River and flow. Frame that is constantly changing. My river is Vistula. I am in constant contact with her.
For me, it means blending with nature in motion and stillness at the same time. I find myself there as an integral element of the Universe. I feel connected to the flowing water, with the sun, sky, birds flying, the ground under my feet, trees. I can feel the energy of the Cosmos and its flow through my body. The water of streams and rivers coming from the depths of the earth, flowing for kilometers across the land, flowing into lakes, seas, oceans, makes all of us inhabitants of the Earth connected.
2020 year. A series of tragic events, a series of human-nature duels. Of course, man always loses. But Nature is also losing. Fires in Australia; pandemic blockade of people; massive increase in domestic violence; street shootings in the US; the economic defeat of the middle class and the poorest; people’s struggles against people for their basic rights; riots and protests #blacklivesmatter; violating the rights of the LGBT + community, violating women’s rights, violating animal rights. The tense political and social situation in Poland, Belarus and many other places in the world. Great fires in Siberia.
A sharp, record increase in temperature in the Arctic region. Arctic permafrost is melting. Scientists are alarming – the situation of this region has a significant impact on the entire planet. In June, the biggest environmental disaster in this part of the world took place in Norilsk, Siberia. This is the second such case here, the first was in 2016.
On May 29, 2020, more than 20,000 tons of diesel fuel leaked into the river from the power plant of the Russian concern Nornikiel. During the first days, the authorities did not start any rescue operations. The river, however, was a blood-red color recorded by the NASA satellites and by local residents who posted videos of the red river on the internet. From the river, the toxic fuel flowed into Lake Piasino, and then into the Karski Sea, which is part of the Arctic Ocean.
A month later, the same plant dumped toxic substances directly into the tundra. The concern has been poisoning the region for years, and its activities remain unpunished. Putin blames the Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin – the owner of the Norilsk Nickel concern – one of the richest people in the world for this catastrophe.
I go to the river to observe nature. It is different every time. The change of the landscape results from the condition of the river. When the river rises, trunks and tree limbs flow, large objects move with its current. Coastal areas sink or disappear beneath the river’s surface. When there is a drought, you can see the bottom in some places, its structure, protruding boulders and stones, the shallow waters turn into sandbanks. The huge branches of trees and trunks abandoned during high floods and floods then look like faded skeletons and fossils of dinosaurs and other legendary and mythical creatures. They create surreal archaeological cemeteries, a bestiary that the river washed ashore. Artifacts of passing, transformation and destiny.
The river says a lot about the condition of the Earth. Looking at my river, I know that the disaster in Norilsk also affects me, here on the Vistula.
The “Red River in Norilsk” poster was hanged on August 7, 2020 on the central pillar of the Rowecki Grot Bridge over the Vistula River.
This is urban interference # 54 – part of the “Painting Exhibition” – an urban art project that has been running in public space since 2011.
I heartily recommend the auction of my painting at the Street Art auction in Desa Unicum, which will take place on September 1st at 7.00 p.m.
I also invite you to the pre-auction exhibition at Desa Unicum / 1 Piękna St. in Warsaw.