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Trafostacja Sztuki w Szczecinie ul. Świętego Ducha 4 Wto-Czw & Nie / Tue-Thu & Sun 11:00-19:00 Pt-Sob / Fri-Sat 11:00-21:00
Logo TRAFO

Piotr Michalski
Last Breath:
Blood, Sweat and Poppers

Curator: Andrzej Witczak

Exhibition design: Karolina Gołębiowska

Production: Adam Dzidziszewski

Music: Michał Doroszenko

 

Films:

Choreography: Milena Hovsepyan

Dancers: Szymon Klukiewicz, Kasia Olejniczak, Thanushan Nagendran, Darek Zagrodzki

Costume design: Marko Saidov

Production: Zuzanna Fluder, Józef Jakacki, Szymon Janczy

 

Thanks to:

Teatr Współczesny w Szczecinie, Replay Dance Studio, Akademia Sztuki w Szczecinie, Andrzej Wochnik, Dominika Głowala

EVENT DATES

Thu 14 Mar 2024
19:00
opening
Fri 15 Mar 2024 —
Sun 05 May 2024
exhibition
Tue 26 Mar 2024
18:00
guided tour
Sat 27 Apr 2024
18:00
guided tour

When Okeanides swam in the Aegean Sea, and Poseidon and his mythical retinue could be spotted somewhere between the Cycladic and Dodecanese archipelagos, 300 valiant warriors, carrying the most beautiful sentiment in the world, spread their fame with every victorious battle. They were not the Spartans though, immortalized in the contemporary pop culture by the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic book; they were other hoplites. According to Plutarch, The Sacred Band of Thebes consisted of young and mature homosexual men. They pledged to fight to the last breath, in defense of their comrades in battle. And so they did. The Band had remained undefeated until 338 BC, when they were finally overcome by the Macedonians at the Battle of Cheronea. The lovers were buried in a mass grave featuring a marble monument to the Lion of Cherona. They last in entwined bodies to this day, neither of them having left the battlefield just as they had vowed to each other. Their blood, along with the spring rain, flowed into the sea.

We move to the 1970s Mykonos. A medium-sized island in the Cyclades is becoming a popular destination among the rich, attracting celebrities, film and music stars. Once poor and inhabited by fishermen, the place was flooded with new clubs and bars. One of them was the renowned Pierro’s whose reputation was comparable to New York’s Studio 54. The bar’s motto was freedom, and it soon became the favourite hub of the LGBT+ community. Shortly afterwards, the Aegean Sea starts boiling. Flocks of gay people rush to Mykonos, as if lured with its magical flair. In a trance dance to club hits, on the coast of the picturesque island, intoxicated with poppers and the promise of love, they look for fulfillment and search for lovers. “This is how you throw a party at Mykonos beach!”*.

Inspired by the history and mythical past, Piotr Michalski looks at contemporary gay culture. Fully aware of the dangers lurking between the lines, from the perspective of an observer and participant of events, he dissects and deconstructs stories, symbols and meanings, developing a fantastic story, full of love, sex and fun. In all his observations, he focuses on individually experienced stories and associated emotions. Why do gays, despite cultural, social and economic differences, still seek Mykonos? What is the reason behind that? Is it the fault of capitalism, toxic masculinity, the need to escape reality or our brain addicted to dopamine surges? Perhaps something else? Something more complicated and incomprehensible to modern people? Something or someone stronger, born from a mixture of the blood of Theban warriors and party drug washings?

Will everyone find what they are looking for? Do people dance to the song of sirens on the dance floors of Mykonos?

*shoutout to Linsday Lohan during a beach party in Mykonos

Piotr Michalski (born 2000, Szczecin) – student of Media Art at the Academy of Art in Szczecin. His practice involves creating fairy tales based on queer history. He combines the language of film and theater with scenographic objects and sculpture. He mainly deals with queer issues, and his inspirations are Hollywood cinema, pop culture camp and love.

Author of films screenings at festivals such as New Horizons in Wrocław. The artist’s works were shown at collective exhibitions at BWA Bielsko-Biała, CRP in Orońsko and MOS Gorzów Wielkopolski. Winner of the 9th Competition for the Best Media Art Diplomas organized by WRO Art Center.