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UAP – The University of Practical Aberrations

fot. Jadwiga Subczyńska, 38th Edition of the M. Dokowicz Competition, 2018

The best thing in the world is to criticise your own nest. That is a pleasure! You stand above it and you look at it from above or from a side. Your view is great because you left it and you are free from its constraints. You may approach it. You may sniff the air, you may feel thick spittle inside your throat. You can take a deep breath and plfuhh, the first gob flies onto the little nest, plfuhh, the second one follows and so on and forth. You do it until there is enough strength in your jaw. The nest begins to drown in our slime. The female readers will surely understand what fun a graduate of a distinguished school feels in delivering the spit right into the centre. Spitting privately delivers a certain form of fun. Let the first one of you throw a stone into the computer screen, whose friends have never complained about this distinguished school – here, The University of Arts in Poznań (UAP).

Today I would like to encourage you to spit jointly, collectively and constructively at our alma mater. If no-one volunteers to collect the first gob, I will start (to appear more knowledgeable, as you, readers, may have noticed from the title, I gave our university a nickname ‘practical aberrations’. As a result, I shall review two aberrations of UAP here. There are more of them of course. We could spit until our last breath. This is just a start).

Aberration One: Alma Mater

Just look at me. I am so well-looked after and so cool! I can look after myself. From the outside, I am worldly. I have new furniture, electronic devices, everything bought with EU money. I invite foreign guests, students from Turkey and Ireland and I am so proud: we have here a pretty computer workshop from 2016, and here you can see glass doors. Wow! What a beautiful assembly hall! I would appreciate it if you could take your shoes off. You can find slippers in the corridor. Our alma mater likes to show-off. Well!

It wants a layer who charges 270 zł per hour. Here it is, we have such a layer. The school wants the latest film editing equipment. Here you are, you have it! But beware! The device is locked away from the children! I did not buy this equipment so that you, kids could come and edit some silly films just to get your grades. I bought it so that it sits there and it works on your imagination! You are artists. You do not suffer from a lack of imagination. Do not be puzzled. Invoices had to work out, the money had to go out, otherwise, I would have to return the grant!

Our alma mater brings the children up in the air of penny-pinching and strictness. I have something, but I shall not give it to you. In the past eight or more, they put me in such debt that now I need to use you to get out of those debts. When children are small and they are studying, I could find 500 zł in a scholarship for those who are the poorest. I might also find some social or edu scholarships for the high-flyers. When they grow up, I will show them the doors! What a cheeky idea to stay and do a PhD. What do you want to learn? Are you staying? Well, ok. I will get some money from the state for you. You cheeky bastards! To claim what you deserve, because other alma maters support their grown children?

Wait a moment, let me just check my pockets. I have it! I have 275 zł for you. The ones who are poor, or the ones who did not find a job as an artist, or their birth mothers or fathers do not give them 2 groszy, you, the lot will get 300 zł. Why aren’t you happy? 600 zł is a lot of money. Rent space in a room in a bunk bed, pay each 100 zł and live with other poor artists. Be quiet! Oh well, these artists today. They do not remember that the best ideas are created collectively. I am giving you this collective opportunity, and you do not want to take this opportunity. Hungry? You don’t have any paper for printing? You didn’t have enough funds for a bag of clay for sculpturing?

My children…your fate is in your hands! Look, some of you know how to arrange things. They don’t wait for my gesture, they earn money! You don’t know how to make studies and work meet? Well, dear ones, this is not my fault. You didn’t pay attention to the basic business classes. You all know too well that you ALL HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME CHANCES for a career.

fot. Tobiasz Jankowiak, 38th Edition of the M. Dokowicz Competition, 2018

Maria Dokowicz’scompetition for the best degree project of The University of Arts in Poznan.    

Maria Dokowicz’scompetition for the best degree project of The University of Arts in Poznan is an execution of Maria Dokowicz’s will, who graduated from our school in 1932. The funds, she allocated, allowed us to fund scholarship travels to the USA for our best graduates. The competition evolved over the years.

Presently each department selects the authors of best projects to take part in the competition. Main awards are given by UAP Senate in two categories: artistic and design ones. For a few years now, there is also an award given for the best theoretical dissertation – Prof. Alicja Kępińska’s Award.

The competition exhibition, as a result of its scale, has been organised for a while now in the spaces of Poznań’s International Fairs. The main exhibition is accompanied by an annual accompanying exhibition (from the 36th edition) in Municipal Art Galleries of UAP.

This year’s edition ‘The Polemics of Art’ happens in the context of 100 years of Poznań art group BUNT. We plan to open an accompanying exhibition in the UAP Grant Scene. The grand opening and main exhibition of the competition shall take place on the 13th November at 6 p.m. in Pavillon 10 of the Poznan International Fairs.

More information here:

Second Aberration: the festival of embarrassment, or Maria Dokowicz’s competition

There is this moment that a graduate of UAP is appreciated. The appreciation boils down to being invited to the competition named after a female graduate, who was rather generous. The money she earned she dedicated to a fund for an art development of next generations.

Oh Mary, did you expect what UAP would do with your name? Dear Mary, in your name UAP, sends a notice in which there are spelling and stylistic mistakes. The notice asks to participate in the competition.

Dear graduates, please load yourself with your dissertations and drag them to the centre of consumption and business: Poznan International Fairs. Over there, you will have a competition for you. You will get space – white boxes! Nice and shiny boxes, grey-office looking, some of you will even get some fitted carpet. We will build for you some beautiful constructions. There will be vacuuming ladies, but take your screwdrivers, nails and scissors too!

Those of you who can, please take a ladder, because we have only one and we need to hide it when we finish work. When the works are up, the big day comes. UAP senate comes to the Fairs to judge the works of the graduates. Please do not confuse the judging with interest in what’s up. Who fled abroad, who is listed as an unemployed. We, the Senate, are not interested in that. The competition happens so the convention stays safe and sound.

A few hours before the judging, the graduates learn from an email with spelling mistakes that unfortunately each person has 5 minutes to tell the Senate about her/his work. Too little? No-one told you to do some elaborated stuff. We live fast today. What if an investor wants to know your work, you will not get more time. So please don’t complain.

After the judging, there is some nervous waiting: the discussion. The graduates – get out of the fitted carpet! The members of the Senate do not speak to each other very often. There are sandwiches on the table. The noise of plastic wrapping of the sandwiches (we are not concerned with limiting plastic, we are plastic artists), hostesses shall shortly start serving exhibition wine.

Finally, we arrive at the time of the verdict. Unfortunately, the last few hours were not enough to mark the folders with projects according to names. We don’t feel like looking inside. Anyway, the graduates were supposed to present themselves alphabetically. What we have here is total insubordination. They are standing on stage according to their liking. Embarrassment: the certificates are travelling to the wrong ones. We need to note here that each person gets two certificates, including one with GOLDEN MARK (we checked – it wasn’t gold, the pawn shops did not want to take it even when we wanted to pay them for it). Kowalski gets a certificate of Nowak and Świnka, Bracka gets a certificate of Kowalski and Mądralińska. A month after the competition, there are still messages coming: Dear Graduates: please could you give back the certificates, which did not belong to you? But, the party still goes on! On stage, we have a welcomed good capitalist who gives 20 million in obligations. The graduates receive the company’s catalogues and business cards. What a gesture! Our eyes are teary from happiness. We need to drink to that. When the dust of the competition falls, we may view the graduate show. Wait, are you sure? How to get to the Fair? What if the building is locked, or there is some security or gates? Well, UAP dealt with that just great. The first information read: the interested should visit the promotion office of the university between 8 am and 3 pm in order to get a pass, which will make it possible to visit Pavillon 10 at the Fair. Voila! However, I suspect it did not work out. So, they came up with another solution. It was marked on the UAP web with great, red letters: YOU MAY VIEW THE EXHIBITION WITH A PASSWORD: DOKOWICZ

From whom? Where? How? That, you – kids – need to work out by yourself!

Mieszko Gniewko – half a man, half a dog. He wakes up every day at 5 am to shave his feministic moustache. He started writing books similar to Masłowska’s. None of them was published, next, he started painting in post-graffiti style. None of them was exhibited. Today, he is a volunteer in theological anarchism, in his free time he pours his unfulfilled artist’s frustration in the Internet forums dedicated to art critics.

translation: Ela Wysakowska-Walters   

fot. Tobiasz Jankowiak, 38th Edition of the M. Dokowicz Competition, 2018


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