Akademia Ruchu Theatre was founded in Warsaw in 1973, with Wojciech Krukowski as founder and art director. Since the very beginning, it has been known as the ‘theatre of behaviour’ and visual narration. The group’s practice combines the disciplines of theatre, visual arts, performance and film, focusing on the shared qualities of movement, space and social message. This is connected with a sense that artistic radicalism and social meaning do not have to be mutually exclusive. Akademia Ruchu’s public-space work, pursued continuously since 1974 is the first example in Poland of such a systematic creative practice –outside the official institutional framework– in ‘non-artistic’ space: on the streets, at private homes, in industrial spaces. On the other hand, transferring elements of the everyday reality in unchanged form into the ‘holy’ space of art has served to enrich its anthropological vision without in any way impoverishing the aesthetic one. Akademia Ruchu has presented its work in almost all countries of Europe as well as in both Americas and Japan as part of tours and major theatre festivals.
The action employed an idea, put forward by Jolanta Krukowska and Cezary Marczak, of a special use of fire. In the first step, strips of white canvas were stretched on the surface of the street. As the audience gathered, rubber bands holding the strips were released, causing the white „banners” to rise dynamically. The performers then used spray paint to write the consecutive verses of the „poem” on them.
The „poem” used is dependent on the context, in Sokołowsko the group used fragments of conversations they had had with the locals.
After all the banners had been filled with lines of „poetry”, the performers moved from one banner to another in a line, blowing fire, causing the banners to burn (in a suggestion of the idea of words being absorbed by the atmosphere), and revealing one verse of the „poem” after another.