Kraków: self-published, 1973, 30×21,3 cm. Softcover. Stapled. Unpaginated. Polish; English. Artist book / photobook published in conjunction with the action Pierwsze Nienaturalne (…). During this happening the group buried 500 carats of synthetic (unnatural) gemstones in 5 tonnes of sand in Galeria Foksal, “thus forcing the audience to a de facto humiliating exploration, they unleashed the competitive instinct and a whole array of contradictory emotions”. B&W photo documentation and full bilingual of the action that reads like a case report. Also, useful reference list of exhibitions, happenings and ‘film shows’ from the earliest phase of Druga Grupa.
Druga Grupa, established in 1967 by three actors of the Cricot 2 Theater, on the one hand referred to the tradition of the avant-garde, and on the other, played an ironic game with it. Lesław and Wacław Janicki and Jacek Stokłosa carried out happenings filled with a Dadaist sense of humor, playing with the concepts of “art” and “work of art”. (…) In 1976 they said: “what we had to say, we said” and the group was disbanded. ”
Dorota Dziunikowska, 2017
L.J.: And in Warsaw, Galeria Foksal appeared with the idea of presenting a picture of contemporary art. Ptaszkowska and Wiesio Borowski believed in us, they knew that what we were doing was sincere. It was so interesting for us that we could make our First Unnatural Precious Stone Deposit there.
What was it about?
L.J.: They were unnatural – but with the same chemical composition and physical properties as real ones – precious stones. And although they were synthetic, the very fact that they could be found in a gallery and not in a mine gave these stones value, or rather complemented the value given to them by nature.
W.J.: Of course, there was also a lot of sand…
L.J: Back then, there was also a fashion for such synthetic sapphires and rubies… We hid them in the sand and everyone came to look for them. And after finding them, Wacek gave certificates.
W.J.: I was in Germany studying geology at such an institute, so I was an appraiser and could write a formal certificate. However, in the case of avant-garde art, it was the expert who determined “whether it is natural or not”, but the excitement of the seekers was the whole art.
Lesław and Wacław Janicki interwiewd by Adam Mazur in 2017
condition: Near Fine.