Transparency show by Anna Trpzis © 2009
The background of my work is my parents' history, who left - or rather fled – from Poland in 1981. In those days young people had so few prospects there that my parents dared to leave their home for a certain period of time (that they would stay away to this day was not the plan). When I recently found the transparencies from these years, they told me a lot about this part of their life. It sounded pretty adventurous; even if they did not know what they were getting themselves into they left – defying their parents' will and the system in which they lived. And even if it was dangerous and their lives depended on the outcome, they still talk about that journey as if it had been a wonderful trip. I decided to re-tell this story in abstract using those newly surfaced transparencies and my own illustrations. I replaced human heads with those of animals: my parents, the protagonists, became a wolf and a bear. Everyone else is depicted as birds. This is based on the following thoughts: animals are often identified with certain attributes; the wolf is strenuous and courageous and the bear quiet and strong. These were my first associations with my parents when I imagined them as animals. That the rest became birds means that birds can be anywhere and can have their eyes everywhere. The political system had turned many of them into tools of observation, spying on opponents.
Many do not even realise that their so called freedom in such a system is a scam and that they only function as told. The wolf and the bear act as opponents in a mass of obedient creatures (or at least that is how I exaggerate the situation). In telling this story I exclusively used my parents' transparencies to remain authentic, but also my own illustrations to turn the material into an actual plot. To these images I added fragments of the lyrics from a song called "W Droge" (Let's go) by a band called “Czerwone Gitary" (The Red Guitars). The song describes departure and starting anew. In Poland this band enjoys cult status and is something like a copycat of the Beatles in the 70’s. The title of this work refers to the coordinates of the town Mielec in Poland, where my parents grew up and where I was born.