I dreamt of Piotr Włast and he was complete. With all his teeth intact. Was he still Piotr Włast? I dreamt of Maria’s mom, and then Piotr’s mom, and she wasn’t one and the same. I was in the dream as well, where I knew neither Maria nor Piotr, but then I knew them both. I was diverse. My body wasn’t there, only theirs. But they saw me anyhow. I woke up. My body wasn’t the same anymore. I don’t know if it’s still my body.
At age 31, poet Maria Komornicka assumed a male identity as she burned her dresses, knocked her teeth out and changed her name to Piotr Odmieniec Włast. In result, she was involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
The live theatre installation, or performance art, if you will, with active participation from the audience, was an attempt at taking a closer look at the life of Maria Komornicka. It gives an insight into the violence of looking and the violence of seeing. The violence we inflict on ourselves under external pressure. We sought to prompt the audience to reflect on the violence implicated by an ideology, which leaves a tangible mark on the body. How long before they grow tired of the tattoo? Wouldn’t Marina Abramovic like to get rid of her Star of David scar? Do Piotr Włast’s final letters, signed “Maria Komornicka” eradicate his male identity?
It’s not me waking up. It’s my body that woke me up. It’s my body that demands that I get up.
Concept and staging by Dorota Glac, Marta Jalowska, Dominika Strojek Directing consulted by Natalia Sołtysik