; • geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation; • natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty. [Convention on World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972]
Cultural routes dedicated to the life and work of an artist are the best example of integration of cultural heritage within the memory of an artist, because a route includes not only the cultural heritage, but also natural, and on a route may be not only the creations of man or man and nature, but also natural monuments that were not created on the initiative of a man, though associated with a man through various elements. Helena Modjeska’s House in California gained the status of National Historic Landmark, the place extremely important from a historical point of view, and the canyon
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surrounding the together with the nearby summit, both received the name of Modjeska in honor of the great actress. Property, together with the surrounding area is a nature reserve, among others because of the oaks, which have been growing there for centuries, which makes it an area of outstanding value. Although, that their creation had nothing to do with the arrival of the artist to America, giving them a name – Modjeska Canyon, Modjeska Peak – decided about their inclusion into the sphere of interests of the memory managers of Modjeska. The fact that the memory management of an artist relates to the tangible heritage is obvious. Is it the same with the intangible heritage? The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history […] is manifested inter alia in the following domains: (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship. [Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003]
Examples of intangible cultural heritage can be a set of characteristics defining the model behavior of an artist or the way it is perceived as the representative of the identity of a group. A number of poets – François Villon, Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Jim Morrison – embody the model of an accursed poet, others – Homer, Jan Kochanowski, Adam Mickiewicz – embody the notion of the poet–prophet. In other words, some behaviors clearly reflect some image rooted in the collective consciousness, pursued individually by artists: a decadent, a man–of success, a misunderstood artist. Another examples are the anecdotes and jokes about artists, which originate in a certain environ-
ment, and even if they are written, they live only by the fact that they are told from generation to generation in this environment. Gustav Holubek was a master of creating and telling anecdotes. One of them tells how a drunken John Himilsbach once ran to the SPATiF, shouting: – Intelligence get the fuck off! Hearing that Gustav Holubek got up, looked around the room and said: – Gentlemen, I don’t know how about you, but I am getting the fuck out. The story read is not as funny as told (the most common medium of anecdotes and humor is direct verbal communication), especially, when told in a group of people who knew both actors and are aware of the circle of the SPATiF. The International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition (Chopin Competition), organized since 1927, also reveals how the intangible heritage can be a matter for memory management. The competition is already a tradition, organized for over 80 years gained prestige, reputation and is a recognizable part of cultural identity (musical), but also national and thanks to it we remember about the composer. As a sign of institutional aspect of memory management can be considered a room dedicated to the memory of Adam Mickiewicz in the aforesaid Kopaszewski palace, Shakespeare’s biographical museum, temporary exhibitions on individual painters of the National Museum, everything what takes organizational forms. The last of the presented planes, where memory management of an artist is done, is archiving, documenting the life and work of an artist. In a way this is done by all the libraries, museums, archives, which hold objects associated with the artist, but to be able to talk about the management, these items cannot lie in the magazines, but they must be popularized, and preferably also exhibited. The term which seems to be more suitable for this specific type of memory management about the artist is the management of legacy. Such tasks are realized among others by websites dedicated to
specific artists: Agnieszka Osiecka Digital Archive, which is under the supervision of the Okularnicy Foundation, or centers of research and documentation, for example, Centre for Study of Jerzy Grotowski and the Cultural and Theatrical Research, supervised by Wroclaw Jerzy Grotowski Institute and the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Polish Music Documentation Centre of the Nineteenth Century at the Institute of Musicology of the Jagiellonian University (formerly the Centre for Documentation of the Life and Work of Ignacy Jan Paderewski at the Department of History and Theory of Music UJ). The above examples place the memory management on the planes, on which the musealization of memory is made: material, immaterial, mental, institutional and archival. None of the planes operate in a vacuum, usually they coexist and overlap. Some of the forms of commemoration develop and operate on its own, such as legends and anecdotes, but the vast majority of them need to be managed: as an institution, organization, knowledge, production, distribution. Memory management of an artist is undoubtedly a part of the management in humanities science – the management of cultural heritage – tangible, intangible, and cultural institutions. As mentioned at the beginning, the memory management of an artist is very complicated and complex; developing the methodology, selection of appropriate research tools, clarifying the subject of consideration requires many years of detailed research. These considerations were aimed at bringing only a few of the many aspects of one of the basic components of it – the memory. Some of the elements require more detailed consideration including participation of the memory in creating and maintaining identity, factors affecting the forgetting and remembering about an artist and many others. The universality of (not always conscious) phenomenon causes that the urgent need is to develop a scientific approach to it.
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Published on Dec 13, 2013
Culture Management 2012 No 2: Alicja Kedziora, Memory Management on the artist. Reflection on the problem